Adding Radiant Heated Floors to Your Remodel

February 14, 2018

Radiant heat, also known as an in-floor heating system, can be a luxurious-feeling solution for a cold space in your home. It’s an often-requested upgrade for new homes and existing remodels for not just bathrooms, but kitchens and whole house flooring. 

Check out our new blog below explaining the different types of radiant heating, the estimated cost and where it can be installed! 



Image via Barnett Lewis


1. Radiant Heat Explained

One of the biggest advantages to radiant heating is the fact that it plays against the natural tendency for hot air to rise and disperse much of the heat in your home into the space overhead where it isn’t needed.

Heat being emitted from the floor slowly drifts up into the room over time, rather than being rushed in via hot air, for a better distribution of heat. Plus having toasty feet helps you feel more warm, so overall you need to heat your house less to be comfortable.

This is especially important in a tall or big room with a large amount of open airspace overhead. The high ceilings may look beautiful, but heating all that air can waste a lot of energy that could be used more efficiently. By heating the lower half of the room more, and the top half less, the heat is put where you want it.



2. Cost of Radiant Heated Floors

You can expect to spend $4 to $6 or more per square foot on top of your other flooring costs, which can add up if you’re looking to upgrade your whole home. Also, radiant heating is much less effective under materials like carpet that insulate the heat from entering the room, so if you prefer a lot of cozy carpet, radiant heat may be too inefficient to be worth it.

Entries like mudrooms or foyers are other places where naturally conductive tile is frequently found, and a radiant heat system here can give you an extra-pleasant experience of coming home every day. As soon as you kick off your shoes, you can immediately start to enjoy the warmth of your radiant heated floors. 


contemporary-bathroom (1)-5.jpg
Image via Synthesis, Inc.

3. Types of Radiant Heat Systems

Radiant heat systems come in three types. The first, forced-air based (where hot air carries heat through channels in the floor), is rarely ever used in homes. The second, hydronic based, tends to be the most efficient, using hot water to carry heat through a network of tubing. The third type, electrical radiant heating, is often less efficient than hydronic heating. 

Most homes in the Northern Virginia area have a basement, not a slab foundation, thus making radiant heat much more conducive for installing in a remodel. 





4. Where to Install Radiant Heating

A popular way to use in-floor heating is as more of an accent than an all-over installation. For example, heating an area around the toilet (which is often immediately next to the tub-shower) will go a long way to keeping your feet warm, and this often can be achieved with a single presized heating mat, acquired at a lower price than a full-room custom mat. Others choose to heat just the area in front of the vanity, to warm their toes during the daily grooming routine. This area tends to be rectangular, making it even easier to fit in a presized mat.






 Radiant heating can be a smart way to add a sense of luxury to a petite bathroom, where there’s a small area of open floor space, as the cost won’t be nearly as high as in a large bathroom while achieving a luxurious result. 


If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page.