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Frequently Asked Radiant Floor Heating Questions

Product Questions

Q: Do you recommend electric or hydronic floor heating products?
A: Each system has distinct characteristics, so different systems make more sense in different applications. Hydronic floor heating systems use specially treated water that is pumped through PEX tubing to warm the floor. Because of this, hydronic systems require a "mechanical room" for its components, which include the water heater, manifold, and pumps etc.

Electric systems utilize heat cable that is connected to a thermostat, making the installation of an electric system more affordable. However, hydronic systems may operate at a slightly lower cost than that of electric systems because of their ability to operate on natural gas or oil. Because of the lower operating cost, hydronic radiant heat is often installed for heating large areas. Electric systems are easier to customize and feature quicker response times. For more details on electric and hydronic floor heating systems, contact a radiant heat expert at 888.488.9276 and discuss your options.

For additional information to compare electric and hydronic radiant heat, visit our web page on electric and hydronic floor heating systems. The best system for you will depend on the specifics of your particular project.
Q: What system do you recommend under hardwood flooring?
A: STEP FloorHeat has proven to be an ideal system for heating hardwood floors. The thin polymer floor heating element is installed under the hardwood flooring and nails can be used to secure it to the floor without causing any damage to the system. (However, take care to avoid nailing through the bus braids along the sides of the heating element.

In-Slab is also an excellent choice for heating hardwood, and is a less expensive option; however, it needs to be embedded in ½-inch of concrete or mortar. HeatShield Panels are an extremely efficient new floor heating solution that is also outstanding for heating under hardwood floors. The system features lightweight ½-inch thick polystyrene insulation panels covered with a thin, specially profiled aluminum. The panels feature grooves to place the heating cable in. The HeatShield system features industry leading ComfortTile heat cable that is combined with the energy efficient insulation panel to effectively heat hardwood floors.

Q: What system do you recommend under tile floors?
A: While Warmzone offers a wide range of radiant heating systems that can effectively heat tile floors, ComfortTile floor heating systems stand out as the most effective choice. Granted, the specifics of your floor heating needs would have to be evaluated before Warmzone would recommend a particular system, but ComfortTile has proven to be the most popular choice for homeowners and construction professionals alike.

Depending on the size and shape of the area you are heating, ComfortTile heat cables or mats are recommended. CT heat cable is a relatively inexpensive and effective option. Electric heat is especially well suited for heating small bathrooms (10 to 300 sq. ft.) and custom shaped areas. Warmzone also offers a variety of other floor heating systems. In-slab storage heat and FloorHeat are two other commonly used products for heating tile floors.

Q: What system do you recommend under carpet?
A: FloorHeat is an ideal system for heating under carpet, and can be installed directly under the carpet pad. In-Slab (SlabHeat) is also an affordable option. This durable heat cable is installed directly in the concrete slab (needs to be embedded in ½-inch of concrete or mortar). This is a particularly efficient means of heating floors because the concrete slab retains and distributes heat well.

Q: Can I heat under an existing floor?
A: Yes. The RetroHeat system and low-voltage FloorHeat system installs under existing floors. By accessing the floor joists below, the heating element can be installed between the floor joists. Both systems consist of thin heating panels that staple to the sides of the floor joists. After installing the heating element, insulation is then installed. The insulation forces heat upwards to efficiently warm the floor above. The system can be used to complement an existing heating system, or depending on the room, it may be enough to serve as the primary heat source. Talk to a radiant heat expert to determine the best solution for heating the area (888.488.9276).

Q: What are the power requirements for your systems?
A: The power requirements vary from system to system. Generally, cable heating systems require a 240 V 20-amp breaker for every 300 square feet you are heating.

Installation Questions

Q: Who installs your systems?
A: Warmzone has a network of independent installers that can assist you with your installation. However, all of our systems come with complete installation manuals and can be installed by any electrician, contractor, or experienced "do-it-yourselfer." An electrician is needed to supply you with the necessary power and to hook up power to your system. (This ensures that your warranty remains valid.) So, much of the cable layout and floor installation can be performed by any ambitious DIY homeowner; however, be sure to have a qualified electrician wire your system.

Q: Do you have local dealers?
A: Warmzone sells directly to the end user and can guarantee you the most affordable pricing. Our internal staff of qualified professionals can answer your questions and assist you in selecting the best system for your application. Warmzone also sells through certified independent installers that can assist you in your product selection and installation.

Design Questions

Q: Does Warmzone provide detailed layouts for purchased systems?
A: Yes. Warmzone provides detailed layouts for most systems at the price of $0.35 per square foot. (This price is subject to change. Please call 888.488.9276 for more information.)

Radiant heat systems are only as good as their installation, so this is why Warmzone emphasizes professional system layouts and also offers free installation training for installers. For a system to operate as intended, a detailed AutoCAD is an essential tool for helping to ensure that the system is installed properly. (Warmzone also includes personal installation support. If your installer or electrician has any questions during the installation, Warmzone has a dedicated staff of experienced radiant heat experts on hand to guide you through the installation process.
   
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