Warm Your Tile Floor With Radiant Floor Heat

Radiant Heating Technologies: When You Want To Warm Your Tile Floor

If you ever left your cozy bed in the middle of a winter night to go to the bathroom you must have experienced the agony of stepping on cold tiles, even if only accidentally. You might have danced a jig then, trying to keep your feet’s soles off the freezing floor. It is one reason we use extra-thick-soled slippers and blankets in winter. But if you can only warm your tile floor, you will not need to take extra precautions when visiting the bathroom, and can go right back to sleep afterwards.

How the radiant heating system warms up tile floors

A warm, extremely comfortable and satisfying warm floor is attainable with radiant floor heating systems. They are the methods by which a radiant mass is warmed to heat the space above it and provide comfortably warm atmosphere within the home or room. For instance, in a radiant floor heating system for tiles, you can warm your tile floor so the space above it where you move is likewise warmed. Unlike with a forced-air system where only the air is heated, and which quickly dissipates, in a radiant heating system the warmth stays far longer or until the system’s temperature is deliberately reduced.

The most effective radiant floor heating systems come in two methods: hydronic or water-based, and electric. The first system uses heated water as the warming medium to warm your tile floor, for instance, or whatever material is the floor. The second uses electricity in resistive wires.

A hydronic radiant heat system usually consists of a boiler and a network of copper or plastic tubing that distributes the heat to the floor or ceiling, circulated by a pump, and the temperature is controlled by a thermostat. It can warm your tile floor quite easily and for a longer time, too, since water sheds its temperature more slowly than other media.

However, a design of hydronic heating system that uses solar heating may not have a boiler and instead connect the tubing network directly to the solar heat collector where the water is warmed. It is simpler in construction but has its own limitations which may be undesirable to many users. But you can warm your tile floor with the system just the same under certain conditions.

On the other hand, an electric radiant heating system uses a network of resistive wires and cables to heat the mass and produce the same result. The wires are usually attached to mattings so they will not move around during installation such as modifying the distance between wires. Too near each other and it may cause overheating; too far and there may be gaps in the heating distribution. Mats make certain of even heat distribution. Wiring systems should be handled by professional electricians or radiant heat specialists.

Warm tile floors with electric or hydronic?

Whether you use a hydronic or electric system for warm tile floor, you must understand how it is constructed so you can have ideas on how to care for it and protect it from damage, as well as what to do in case of malfunction.

Essentially, a radiant heating system under a tile floor is embedded within a thin concrete or gypsum –or a mixture of the two—layer with the tiles on top of that layer, and a heat-reflective insulation underneath. Thus to warm your tile floor, the system would first heat the thinset layer, which makes the warming of the tiles even and stable.

However, in some designs the tiles themselves are grooved to house the hydronic tubes or electric cables to warm your tile floor more quickly and with less energy consumption. This method has its drawbacks, including less even heating and spaces between the sides of the grooves and the wires or tubes that can sometimes generate excessive heat build-up and cause malfunctions.

At Radiant Heat Reviewer, we suggest using electric for smaller projects. If you are remodeling a bathroom, an electric radiant mat is idea.

If you are looking at radiant floor heat for an entire home, hydronic heat is more efficient and easier to incorporate in larger square footage.

At any rate, if you want warm tile flooring so you don’t have to step on cold freezing bathroom floor or even patio, lanai or driveway, the radiant heating systems are perfect for your needs.

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