What Are Radiant Floor Heating Systems? | Ravinia Plumbing
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Radiant Floor Heating

  • Categories: Heating
  • Date: December 22, 2021
Radiant Floor Heating

You wake up on a frigid winter morning and slowly make your way into the bathroom. If you are still half asleep, you’ll get a rude awakening when you step onto that cold bathroom floor. One solution to that issue is to install radiant heat in the floor of your bathroom. While radiant heat could be installed anywhere, the bathroom is a particularly popular space.

Why Radiant Floor Heating?

There are numerous reasons to install radiant floor heating.

  1. Obviously, it keeps your feet warm.
  2. You can regulate the temperature with a separate programmable thermostat that can be accessed via Wi-Fi.
  3. With that separate thermostat, you don’t need to turn your main thermostat up to keep the floor warm. This can save up to 15% on your heating bills.
  4. There is little or no maintenance.
  5. Radiant floor heating can last as long as 30 years.
  6. It can be installed under any type of hard floor, including laminate, tile, wood, and stone. It can also be installed under carpeting, but it’s best with thin carpeting with dense padding. 
  7. It is easy for a contractor to install.
  8. If you heat your home with radiators, you will not need one in a room with radiant floor heating, freeing up space and removing the risk of people burning or cutting themselves.

Types of Radiant Heat

There are three types of radiant floor heating systems. However, we will not discuss air-heated systems because these systems are very inefficient. That leaves electric radiant heating systems and hydronic (hot water) heating systems.

  • Electric heating systems consist of electric coils built into the floor that produce heat as  electricity passes through them. These systems require minimal maintenance and can last a long time, but operating costs can be high due to the cost of electricity. Because of the cost, these systems are mostly used for small spaces such as bathrooms.
  • Hydronic heating systems use a boiler to pump hot water through a network of pipes. Since they are cheaper to operate and more energy efficient than electric systems, they are the most popular choice. But you do run the risk of burst or leaking pipes. 

Installing Radiant Floor Heating Systems

There are two types of floor installations:

  • Wet installations embed the cables in a concrete slab or thick layer of another material such as gypsum installed on top of a subfloor. Concrete slabs are ideal for storing heat, but response time is slow, making adjusting the temperature harder. We would recommend maintaining a constant temperature with these systems.
  • Dry installations run the cable or tubing through empty air space beneath the floor. These installations are faster and less expensive. But heating an air space means these systems need to operate at higher temperatures.

Contact Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric for Radiant Floor Heating Systems

Ravinia Plumbing can help you select and then install a radiant floor heating system in your home. We’ve been in business since 1928, and we’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the most trusted and reliable plumbing, sewer, heating and air conditioning, and electrical companies in Chicagoland. Contact Ravinia Plumbing today to schedule an appointment.

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*Based on research conducted January - December 2021

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