New England gets cold in the winter and sometimes that discourages homeowners from putting tile in their kitchen or bathrooms. Now there's a solution that heats tiles, and your room from the floor up. It's called radiant floor heating. It's perfect in colder climates, delivering heat evenly through each room without vents spewing a stream of air and dust from ductwork.
Radiant Floor Heating in a 100 Year Old Victorian
Long before I started this blog, we installed radiant floor heating in our kitchen and adjoining bathroom (what you see above). We were able to do this while putting a 4-story addition on our 100 year old Victorian home. Each floor was extended 12 by 22 feet so we needed additional ductwork for the forced hot air heating system. The question was where to put it, so I asked the builder if we could use forced hot water. He smiled and said yes, as this eliminated the ductwork problem.
Fortunately the conversation continued. Ultimately we decided to install radiant heat under the kitchen floor using traditional copper pipes in the early '90s. We were able to do this because the basement was unfinished, giving us access to the underside of the kitchen floor. This also meant we could use tile for the new kitchen / family room which was my preferred flooring.
We loved our radiant heat flooring so much that we installed electric radiant heat flooring in our next home. We finished the basement family room but there wasn't any heat, except for two vents tapping into the heat upstairs … which wasn't adequate. We used two 10 x 10 ft rubber pads with electric wiring embedded in the rubber. This was perfect for my husband's home office as he was able to program the radiant heat to match his work schedule.
New Products Deliver Radiant Floor Heating
Another New England homeowner decided to use Warmboard radiant heat flooring in their kitchen, as part of a remodeling project. The Warmboard radiant heating product uses plywood panels to direct the flow of hot water through channels where pex tubing is installed. This solutions conducts more heat than older, concrete radiant systems.
The installation team found the boards easy to work with. The company provided a tubing layout plan for installing the panels which install similar to sub-flooring, with insulation below to prevent unwanted heat loss. After the panels were laid down, the pex tubing was laid out through all of the boards, using “… electrician nailing plates on the turns to help hold the tubing in place while it establishes its memory”. These are then removed before the final flooring was installed on top of the warmboard sub-floor.
A Warmboard radiant floor heating system can heat large spaces with a lower monthly heating bill. With the integrated aluminum transferring heat from the pex tubing to the entire panel, you'll need to pump less hot water through the radiant floor heating system and spend less money.
Warmboard radiant floor heating is perfect for new houses, or remodeling projects where you need additional heating capacity and have access to the the floor and plumbing. The higher product and installation costs will be recouped with monthly savings on your heating bills, and saving energy is good for our environment.
Want to learn more about home heating concepts? Here are a few articles to check out …
- Home Heating Concepts
- How Many Types of Home Heating Systems Are There?
- 8 Smart Ideas to Keep Your House Warm
Thanks for sharing this article about floor heating, this is the first time I knew.
I’ve put radiant floor in 2 of my homes & absolutely love it … but now live in Florida & don’t need it here.
I really like the idea of heating the floor to keep everyone in the home comfortable and this method you had talked about sounds perfect for handling the coolness of my floor in the winter. My wife isn’t really liking how cold our floor is getting in the mornings already and I’m worried that it’s only going to get colder from here. I’ll have to start looking more into a floor heating company to help handle everything for us this year.
These floors are wonderful, although expensive to add to a home already built. I found putting down the electric pads and tile on top was the best solution for my condo in New Hampshire.