Warm Tile Floors - Add Comfort With Heated Tile Flooring
Walking on warm tile floors in the middle of the winter is a reality for many homeowners. These wise individuals chose radiant floor heat to make their tile flooring comfortable in any season. Just imagine a bathroom retreat, where with the touch of a button, your floors radiate warmth.
There are two different systems that can be used to create warm tile floors.
Both of them involve adding a heating system into the subflooring. The more common option for a smaller tile space is to use electric radiant heat, but another popular option is called hydronic radiant heat (heated water).
It is easiest to install radiant heat during new construction. The only way you can add radiant heat system is by doing some level of remodelling to your existing space.
A radiant heat system is relatively simple in how it creates warm tile floors. For an electric system, there is a mat with heated wires placed under the floor. When the mat is activated by using the thermostat, it heats the entire floor area. This doesn’t happen instantly. It takes a little bit of time for the heat from the mat to transfer throughout the flooring to warm up the tile floors.
In a hydronic system, tubing is snaked around on the subfloor. This tubing can be installed in a number of different ways, but when it is done, the tile floor will cover up this system. The tubing is connected to a water heater or boiler. When you activate the system by turning up your thermostat, the boiler or water heater sends hot water through the tubes. Once again, it takes some time to warm up your tile floor.
The end result for any radiant heat system is a wonderful feeling. Warm tile floors will be waiting for your feet. It is such a comfortable heating option, and is becoming a reality in many homes. Although you get a luxurious feel added to your home, it doesn’t cost as much as you would think.
Review of Warm Tile Floor Radiant Heat
Tile flooring is a large thermal mass. This means that tile floor can store a lot of heat and then gradually release that heat throughout the room. Instead of having a heating vent blow hot air out and have it immediately pool on the ceiling, the heat stays where you are with the warm tile.
There is a downside to tile being slow to lose its heat. It also is slow to heat up. If you enter a room where you haven't heated up the floor already, it will take a significant amount of time to get your flooring up to the desired temperature.
How do you heat it up? Use electric or hydronic heat. Both methods are effective, but electric is easier to incorporate in smaller spaces.
ThermoFloor Electric Radiant Heat ->
Here are the reasons why electric might be right for your situation. If you only want one or two separate smaller spaces to be heated, electric is the way to go. You can purchase small mats such as SunTouch from stores like Home Depot. Wire the mat into your home, install a thermostat for the specific room you want warm floors in, and put the tile in.
Many homeowners who are remodeling a bathroom opt for electric radiant heat. It is easy to incorporate into a renovation, and the difference on the electric bill won't be significant if you aren't using it exclusively to heat the room.
The reasons why hydronic heat for your tile flooring would be if you are using this system for a large area. Hydronic radiant heat is more expensive to install, but much less expensive to use. Almost all new construction projects that incorporate radiant heat in the entire home will use hydronic radiant systems.
There are three ways to use hydronic heat in a tile floor. First you can put the hydronic system in the subfloor. One great product that does this is Warmboard. You can also strap the hydronic system under the subflooring. A different method is to embed the tubing in concrete or gypsum. Then you apply tile flooring above the concrete base.
You can heat the water many different ways for a hydronic system. You can use a traditional boiler using natural gas, or you could investigate different alternative energy concepts.
Advantages of Warm Tile Floors
- Incredible comfort. It turns tile floor from a cold surface to a comfortable, luxurous, and wonderful floor option.
- No dust being blown around. The heat comes from below and heats the entire room evenly.
- Versatile. You can put radiant heat in a small space by using electric, or a large area with a hydronic system.
- It can save you money. Hydronic systems are up to 40% more efficient at heating an entire home than using heated forced air.
- It's quiet and peaceful. The heating system makes virtually no noise.
Disadvantages of Warm Tile Floors
- You can't install it on a floor that is already in place. In some cases, a hydronic system can be put in below the subfloor without disturbing the floor above, but it isn't cost effective to do this unless you are using hydronic heat for a large area. Also, retro fitting radiant heat is a labor intensive process.
- The floor doesn't heat up immediately. There is some lag time between when you activate the heat to when the tile floor feels warm.
- It can raise your electric bill. Using electric radiant heat for a tile floor can be costly if you are heating a large area.
Is Radiant Heat Right For Your Tile Floors?
If you want a luxurous get away in your own home, then it definitely is for you. In many remodeling projects, homeowners redo their bathroom and transform a cold, old space into a comfortable master bathroom with toasty warm tile flooring.
Electric radiant heat is very simple to incorporate into a remodeling project as well as inexpensive to install. You are doing yourself a disservice if you don't investigate this if you are fixing up your bathroom flooring.
Hydronic radiant heat is fantastic for tile floors and more. Don't be discouraged by the start up costs. It can save you money on heating bills for years and years to come.
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