In-Floor Heating for Your New Custom Home
(Over the next few weeks, we’ll be revealing some insights into home heating. This week, we’re looking into something you may not have considered…)
Dreading a Cold Floor? Three things you need to know about in-floor heating
Picture this: you wake up on a cold February morning in Toronto in your new luxury custom home. You used to always dread the moment where you get out of bed and step onto that icy-cold floor…but, instead, you get the luxurious feeling of walking on a floor that’s as warm as a summer’s day.
At Tribus Homes, trusted builder of Toronto custom homes and home renovations, we know how to make it happen. It’s in-floor heating, and this time, we’re going to share three things you may have wondered about how in-floor heating works, the pros and cons, and what it’ll cost.
(The cost may not be what you think!)
In-Floor Heating Types
Both types of in-floor heating run tubes or wires underneath your floor’s tiles, wood or carpeting. Beyond that, though, there’s a lot of differences.
“Hydronic” (water-based) in-floor heating uses liquid running through tubes to heat (or cool) the floors of your home. That liquid can the same water that’s running through your hot water taps, heated by your hot water heater, or it can be a closed system heated by its own boiler or using solar power. It’s moved through the pipes through your floor by an intelligent and complex network of thermostats, pumps, valves and sensors.
The tubes are larger and the system is more complex than an electric installation, so they’re usually installed by professionals, like Tribus Homes’ trusted contractors. The best time to install them is during home construction, so they’re a great option for a new luxury custom home.
Electric in-floor heating uses flexible heating elements like wires and cables to radiate heat into the floor and up into the room. They’re comparatively small, using wires as thin as ⅛ inch, and use fewer components than the water setups. That means that they can actually be installed on top of existing floors, or as a straightforward replacement for existing carpeting, wood and tile floors. They work well under wood and laminate, as well as carpeting. It can also be run through a thin concrete or gypsum slab to even out the radiative heating.
Pros and Cons
So, what are the pros and cons of in-floor heating?
The first “pro” is a nice warm floor to stand on, obviously! For some people, that can be enough in-and-of itself. It’s especially useful in bathrooms, kitchens, and anywhere else in the home where you may be standing on bare tiles or hardwood.
Thing is, the heat from your floor can be used to help heat your home. The heat from the floor rises through the air in your home to heat the rooms. This has a lot of benefits. A lot of people prefer radiative heat to forced air from an HVAC vent, saying that it’s “warmer” and “cozier”. In rooms in your new custom home or renovated home where you’re looking for that cozy feeling, it may be a good choice.
It’s also quite a bit more energy efficient, since the heat naturally rises through the floor to heat your whole room, and Unlike traditional radiators it doesn’t take up space in your room. It also doesn’t require air circulation, which reduces the amount of dust (and dust mite) circulation in your home.
So, then, what are the potential issues? It’s mostly about installation. Though electric in-floor heating is a bit less complex than hydronic in-floor heating, both involve more than a bit of work. Hydronic, especially, isn’t a minor project. It really needs to be done by professionals home builders and home renovators like Tribus Homes.
That’s why it’s a good idea to consider it when planning your new custom home or home renovation: adding in-floor heating can be a great choice to your already-planned home renovation or custom home project.
What’s it Cost?
As for cost? It’s less than you might think!
At Tribus Homes, we take the time to build a custom home right. We know that our clients aren’t looking for cheap amateurs, they’re looking for professional and experienced architects, landscapers, engineers and contractors. That’s who we work with, because we know that a job done right will pay for itself.
That’s true for in-floor heating as well.
The installation is a serious project, and usually requires hiring high-quality professionals. Once it’s done, though, the efficiency of in-floor heating can significantly reduce your overall home heating bill. This is especially true considering that many systems will use “thermal mass” to conserve the heat, allowing you to use off-peak daytime/nighttime power for your heating needs during peak periods. Considering that a well-done electric or hydronic heating setup can last for decades, the installation can pay for itself—especially if you’re already building a new custom home or renovating existing rooms.
It’s especially useful for a kitchen or bathroom renovation. Those renovations can add a lot to the value of your home, and a warm bathroom or kitchen floor will be a big selling point if you ever need to move!
Come chat with us about heating
This is the first of three entries we’re doing over the next few weeks on heating. When you’re ready to come in out of the cold and discuss your new custom home or home renovation, please reach out to us for a free, open, and warm conversation. We’ll discuss how Tribus Homes can help you build a new dream home, or transform your existing home into your dream home.