Electric Radiant Floor Heating: Product Information, Applications and Important Recommendations
One of the latest trends in the floor covering industry is the inclusion of electric radiant floor heating in remodeling projects. Boosted by a high exposure on popular home improvement TV shows, the popularity of these new systems is on the rise, and many homeowners are now asking for heated floor upgrades.
Homeowners typically install electric radiant floor heating in bathrooms, where they enjoy stepping out of the shower onto a nice warm floor. Not surprisingly, about half of the floor heating jobs are bathroom applications. Systems are also popular under kitchen floors where many homeowners walk barefoot in the morning or play with the kids in the evening. It is also important to know that electric floor heating can also work in most cases as a primary heat source. As a result, homeowners can now upgrade a cold basement, a bedroom above the garage, or a sunroom with radiant heated floors, and enjoy extra warmth in a room that used to be too cold in the winter time.
Rooms with a high level of heat loss may however require a supplemental heat source to ensure a warm room environment. WarmlyYours provides a useful online “primary heat” tool to help you work out if you can use electric radiant floor heating as a primary heat source: http://hlc.warmlyyours.com. Operating costs can also be estimated here: http://www.warmlyyours.com/products/floor-heating/tile-and-stone/operating-cost.
Electric Radiant Floor Heating Product Comparisons: How to Choose Your Supplier
When considering an electric radiant floor heating supplier, it is important to look at the quality of their customer support. While most installations go trouble-free, you want the support of a trained technician in case your contractor accidentally cuts the wire or if the floor is installed over a system that has a short. Look for a manufacturer that can provide support during and after business hours if you plan on installing your system on the week-ends.
Another important consideration is the warranty: most manufacturers provide a very long warranty that will only cover the cost of the heating mat, and not even the labor costs. Most manufacturers will give you an impressive 10-year or 20-year warranty. However, when looking at the fine print of their warranty details, you will often find out that they will give you a refund only if you can prove that the system is not working because of a manufacturer’s original product defect (good luck with that!). Talk to a few companies and select one that stands behind its products with a strong warranty covering parts and labor. Chances are, the system will be of better quality as well.
Because of the recent increase in electric radiant floor heating sales, a plethora of new websites and suppliers have sprung up. Most of the systems will do a good job at warming your floor, but simply use common sense and look beyond the marketing fluff: evaluate how long the company has been in business and what reputation they have in the industry.
Once you’ve selected the right supplier and installed the system successfully, you will be on your way to enjoy years of floor warming luxury. The icing on the cake is that most home buyers crave for such luxuries … and there’s nothing quite like “wowing” your prospective home buyers.
Hydronic Floor Heating (in “Professional Builder” magazine)
Electric Floor Heating (in The New-York Times):