Imagine stepping barefoot onto a toasty warm floor in the middle of winter – no socks, no slippers, no more chilly toes. Heated flooring systems are becoming a popular choice for homeowners looking to upgrade to energy-efficient products designed to keep their home warm throughout the cool months. Is this something that should be added to the list? We’ve done the research for you to help you decide if heated flooring is worth the upgrade.
How Does It Work?
The name heated flooring system gives everything away – it’s literally a warm floor for your feet! A flooring expert or general contractor would install tubing underneath the floor’s surface. A boiler or heat pump would then pump water through the tubing. The heat generated from the hot water will rise to the surface of the floor, thus warming it.
There are three different ways to install radiant heating floor systems in your home:
- Dry Below – this process involves having tubing installed underneath the subfloor from the room below. Metal plates are then installed as the tubing goes in. Before the room below is drywalled, a contractor would then insulate the tubing to prevent heat from escaping. This process is ideal if you are doing a major home renovation, or custom building your home.
- Dry Above – instead of having the pipes where the hot water travels installed underneath the floor, this process sees the pipes installed directly at the subfloor. The tubing is fit into place through plywood forms and remains just below the floor level.
- Infloor Radiant – This is the most efficient way of incorporating heated floors in your home. The same tubing required in dry below and dry above installation procedures are still used, but they are installed above the subfloor. Concrete is then poured over them, essentially making the hot pipes one with the floor. Your choice of floor, whether it is hardwood or tiles, is then placed over top.
Why Should You Care?
Having a heated floor installed in your home is not an easy task. Rather, the decision should be made if you’re planning to completely renovate your home or move into a place where you’ll have the ability to make major adjustments before the flooring is complete. An expert can help you decide if this project is worth undertaking. An expert should be able to determine if the structure of the home and insulation can accommodate such a system. If this is something you’re considering, we recommend the infloor radiant heating systems out of the three processes available to you. Here’s why:
- Since the pipes are installed above the subfloor, there are less layers overtop the pipes. You can use a lower hot water temperature to heat the floors.
- This method produces an even surface temperature because its set in concrete.
- This type of installation works with a variety of flooring materials – hardwood, tiles, carpet.
Before you consult one of our general contractors about this neat home upgrade, you must first decide if it’s the right decision for you and your family. Let us help you decide:
- Heated flooring systems do not make any noise. While you’ll feel the heat generating under your toes, you won’t have to hear it.
- The air quality in your home will significantly increase because there is no blower circulating the heat in your home through the floors, causing dust and allergens to circulate through thin air.
How Does This Translate To Energy Savings?
The cost of a heated flooring system is based on the amount of square footage and the labour included. It is best to have this project done prior to a home being finished and livable. For a home that’s already built and fully functioning, the process requires an expert to drill holes into the floor and install the tubing required to heat a future floor. Here’s an estimated breakdown of project costs:
- A system can cost anywhere from $5 to $10 per square foot.
- This depends on whether there’s an existing boiler that will be used to heat the floor, or if a heating system is needed.
- The larger the home, the lower the cost of the equipment.
- The cost to install heated floors throughout a house can cost up to $10,000 depending on the home structure, the material and labour required.
- To reduce project costs, consider having a heated floor installed in essential rooms, like a bathroom.
If the high price tag hasn’t discouraged your interest, consider the added benefit of how an expensive project can lead to steady cost savings overtime. Take a look:
- Save on energy costs by heating the floor during off-peak times and turn off the heat during the day.
- A concrete floor that’s already been heated will retain warmth for up to 8 hours.
- This will keep your home at a comfortable temperature for hours, meaning you won’t have to adjust it as much.
- As a result, it’s estimated you’ll save up to 30% on your energy bill per month.
- For a monthly bill that’s $150, you’ll save an average of $45 per month.
- In one year, that’s a cost savings of $540.
- The overall cost of the project, which can be calculated through a general contractor providing the materials and service, can help you determine how many years it will take to pay off the initial project cost.
A heated flooring system is more of a luxury than a necessity. If you decide a heated flooring system is right for you, why not consult our database of flooring or general contractor experts? They’ll guide you in the right direction.