As winter sets in, it’s easy to think about features that will make your home warmer–fireplaces, new windows, a comfy new sofa.
One overlooked feature that can make a huge difference is floor warming. You’re probably aware that it exists, but you probably think it is strictly for wealthy people living in fancy homes. However, it’s more affordable and practical than you may think. Floor warming consists of electric cables installed between the subfloor and the floor itself.
Imagine walking into the kitchen to make your morning coffee on a frigid January morning. Even if you’re wearing socks, those kitchen tiles will not be pleasant to walk on. Wouldn’t it be great if they felt warm, just like they do in the summer when the sun fills up the room? If you’re looking to remodel and you live in a colder climate, consider floor warming before you lay down new tile.
1) Safe and Easy to Use
Once installed, electric floor warming is easy to control. Turn the thermostat to increase the heat, or turn off completely when the weather is warm. The temperature rises gradually, so it’s not like turning on a space heater or hot stove. It’s safe for your floors too. Installation includes the laying of an uncoupling membrane. Laid between the subfloor and the tile, this mat prevents the tiles from cracking as the heat increases and decreases.
The obvious place to use floor warming is the basement or kitchen, but it can be used in several other parts of the house. Entryways are a great place to start, as well as any area next to a sliding glass door and in bathrooms. And don’t forget about the hallways. Warm tile would be nice on those cold mornings walking to the kitchen.
3) Traditional heating alternative
Speaking of other parts of the house, what about those places that don’t have central heat, but a little warmth would be nice? Think about your garage, mudroom, or enclosed patio. Just because you’re not in these spaces for long enough to require central heat doesn’t mean a little warmth wouldn’t be appreciated. It also might make hanging out in the garage doable.
4) Straightforward pricing and Installation
Although often requiring an expert because of the electricity, installation is fairly universal and simple. An experienced installer lays down an uncoupling mat throughout the room and adds coil wherever you desire heating. The coils will fit into the mat so that it doesn’t harm the subfloor. If you do the installation yourself, expect to pay $5-$7 per square foot. If you hire a professional, the cost jumps to $8-$12 per square foot. When approaching a project like this, it’s good to take stock of your skillset, time, and budget. Sometimes the bill on a DIY job can rise more than you thought it would, especially if something goes wrong. Purchasing replacement parts and materials is expensive.
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