shutterstock_102862862You may have seen it in magazines, on television, or even in one of your friends or family members’ houses, because there’s no denying that floors with radiant heating are becoming more and more popular in homes everywhere. At Floor Coverings International of Waukesha, we’re more than just flooring experts. Thanks to our incredible staff of Design Associates, we stay on the cutting edge of all kinds of trends within the home renovation sphere, including radiant flooring. Everyone here at FCI Milwaukee has put together a guide to radiant flooring options. If you’re interested in updating the heating system in your  home for the upcoming winter, read on for some essential tips on how to make this new heating technology a reality.

How Does It All Work

Radiant floor heating comes in one of two types – hydronic and electric. Depending on the type used, heated tubing or electric coils are installed underneath your floors to warm your rooms from the ground up. This is a great mechanism because it provides more consistent heat than a classic vent-based heating system. In-floor heating systems last on average up to 35 years. If you only want radiant heated floors in your rooms with hard surfaces and you have an older home, an electric system is better. If you want to outfit your entire house with in-floor radiant heating and your house is relatively new, you should go with hydronic.

Why It’s Worth Considering

Aside from the energy savings and (of course) the warm and toasty feet, there are other upsides to having in-floor radiant heating installed. Radiant floors are better for people who are prone to allergies because you don’t have to deal with dust being blown through the vents. Without the use of vents, in-floor heating is also silent. It also opens up your decorating and furniture placement options, because there is no need to worry about covering up the vents.

Some Of The Best  Flooring Options To Pair With Radiant Heat

Ceramic tile is often considered the best choice for a home with radiant heat, and the reasons for this are many. Radiant heat works by moving heat up through the floor covering itself from below, making it essential to consider thermal storage and conductivity when shopping for a new flooring option. Ceramic is not only great at conducting heat; it’s also great at storing it, making tile a great partner to radiant heat.

Even though ceramic tile may be the ideal choice for radiant heat, carpet should also be considered a well-suited option. Although carpet isn’t as naturally conductive as ceramic, it still showcases some heat storing properties that options like laminate typically don’t. When installing carpet with radiant heat in mind, shorter shag tends to be the ideal solution. You’ll also want to make sure that you use a thin carpet and dense padding, as carpet requires your radiant heat to be turned up to a slightly higher temperature to compensate for its lack of heat conductivity.

Hardwood and laminate aren’t nearly as conducive to radiant heat as tile and carpet; however, sometimes the desire to get that gorgeous look of wood can overshadow more practical concerns. If you are committed to installing hardwood flooring, there are a few things to keep in mind. You’ll want to keep the temperature of the radiant heat below 81°, as any higher may wind up causing damage to your hardwood floor. Also, keep the relative humidity in your home below 30% in order to prevent splitting and other types of moisture damage. Although hardwood may never be as effective as tile when it comes to radiant heat, these basic tips will allow you to prevent major damage to your hardwood flooring.

If you’re looking at installing radiant heat in your home, contact Floor Coverings International of Waukesha today for a free in-home estimate!

Photo: PavelShynkarou