Heated floors may seem like a luxury reserved only for the most fortunate homeowners. In reality, though, radiant floor heating is more affordable now than at any other time in recent history.
If you’ve ever considered adding heated floors to your house, this article has got you covered.
We’ll dive into the pro’s and con’s of heated floors, and then leave it up to you decide if it’s a worthwhile investment for you, your family, and your home.
Heated Floors: How Do They Work?
There are two separate, but similar, methods for installing a heated floor system.
The first method involves water-heated tubing being installed under your home’s floors.
The second method involves installing electric heating coils under your home’s floors.
The results are the same no matter which method you choose. The heat that comes from either the tubing or the coils heats up your floor through a safe and effective process. The temperature throughout the room will remain the same, but your floors will warm up beneath you.
What are the Advantages?
Let’s start with the obvious. Heated floors are a great way to stay warm in the colder months.
While heated floors can’t always act as the only source of heat for an entire home, they can certainly heat individual rooms, and they can make a significant difference in helping a home feel suitably warm and comfortable.
Another significant advantage is how easy these kinds of floors are to maintain. Once installed, there really isn’t much else a homeowner will need to do. There is typically a remote control or a thermostat to set the temperature level, but that’s the extent of responsibilities that fall on the homeowner.
Finally, heated floors are actually more energy efficient than radiators. Radiators need to maintain a temperature of 150 degrees fahrenheit and up to heat a room, while floor heating only needs to reach a temperature of around 84 degrees fahrenheit. This may be the most significant advantage when it comes to paying the energy bill.
What are the Disadvantages?
While there are tons of advantages to going the route of radiant floor heating, there are a few drawbacks as well.
The most common disadvantage associated with heated floors is installation costs. While the price range can vary for these projects, Angie’s List states that you can expect to pay anywhere from $6 to $20 per square foot.
Homeowners will often have to remove their current floors to install the necessary equipment underneath. This obviously drives up installation costs and can lead to headaches for homeowners.
In general, though, the installation process and cost is typically the only major disadvantage of heated floors.
Is it Worth it?
Naturally, the answer to this question will vary based upon the homeowner. A good way to evaluate the process, though, is by assuming costs will be significant upfront, while the benefits are a long term investment.
The other obvious factor to weigh is the actual experience of radiant flooring. If your house never seems to be quite warm enough, or if you have cold spots that seem to drive you crazy, radiant flooring can be a legitimate way to improve your in-home experience.