There are not too many things as bad as having to walk on the cold bathroom floors when you are headed to the shower each morning. Even in your slippers, the cold from the tile seems to ooze up through the soles of your feet. Fortunately, there is a better way.
With radiant heat flooring, your bathroom floors, as well as your bathroom, can be already warm when you get there. Not only will this make your first few steps into the bathroom a pleasure, but it will also make the time you spend after you get out of the shower enjoyable as well. If you are looking for a great investment to make in your bathroom, new construction, or remodel, look no further than radiant heat flooring.
What Is Radiant Floor Heat?
Radiant heat is the type of heat that you feel coming off of a room radiator that you are not touching. You know that the appliance is warm before you reach it, because the air surrounding it carries, or conducts the heat. With radiant floor heat, you get the same concept. Heat is applied to a panel which is located in your floor, and then radiated, or carried through the materials that cover the panel. This warms the floor, from which the heat rises, eventually warming your entire room. It is like having invisible radiators.
There are three basic types of radiant floor heat to choose from. Each of these has advantages, as well as disadvantages depending on where you live, and the amount of space that you are trying to heat. All three types are placed underneath your flooring.
- Air-heated radiant floors - since air cannot conduct, or hold large amounts of heat at one time, this type of heating does not do well in residential areas, that is looking for a reliable heat source.
- Electric radiant floors - This is one of the more popular types of heats with do-it-yourselfers, or those who are going to install the heat themselves. This is because the electric cables are often built into mats which can be easily laid between your subfloor, and whatever type of flooring that you are putting in your space.
These are also more popular with homeowners who are using radiant heating as their heat source for a small portion of their home, such as a bathroom, as well as for spot heating. Even with the high costs that are often involved with having a total electrical heating system, the inexpensive upfront costs of these types of systems make them a popular choice.
- Hydronic radiant floors - are very popular in colder climates and during the new construction, although they can be installed during a massive remodel. The downside to installing this type of heating during a remodel, is the system itself will often raise the level of your flooring several inches from where it was previously. It is much more labor intensive to install than the electric model, and will require the services of a plumber, as well as an electrician.
This type of heating works slightly different than the electrical type of heating. Your heating system will pump heated water through a series of tubing which has been laid under your flooring. This water circulates continuously through various tubes and valves. This in turn will transfer the heat into your flooring, and then into your room.
Depending on the system, you may be able to control the temperature through the use of thermostats, or zone valves. Unfortunately, the upfront costs are much higher than those you will find with electrical systems. Even with that in mind, this type of system is more preferred if you live in a cold climate, and are going to be using it as your primary heating source. Hydronic floor heat is most commonly associated with a boiler type heating system, but it can also be used with any other type of system.
Look into it before you make any other choices as far as your heating system goes. Speak to your plumber, like one from Rapids Plumbing & Heating Inc, as well as your heating contractor to figure out which system will work best for you and your family. You will be glad you did.