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The pros and cons of underfloor heating

If you’re doing some research on bathroom renovations, then you’ve likely come across the growing trend of installing underfloor heating in the bathroom.  It sounds like a great idea of course. After all, who doesn’t love the thought of stepping out of the shower onto a nice warm floor?

There are presently two different types of underfloor heating: hydronic and electric radiant heat. Essentially, hydronic heats the floor by delivering hot water through a series of tubes under the floor, while electric provides warmth through electric heat mats.

In terms of which is the better option, proponents of electrical cite setup costs and ease of installation as its primary benefits. Those who prefer hydronic will point to its economic superiority over time, in the form of home heating costs. This is due to the fact that hydronic delivers more heat at a lower operating cost. This is also why it is often recommended for larger spaces. In addition to those benefits, hydronic also offers the advantage of being able to heat an entire space, and not just the floor.

Some pros and cons to consider about underfloor heating

It’s a treat for the feet – Possibly the most obvious benefit of adding underfloor heating is the feeling of luxury that it adds. It’s all a part of that spa-esque atmosphere that so many homeowners aspire to capture when creating a dream bathroom for themselves.

It can be kinder to allergy sufferers – Since the heat is not produced by forcing warm air (along with dust, pollen and other allergens) out, radiant heating is actually better for allergy sufferers. It has also been reported that it can reduce the presence of dust mites in the home by as much as 80% (

Installation is a big projectAdding warmed floors requires homeowners to rip out their existing flooring. So, as a standalone project it can seem rather daunting. That is why incorporating it into a preexisting bathroom renovation is the best way to go. If your floors are already slated to be upgraded, then there’s no additional demo work to think about.

Repairing or replacing your warming system also means tearing up your floors – For the most part underfloor heating systems have proven themselves to be fairly reliable. However, if something does go wrong and your system needs to be replaced or repaired, then your flooring with need to be ripped out and replaced. Improperly installed systems can also damage your flooring.

For the majority of homeowners, installing underfloor heating is a project best left to the professionals. This ensures that you will choose the right system for your home and also that it’s installed correctly. Remember, proper installation means not having to tear your floors up later on.

Main image source: Wikipedia

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