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Heated Floors - What, When, Where, Why, and How

What are Radiant Heated Floors?

Dad and baby on heated hardwood floor.

Heated floors are simply a smart, efficient way to heat your home. As the name implies, heated floors radiate heat from the floor up, keeping you warm and comfortable from head to toe during the cold winter months. As far as home improvement projects go, heated floors are an economical way to update your home and boost your equity.


The two types of heated flooring systems are electric radiant heated floors and hydronic heated floors. Electric radiant heat is provided by electric under floor heating cable. Hydronic radiant floor heating systems, with the help of a boiler, generate hot water, then pump it through plastic PEX tubing installed underneath the surface to be heated.


Both systems rely on a network of cables installed beneath the surface of the floor controlled by a thermostat that coordinates with sensors to keep floors at optimum temperature. Which one is best for your project?


Generally, electric radiant floor heating systems are the most practical, flexible choice for most projects. Because hydronic radiant heat systems require a boiler, initial installation can be costly. However, for large floor heating jobs, a hydronic heat system can have a lower operational cost than its electric counterpart. However, electric radiant heat is far less expensive to install, easily customizable and requires less maintenance.

How do Heated Floor Systems Work?

There are three main components both hydronic and electric radiant heated floor systems share: a heating element (electric resistance cable, or PEX cable for hydronic systems), a contactor/control center and an activation device (thermostat, timer, etc.).


Electric radiant heat is just that. Powered by electricity, radiant heat cables can heat a surface in 30 to 60 minutes. In order to heat the same floor, hydronic radiant heating systems use a boiler to first heat the water, then pump it through the PEX cable, heating the same area in anywhere from 4-7 hours, a considerable difference in performance.

Why Install a Heated Floor?

Warm feet are a big reason for installing heated floors, especially if you have a lot of hardwood or ceramic tile in your home. Heating from the floor up is a great way to control cold drafts at floor level.


Efficiency is another great reason to install an electric or hydronic heated floor. Unlike forced air systems, radiant heated floor systems are room specific. With the help of sensors and a programmable thermostat you can opt to heat one room, or several, depending upon your needs, and realize a considerable savings on your monthly gas bill.


Heated floors also come with additional health benefits. With forced air systems the vents belch warm air, as well as dust and allergens throughout your home, reducing air quality and compromising your health. These issues are minimized or even eliminated, should you decide to supplement with, or even convert your existing heating system to radiant heat.

Where and When can you Install a Radiant Heated Floor?

Any floor surface in your home, whether it's tile, hardwood or even carpeting can be heated. ComfortTile floor heating mats include a red heating cable that is woven into an adhesive-backed fiberglass mesh, and can be ordered in various lengths of 24-inch widths for easy installation. You can also apply radiant heat to existing floors with Warmzone's RetroHeat floor heating system.


Radiant heated tile floor in bathroom.

The complexities of installation and the thickness of the tubes themselves are the greatest cause for concern when installing hydronic heated floor systems on any remodeling job. Warmzone addresses these issues by offering a low-modular board, a concrete alternative that houses PEX tubing in its proper spacing and pattern, and can be installed directly beneath wood, carpeting, tile and other surfaces.


Warmzone is an established leading provider of radiant heated floor systems, with expertise in both electric and hydronic floor systems. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, or a veteran contractor, Warmzone offers products and expertise to help you get the most out of your heated floor installation.

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Compatible with all Standard Sub-flooring Materials

For tile floor warming, ComfortTile heated floor mats are easily installed directly under tile or natural stone to provide comfortable, even floor temperatures in your bathroom, kitchen, entryway, or other hard-surfaced areas. The floor heating mats are compatible with all standard sub-flooring materials, and its low 3/16-inch (3 mm) profile, also make ComfortTile heat cable ideal for renovations.

Increase your Comfort and Save on Your Heating Costs

Heating expenses are a significant part of a household budget. By installing a radiant floor heating system, you turn a small investment into real cost-savings, not to mention increasing the value of your home. With radiant heated floors, you can lower room temperatures by a few degrees yet still enjoy the same level of comfort as a room with higher temperatures that doesn't have a floor warming system. Send us your project information to receive a FREE QUOTE or call 888.488.9276 and upgrade your home's comfort and heating efficiency with a radiant heated floor today!