Finding the Best Heated Floors for Your Home

Radiant heated floors are fast becoming a “practical luxury” in today’s modern home. Combining unmatched comfort and energy efficient operation, radiant floor heating systems have proven to offer many benefits over conventional forced-air heating methods. But there are many different types of floor heating systems to choose from, and finding the best floor heating system for your home is no easy task.

Installing electric heated floor system.
Electric heat cable (in mats) being installed.
Radiant heated floor in bathroom.
Bathroom with radiant heated floor.

While a select few floor heating systems are regarded as the industry leaders, no single system can be said to be best for heating every type of floor. The best heated floor system for you depends on your needs and type of flooring. However, regardless of the type of floor you wish to heat, it can safely be said that installing a radiant floor heating system is a smart investment in your home.

The laws of nature tend to favor radiant floor heating systems over conventional forced air systems. Conventional forced air heating systems blow heated air from the registers that rises quickly to the top of the room before cooling and dropping back down, causing the room to be uncomfortably stratified. Occupants may feel warmth at their heads, but their legs and feet are not nearly as warm. So it’s natural for them to bump up the thermostat, which kicks the furnace on and off throughout the day as it tries to maintain the desired temperature. With radiant heat, there are no uncomfortable “ups and downs” in temperature. Warmth radiates upwards from the floor to heat where the people are rather than collect at the ceiling.

The two types of heated floor technology are hydronic and electric systems. Both systems utilize a series of heating elements (tubing or wires) that are installed under the surface of the floor. Heat radiates from this heat source, warming surrounding objects and even the room. 

Some Benefits of Radiant Heated Floors 

Precise Heating Control and Energy EfficiencyRadiant heat technology has improved significantly over the past few decades, making heat loss and wasted energy almost non-existent in today's top floor heating systems. In addition to the efficient use of energy, radiant floor heating systems feature precise control. Each zone (or room) is controlled by its own thermostat, so you can eliminate wasted heat by warming only where and when you need.

Health Benefits – Unlike noisy forced air systems that blow dust and allergens from vents throughout the house, radiant floor heating systems provide warmth that gently rises upwards from the floor. For those who are susceptible to allergies or respiratory ailments, radiant heat has proven to offer significant health benefits.

Discreet Easy Installation – The concern for bulky duct work or the inconvenient placement of floor registers is eliminated with a radiant heating system. There is no need to worry about limited ceiling or wall space to accommodate a conventional heating system. Electric radiant heat systems are discreetly installed under the floor’s surface and operate silently to provide luxurious warmth.

Maintenance Free – Electric radiant heat systems do not have moving parts, making them very reliable and maintenance free. There’s no need for yearly checkups or ongoing upkeep of electric systems.

Fully Programmable Thermostat – Thermostats are included with the floor heating system, and you have the option of installing programmable thermostats if you wish. You can program specific floors to warm 20 minutes before you get up in the morning, then shutoff while you’re gone during the day, and then warm up again just before you get home from work.

Custom Flexibility – Radiant floor heating systems are easy to customize. You can install radiant heat to supplement heat in a bathroom or install it throughout your home as a primary heating source.