Everything you need to know about radiant floors: types, advantages and installation
For several years now, radiant floors – also called heating floors – have been installed in more and more new and renovated homes. In the living room, bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, basement, garage… this type of heating is suitable for any room. Homeowners have come to appreciate the comfort and energy efficiency provided by this type of heating. In the following blog, we’ll examine the types of radiant floors available on the market, their surprising benefits, and how they’re installed.
TWO TYPES OF RADIANT FLOORS
Radiant floors can be of two types: electric or hydronic, i.e. with tubes filled with water or glycol. Their characteristics are summarized below.
Hydronic radiant floor (hot water or glycol)
LThis system uses a network of tubes filled with either water or glycol. The main advantage of hydronic floors is that they can be connected to any existing source of heat or energy available in your home (electric, natural gas, propane or oil furnace, heat pump, geothermal or solar installation, etc.). This heating system is energy efficient and delivers optimal comfort.
Ideal for large spaces! Hydronic floors are always recommended for large spaces. Contrary to 100% electric radiant floors, hydronic floors will warm up gradually because water or glycol doesn’t heat up instantaneously inside the tubes. This gradual heating reduces the risk of system breakdown.
Electric radiant floor (with electric cables or wires)
100% electric floors have cables or wired padding. Of incomparable quality and durability, these floors offer incomparable heating comfort.
Better for small spaces! For small spaces such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms, the cost of a hydronic system may not make sense. We recommend choosing a floor heated with electric cables instead.
THE BENEFITS OF A RADIANT FLOOR
Comfortable, efficient, economical, user-friendly, healthy, space-saving, good value for the money – a radiant floor offers all these benefits, and more. See for yourself:
A radiant floor efficiently heats over its entire area, and also accumulates this heat to distribute it more effectively. Better still, it will conserve heat if ever power is interrupted so you continue to benefit from a comfortable warn floor for some time.
Good heat distribution
Because of the way its cables, wires or tubes are arranged, a radiant floor will evenly irradiate heat in all directions over the entire floor surface. Furthermore, unlike electric baseboard heaters or radiators, the heat from radiant floors doesn’t collect near the ceiling or get lost. No matter where you are in the room, you’ll enjoy the heat coming off the floor.
The heating system of a radiant floor is as inaudible as it is invisible. Because there isn’t any motor or forced air, you’ll never hear noises coming from your floor. It’s as quiet as they come.
Because it’s so quiet and so efficient in distributing heat, a radiant floor offers exceptional comfort. Indeed, there’s nothing on the market that can deliver comparable heating. Those who have one wonder how they ever got along without it.
With a radiant floor, say goodbye to electric baseboard heaters and radiators! You can place your furniture where you want, and benefit from the extra space. It’s like getting an entirely new room!
Reduced energy costs
Even heat distribution increases the energy efficiency of your home. If your exterior walls are generally well insulated, you’ll see a difference in your heating costs after having installed a radiant floor.
Because a radiant floor reduces useless air circulation (and accompanying dust), allergens stay on the floor and furniture. Dust mites, spores, dander – anything that can trigger an allergic reaction has less of a chance of causing misery.
Easy to control
Using an electronic thermostat installed on your wall, you’ll easily be able to control the floor’s – and the room’s – temperature with precision. This is the key to optimal comfort.
Comfort, efficiency, esthetics, money-saving… all these benefits add to your home’s value and make it more appealing to future owners. You’re not spending money on a radiant floor, you’re investing in your property.
INSTALLING A RADIANT FLOOR
The optimal efficiency and heat distribution offered by a radiant floor depend on proper installation. Because of its complexity and fragile parts, the floor requires expert knowledge from installers. Only experienced professionals can ensure trouble-free installation and finding the right solutions in case unexpected issues are encountered.
That’s our look at existing radiant floor systems and their benefits. If you have any questions on this topic, KLIMFAX experts will be happy to answer them at your convenience, and will suggest custom solutions to fit your budget and type of project.