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Navigation arrow.   RADIANT HEAT DEFINED Navigation arrow.   ELECTRIC RADIANT HEAT vs. HYDRONICS
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Radiant heated tile floor.

Electric vs. Hydronic Radiant Floor Heat

If you are considering a radiant heated floor or snow melting system, it is important to do a little homework and consult with an unbiased radiant heat expert prior to making any decisions. There are many radiant heating options, both for interior and exterior applications, so finding the solution that is best for you can be daunting. And that decision will impact your upfront costs as well as your long term expenses.

Keep this in mind as you are searching for the ideal radiant heat solution: While it is crucial for you to find the best radiant heat system for your project, unless it is installed correctly, the quality of the product is of little consequence. So finding the best radiant heat system also means finding the right partner who will design and engineer the system as well as provide expert installation support. Warmzone provides the complete solution and ensures the best system choice by having a professional, experienced staff that will carefully consider all the specific characteristics of your project and then design a system that offers you the most value. Warmzone's wide selection of trusted radiant heat products (which includes hydronic and electric systems), design and engineering services, and customer service ultimately save you money and provide peace of mind. As a trusted leader of radiant heat solutions, Warmzone has an experienced staff available to consult with and can offer you a variety of options for your floor heating or snow melting project.

Electric Radiant Heat

Electric floor warming systems are extremely energy efficient and can be installed under just about any type of flooring. Electric radiant heat is especially well suited for small rooms such as bathrooms or kitchens. The benefits of electric floor warming systems include; easy installation, rapid response time, maintenance free, and easy to customize. Each room (or zone) with radiant floor heating can be controlled by its own thermostat, so you have precise, efficient control of which areas of the house you wish to heat. Some of the most proven floor heating solutions are ComfortTile, Warmzone In-Slab heat cable, and FloorHeat. Electric radiant heat can also be used to heat existing floors (providing you can access the floor joists from below).

Hydronic Radiant Heat

Hydronic radiant heating systems were the most popular radiant heating solutions, but the easy installation, performance, and maintenance free attributes of electric radiant heat have contributed to its rise in popularity. Hydronic radiant heating systems are quite complex and consist of many different components. The systems heat specially treated water and pump it through flexible PEX tubing installed under the surface to heat the floor. Hydronic systems use gas or oil burning boilers to heat the water, which is then circulated through the tubing by electric pumps. Large hydronic radiant heating systems can often operate at a cost slightly lower than that of electric systems because of the lower cost of fuel (natural gas or oil). Because of the lower operating cost, you may want to consider hydronic radiant heat if you are looking to heat a large area.

For hydronic systems to perform as intended, they must be designed by an experienced radiant heat expert and installed by a qualified contractor. In addition to providing premier products, Warmzone includes complete radiant heat design services with each system. Contact Warmzone to learn more and to receive a free quote (888.488.9276).

System Sizing and Comparison Charts

Warmzone Recommendations
Heatable Area Tile Hardwood and Carpet Concrete Slab Existing Floors Showers
10 to 300 sq. ft. ComfortTile FloorHeat In-Slab (SlabHeat) RetroHeat, FloorHeat ComfortTile
300 to 700 ComfortTile FloorHeat In-Slab (SlabHeat) RetroHeat, FloorHeat ComfortTile
700 plus ComfortTile FloorHeat Hydronic RetroHeat, FloorHeat Hydronic

Warmzone Comparisons
Product Application Zoning Profile Installation Price /sq. ft.** Warranty
ComfortTile Cable Tile, Marble, Slate, Stone 320* ⅛-inch diameter In thinset $5.00 per sq.ft. and up 10 years
Tile, Marble,Slate, Stone 320* 3/16-inch diameter In thinset $5.00 per sq.ft. and up 10 years
In-Slab (SlabHeat) Concrete Slab, Hardwood, Tile, Carpet 310* ¼-inch diameter Embedded in ½-inch mortar or concrete $4.00 per sq.ft. and up 10 years
FloorHeat Hardwood, Laminates, Carpet 675* 1/32-inch thick
1 ft. wide
Under carpet pad and hardwood $9.00 per sq.ft. and up 20 years
RetroHeat Existing Floors 480* 1/32-inch thick In between floor joists $5.00 per sq.ft. and up 15 years
Hydronic Homes and Large Areas Varies 5/8-inch floor build-up Gypcrete or Infloorboard $6.00 per sq.ft. and up Varies

* A zone is considered any area that is heated by a single thermostat. This column gives you the approximate maximum square feet you can heat with one thermostat per system.

** The best price per square foot is obtained when maxing out the system (heating the largest area possible per system).