Underfloor heating, also known as radiant heating, is a prestigious home addition and an upcoming trend when building new houses or renovating. This feature focuses on comfortable, clean and design-led living. Despite underfloor heating being a cozy way to warm your feet, questions still arise about its worth considering the installation and extra cost. Is it safe to just use conventional radiators in warming your house? Let us look at the pros and cons of heating floors to help you make an informed decision before installing underfloor heating.
Types of Underfloor Heating
There are two ways to heat floors; using electricity or using water.
Electric underfloor heating utilizes electric cables or mats placed under the floor. This type of heating is suitable if your utility company charges you based on time of use. If this is the case and your floors have a solid, durable base, you can turn on the heat and turn it off after the floor has been sufficiently heated.
Hydronic underfloor heating is another common type of heating. Heat is distributed by hydronic floor systems that pump hot water from a boiler via tubing laid below your flooring.
Pros of Underfloor Heating
Energy-efficient and Comfortable Heating
Ability to effectively heat a space is one of the major advantages of these systems. The two main types of underfloor heating can provide comfortable and luxurious warmth. Compared to traditional heating devices, modern floor heating is more energy efficient as you do not use as much electricity. Traditional heating devices require heating at high temperature to offer the same comfort. Depending on your chosen floor’s thermal conductivity, you can increase the system’s efficiency, which will save you significant amounts in electricity expenses.
Traditional heating devices heat the air, which creates colds spots in the room. These devices also make the air inside the house stuffy, which forces the occupants to look for fresh air by opening windows. This leads to heat loss as it escapes through the windows leading to a waste of the energy used for running the device. Therefore, it would be best to use underfloor heating as it does not create cold spots and maintains a comfortable and pleasant environment.
Easy to Install and Maintain
It is extremely easy to install underfloor heating, even when installing it during home renovations. These systems are versatile, making them an excellent addition in most buildings, including old ones. Besides, these systems are very easy to operate and maintain. You can either use a smart thermostat or automatic heating control to ensure efficient heat distribution throughout your home. In addition, underfloor heating systems require minimal maintenance throughout their lifespan.
Safety and Comfort
When you install underfloor heating, there is no worrying about hot surfaces or sharp edges as you would with radiators. The heating system is safely out of sight and does not get too hot. The heat produced by these systems also has better air quality as it keeps the air oxygen-rich and fresh. Alternatively, the high temperatures produced by radiators reduce oxygen levels and create discomfort in the home. As a result of air rising upwards and then falling downwards, thermal circulation occurs, making the dust go in circles; this does not occur with underfloor heating systems.
Suitable for all Floor Coverings
You can install underfloor heating systems under any floor covering such as laminate, luxury vinyl plank, luxury vinyl tile, tile, or ceramic. This enables you to make the most of your floor and wall space.
Cons of Underfloor Heating
The cost of installing underfloor heating can be high. If you opt for the electric option, the cost ranges from $10 and $20 per square foot. However, if your area of residence has high electricity charges, it will cost you more to operate the system. Although you save energy by controlling the systems with a thermostat, you should look into the issue before installing it. Alternatively, if you are handy you can install the underfloor heating yourself.
Regardless of whether you are installing hydronic or electric underfloor heating, you have to remove the existing flooring. This is why it is ideal for installing the systems during construction or when remodeling a house.
Elevates the Height of the Floor
Despite the type of heating system you install, the height of your floor will be elevated. Apart from the heating system’s thickness, the height can be elevated by the type of installation, that is, underlayment or installation membrane. Usually, the floor height only raises at about ½ inch in many electric underfloor heating systems. But when using hydronic underfloor heating, expect the height to be more elevated.
With QuietWarmth floor heating systems, the thickness is the height of a credit card and won’t increase floor height.
When installing underfloor heating systems, application of a self-leveling compound above the electric heating system is made. You should be aware that it takes time for the compound to completely dry before placing the floor covering, which takes one to two days. Hydronic underfloor heating systems take longer to install. This is not a major issue as most of them are installed when constructing a new building or carrying out major renovation works; it takes about one week to complete.
If you are installing the QuietWarmth Float, no self-leveling compound is needed and can be same day installed.
Hard to Find an Expert
Although it was earlier stated that it is easy to install underfloor heating systems, this is only possible with experienced contractors. Since this is a new trend, there aren’t as many contractors who can do the job. Ensure that the contractor you choose has enough relevant experience to avoid accidents since the they can be dangerous when installed incorrectly.
With QuietWarmth system, numerous DIY’ers can handle the ease of installation and experienced contractors are not required.
Underfloor heating is an excellent way to heat your space. It has better heat distribution and is safer than other heating systems. The pros and benefits of adding underfloor heating most definitely outweigh the cons.