The pros and cons of heated floors
Last modified: 2019/04/29 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
There is nothing worse than waking up on a cold winter morning and placing your feet down on the ice-cold flooring. Yes, this may be inevitable during those frosty months, but what if there was a solution to this common problem? Enter radiant floor heating, also known simply 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 towards green, clean and comfortable living. Of course, this aids in making 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 find all the relevant information about:
The advantages and disadvantages of heated floors!
Heated floors: the advantages
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 this moves throughout the home up into the roof.
Heated flooring aids in an overall temperature that radiates through both your home and your body. Therefore, these floors offer yourself as well as your home a heat that spreads evenly throughout rooms and creating a pleasant warmth that does not require the same amount of energy as traditional heating methods.
Also worth mentioning is that traditional heating usually causes cold spots, often leaving sections of the room cold while others are hot. Not the most comfortable way to live, if you do say so ourselves.
Heating tubes under heated floors
There are two types of heated flooring, and these are electric or water-based 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 true.
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 heated at a high temperature in order to spread evenly and effectively. In contrast, heated floors need to run at a much lesser degree to keep a room warm. For this reason, they consume significantly less energy while completing the same job. The average home can save up to 15% on heating bills, a definite advantage when considering heated floors.
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Heated floor maintenance
Luckily, heated floors require a minimal amount of maintenance. This is especially true because in most cases, they come with a guarantee. This will allow for a hands-off approach following the initial installation. Heated floors are generally accompanied by a thermostat, and this can be programmed to control 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 does not necessitate you worrying about children or family members burning or striking 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 touch.
Radiant heat also provides better air quality, keeping the air in your home fresh while also remaining rich with oxygen. Radiators greatly decrease oxygen levels in the air and cause a serious amount of discomfort as a result, and the same will not happen with a heated floor system.
Heated flooring disadvantages
Cost and time of installation
Unfortunately, the cost of installing heated floors can be fairly expensive. To be safe, it would be recommended that you budget between $10 to 30$ per square foot of your home. Not only will the installation itself cost a pretty penny, but you’ll need to hire a qualified electrician to take on the job. Although this should only be a few hours of work, this part of the installation will cost $200 to $400. As mentioned, heated floors have a long lifespan, so in most cases, the longevity outweighs the cost, but this will depend on personal 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-leveling compound is necessary to fit over the flooring, and this will need to completely dry before the floor cover is installed.
The drying 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 physical height of the flooring. They increase the height of your floors by less than ½ inch, and this will depend on the system that you choose. In most cases, you will also want to place insulation boards underneath the heating systems to make sure that the heat rises rather than simply escaping into your floor. In many cases, losing a little bit of height on your flooring isn’t a huge 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:
- Everything you need to know about in-floor heating systems
- How to install heated floors in your home entrance
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