All About Heated Floors
When buyers visit a property and set foot on a warm floor, they are instantly impressed! Heated floors, also known as radiant floors, are popular in new homes and are becoming increasingly popular in renovation projects.
How do they work?
This low temperature heating system uses radiation, unlike the convection and air circulation of other traditional heating systems. There are two main types of radiant floors, one with wires under the floor and the other with tubing through which hot water or glycol circulates. In both cases, the energy is transmitted to the floor, which in turn becomes warm and lets its heat radiate into the room. This ensures an even distribution of heat.
Heated floors are very safe and can be installed in any room of the house. The major advantage is that the heat is evenly distributed throughout the room or property, unlike conventional heating systems that emit localized heat. Comfort is therefore increased thanks to radiant floors. Energy efficiency is also maximized due to reduced heat loss through the roof and walls.
Hidden under the floor, the heating system does not interfere with a room’s decor or arrangement of furniture. However, you should avoid placing a mattress directly on a heated floor and even rugs are not recommended as they block the diffusion of heat.
Unlike forced air heating, the absence of air circulation associated with heated floors also reduces the circulation of dust and allergens, not to mention the fact that heated floors do not make any noise.
To keep in mind
Installing this type of flooring is certainly more expensive than adding electric baseboards, for example. The expense will be even higher in the case of an installation in an older home. To ensure proper installation, be sure to hire a certified electrician who has done this before.
To adequately heat a room and become the main heating source, the underfloor heating components must cover at least 60% of the surface area. These components are an integral part of the floor. So, if the owner no longer likes the ceramic anymore, the wires or tubing of the radiant floor will be damaged if the flooring is removed. It is therefor important to install a neutral floor covering that will last for years.
In the event of a breakage, a specialized technician will be able to locate the defective area, remove the flooring in that specific location and then repair it.
The flooring must also be suitable for a radiant floor system, as not all types of flooring can be used. Ceramic is the best option, uniformly diffusing the heat emitted. Wood and vinyl are also possible choices.
When buying a property with heated floors, it is a good idea to take advantage of the pre-purchase inspection to check the distribution of wires under the floor using a thermal camera or a remote thermometer.