Floor heating systems are a great way to heat a room or the entire home. They provide efficient radiant heat that keeps temperatures in the home warm from floor to ceiling. These floor systems can be used with any hard surface flooring system.
There are two types of floor heating systems that are commonly used. One uses electric resistance heat and the second is a hot water heating system. The second system requires installation of a boiler to heat the water that will be circulated through the pipes concealed under the flooring while the first only requires access to electricity.
Installation of floor heat normally requires that the system be installed before the final floor covering is laid. In existing homes, this often means that flooring will need to be replaced after the system is installed, so you will want to keep this in mind. New construction or remodels make the ideal time for installation of the heating system.
Floor systems work best when there is insulation underneath. When homes have a crawl space, fiberglass insulation can be installed between the floor joists. With concrete floors, a thin sheet of cork insulation makes the heating system much more efficient.
Once the heating system has been placed on the floor, a layer of thin set concrete is poured over the heating elements and allowed to dry in place. After the thin set is dry, the floor covering can be installed.
This type of heating system is ideal for areas such as a bathroom where you may have wet rooms or a tiled walk in shower. It eliminates the cold hard surfaces that you end up walking on in your bare feet, instead you have a warm surface which will make the whole room seem warmer.
Electrical floor heating systems allow for zone heating. Each of the mats that are laid in the floor is connected to an individual thermostat. Thus, you can easily keep living areas at a comfortable temperature for your family while bedroom temperatures are slightly lower. This can help to save energy and allow you to get better sleep in a cooler room. Boiler systems work much like a traditional furnace where every room is kept at the same temperature.