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FlooringThe Pros and Cons of Heated Floors
There is nothing worse than waking up on a cold winter morning and stepping down on ice-cold floors. Yes, this may be inevitable during those freezing winter months, but what if there was a solution to this common problem? Enter radiant floor heating, also known as heated floors.
This modern technology has been around for a few years and is popular in newer housing, as well as in renovations that are focused on green, clean and comfortable living. Of course, this helps make a home cozier but is it actually worth the extra installation efforts and costs involved? Well, we’re here to help you decide if this is worth it. Read on to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of this heating system.
As you may have guessed from our introduction, one of the main reasons why a homeowner may choose to install heated floors is for personal comfort. Essentially, underfloor heating works by radiating the floors with heat, and the heat that's generated flows throughout the home and up to the roof.
Heated flooring help maintain an overall ambient temperature that radiates through both your home and body. Therefore, these floors offer you, as well as your home, a warmth that spreads evenly throughout rooms and creates a pleasant temperature that doesn't require the same amount of energy as traditional heating methods.
Also worth mentioning is that traditional heating usually results in cold areas, often leaving sections of the room cold while others are hot. Not the most comfortable way to live, if we do say so ourselves.
There are two types of heated flooring, and these are electric and water-based underfloor systems. Regardless of the type of heated flooring, both work to provide an even, consistent and efficient warmth. Although it could be assumed that heated floors cost more than regular heating methods, the opposite is actually factual.
Heated floors are an excellent solution to irregularly high energy costs. Of course, it is still important that your home is correctly insulated in order to save money on heating, but this flooring definitely helps with energy-saving and green initiatives.
In the case of traditional heaters or radiators, they need to be powered at a high temperature in order to spread enough heat, evenly and effectively. In contrast, heated floors don't require such an elevated degree to keep a room warm. For this reason, they consume significantly less energy on a daily basis while accomplishing the purpose. The average home can save up to 15% on heating bills, which is a definite upside when considering heated floors.
In most cases, heated floors come with a warranty. This will allow for minimal maintenance following the installation. Heated floors are generally fitted with a thermostat, and this can be programmed to emit as little or as much heat as you may desire.
Also worth noting is that heated floors work with all floor coverings, meaning that if you already have a specific material in place or in mind, you can still work with it. The freedom of choice and lack of maintenance are definite pros!
As you’ve likely guessed, underfloor heating is hidden and thus doesn't necessitate you worrying about children or family members burning or hurting themselves on the sharp, hot edges of radiators. Luckily, radiant flooring has been safely tucked out of sight and out of mind, and will never become too hot to the touch.
Radiant heat also provides better air quality, keeping the air in your home fresh while also remaining oxygen-rich. Radiators greatly decrease oxygen levels in the air and result in serious discomfort, however, the same can't be said with a heated floor system.
Unfortunately, the cost of installing heated floors can be fairly high. To be safe, we recommend that you budget between $12 to $36 per square foot. Not only will the installation itself cost a pretty penny, but you’ll need to hire a qualified electrician to carry out the work.
Although installation should only be a few hours, this part of the work will cost between $240 to $480. As mentioned, heated floors are very durable. Thus, in most cases, durability outweighs the cost, but this will depend on your budget.
Another aspect of heated floor installation that we’d like to point out is the timeline. Unfortunately, this installation will take more than a day, as there are several steps involved in the process itself. A self-levelling compound has to be fitted over the floor, and it'll need to completely dry before the flooring is installed.
The curing process can take a day or two, and when factored in with the installation itself, the entire process will be around a week's time. For some homeowners, this might be a major inconvenience, so make sure to factor this in when considering this style of flooring.
Unfortunately, underfloor heating systems actually affect the height of the floor. They increase the height of your floors by less than a half inch, however, it entirely depends on the system you choose. In most cases, you will also want to lay insulation boards beneath the heating systems to make sure that the heat rises rather than simply seeping out of your floors.
In many cases, losing a little bit of height floor-wise isn’t a big deal but this will greatly depend on personal preference as well as the size of your home.
Want more information about heated floors? Here are more articles from our home renovation blog:
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Last modified 2023-11-07
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