Radiant Heated Flooring

Beautiful Laminate Floor - Just one option where radiant heating is possible

Laminate flooring is beutiful.  Add the warmth of in-floor radiant heat and you have a combination that is hard to beat.
Laminate flooring is beutiful. Add the warmth of in-floor radiant heat and you have a combination that is hard to beat.

The Heated Floor Option

Those of us who wake early for a long day at work know the experience of heading to the bathroom, eyes half closed, ready for a morning shower to wake us up and start the day off on the right foot. Sadly, we also know the feeling of being rudely brought into animation when our bare feet touch the frigid tiles of the bathroom floor and our eyes are exposed to the full light of morning as our eyelids retreat to the warmer recesses of our skulls. It is on cold mornings like this that dreams of heated flooring projects become reality.

The Options

All heated flooring falls into a category known as radiant heating. The process of heating a floor involves running a network of heating elements between the subfloor and the floor covering. The heat then radiates through the floor and results in a warm surface. Most radiant heated floors are heated using electricity but some are heated using water.

Hot Water Radiant Heating

This form of radiant heating is a bit more expensive to install and is most commonly used in new buildings. In most cases, hot water based radiant heating is installed before the concrete for a home is poured. This results in a built in system that is very durable as the water lines are protected by a layer of concrete. The flexible water pipe, usually a PEX pipe, is routed in loops that extend back and forth across the area of the rooms that are to be heated.

This network of water piping is connected to a hot water source. This hot water source can be something as simple as a home hot water heater or a large boiler in the case of commercial applications.

A thermostat is connected to a pump that forces the water to circulate through the network of pipes and back to the hot water source when the room temperature drops below the thermostats setting. When the ambient temperature of the room rises to suitable levels, the thermostat sends a signal to the pump to stop circulating the heated water until it is needed again.

Electric Radiant Heating

For those who don't want to go to expense of installing hot water radiant heating or who are remodeling an existing home, electric radiant heating applications may be a better choice. Electric radiant heating systems are sold in two varieties. One form of electric radiant heating system consist of a long flexible heating element cable that is routed across the floor surface in the same manner as the PEX pipe of hydrionic radiant heat. The second form of electric radiant heat consists of a thin mat that has the heating element woven into it.

In both systems, the heating element cable or mat is laid out on top of the subfloor, prior to the installation of floor coverings. The thermostat is then routed to a suitable location for electrical connection to be made after the flooring is installed.

Please Leave Me A Comment 4 comments

fyxer profile image

fyxer 6 years ago from mt vernon

great hub excellent information looking forward to the next one


magdielqr profile image

magdielqr 6 years ago

Excellent Hub!


palmerlarryray profile image

palmerlarryray 6 years ago from Macon, Missouri Author

That would definitely be an interesting experience.

Unfortunately, no I don't have it in my house. I rent and the landlord doesn't like me playing home improvement here. I worked for several years in the floor covering business and we installed a lot of the electrical radiant heat. It works great as long as you pay attention during installation and test everything before putting the floor in place.


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California

Good Morning, Missouri!

My brother in law lives in Jonesburg. He is the volunteer fire chief there, plus works for fire department in St. Louis.

So radiant heating! I went to college just outside of Oceanside, California in a small town called San Luis Rey. There is an old mission there and the four year college was part of the old mission complex. The dorms were newly constructed, altho on the foundation of the original wings of the old mission complex. Anywho, the floors had radiant heating--the hot water type. I'm not sure how the pipes were installed, but the constant shaking of the ground from the constant war games at Camp Pendleton back in the Sixties, during the Viet Nam war era would gradually wear leaks into the pipes, and it was quite a rude awakening, jumping out of bed in the morning into HOT water!! Inevitably, it occurred during midterms and so you had this wonderful jack hammering going on while trying to study!!!

Soeverytime, I hear about radiant floor heating, I have very unusual images and sensations "floating" about my head!! I imagine without the constant ground movement, it's pretty durable!!

I had never heard about the electric type.

Interesting blog. Do you have it in your floors?

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