Considering Radiant Heated Floors in Your Remodel? Here’s What You Should Know

Tired of cold feet in the morning?

Radiant heating, also known as underfloor heating, is an energy-efficient way to stay warm during the chilly months, whether you’re just starting a renovation or building a new home. 

What is radiant floor heating?

Radiant floor heating is a type of heating system that’s installed under the floor. Radiant floor heating conducts heat through the floor surface, unlike conventional air-forced heating.

How does it work?

Electric and hydronic radiant-floor heating systems, which both use hot water tubes to generate heat beneath the floor, are the two most popular methods used. 

Here’s how they compare:

Electric radiant-floor heating

It is easier and more affordable to install electric radiant-floor heating systems, but they are more expensive to operate. 

Hydronic floor heating

Large floor areas and even entire homes can benefit from hydronic systems because they are less expensive to run. However, because of their more difficult installation and need for heated water from a boiler or water heater, they have higher initial costs.

Benefits of radiant floor heating

Radiant floor heating not only keeps your toes warm, but it also makes sure the rest of your body is kept at a comfortable temperature. 

Infrared radiation waves rising from the floor keep the building warm, preventing heat loss. When using a traditional forced-air heating system, heated air (along with dust and allergens) rises to the ceiling and then falls back down as the temperature drops, making it challenging to keep your toes warm even when everything above your shoulders is boiling.

Negatives of radiant floor heating 

It’s challenging to install a radiant-floor heating system once a floor is already in place; it’s really only practical if you’re willing to tear out your floors or are building a new home. 

While there are modern products that can be installed between the joists beneath your floor, like electric radiant pads, they need access from below through a basement or crawl space. 

Best flooring materials to use with radiant heat 

Despite the fact that any type of flooring can be used with heated floors, some perform better than others. 

Here are several guiding principles: 

  • Stone, concrete, and ceramic tile are examples of materials with thermal conductivity that efficiently transfer heat and hold it even at high temperatures. 
  • Warmth fluctuations can cause solid wood floors to contract and expand, leaving unsightly gaps. However, if you’re in love with wood floors, a skilled wood-floor installer will be able to deal with any potential shrinkage. 
  • While carpets have insulating qualities that may slow heat transfer, vinyl and plastic laminate floors also have temperature restrictions.

What to consider before installing radiant floor heating

The type of system you want to install: hydronic or electric

Which one you select will largely depend on your needs and whether you want to heat your entire house or just a few specific small areas. 

While hydronic systems, which use hot water pumped through pipes, are much more complex and intended to be used for an entire home, electric systems are best for small, individual spaces like a bedroom or bathroom. 

Installer reputation is important

Since you will be burying this system under your home’s floor during installation, you’ll only want to do it once. This is why it’s crucial to choose a system from a reputable manufacturer. 

Look for a business that has excellent independent reviews. It implies that others have used their services, which means they are providing honest reviews without receiving any payment. 

In this case, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re not just purchasing a product from the company; the majority of heating systems also include service and support. As a result, you should make sure you’re satisfied with the company’s after-sale customer service.

Your home’s age

When installing a radiant floor heating system, there are differences between building a new home and remodeling an existing one. 

Since the flooring has not yet been put in, you have more freedom if you are building a new home because you won’t have to worry about tearing anything out. 

In addition, installing entire home systems is easier in new construction compared to existing homes, which require tearing out the entire floor.

The structure of a new home may be designed to accommodate the underfloor heating system, but the floor of an existing home must be designed to accommodate the home, unless a complete renovation is planned.

Finally, as you can see, there are many factors to take into account before installing radiant in-floor heating in your home, and it is not suitable for every home or way of life. 

If it will suit your lifestyle, investing in one of these systems will definitely be worthwhile and will help you get the most enjoyment out of your home. 

These systems offer great comfort and warmth for your home, and they are very energy efficient.”


This kind of heating system is really good at maintaining a constant temperature over longer periods of time, so installing it in a cottage or vacation home where you might only stay for the weekend or a few days for half the year might not be the best idea. 

It also takes longer to heat up the room because these systems’ floors evenly distribute heat when the heat is turned up, which is why it is advised to set the temperature and leave it there for a considerable amount of time.

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