Tile Flooring Heating Options
If you have been considering tile flooring in your home, but are concerned about the cold tiles giving your heart a shock in the morning, never fear – heated flooring is here! If you plan to use your cold floor tiles as a backup to your alarm clock, then heated flooring may not be for you.
If, however, you don’t relish the thought of your bare feet hitting cold tiles before you have had your first cup of coffee, then radiant floor heating is something worth investigating. There are a number of heating options for your tile floors, each with different benefits and price ranges.
Here is a look at some of the tile floor heating options:
- Electric radiant heating – This type of heating flooring amounts to electric cables or mats that are electrically charged being built into the floor before the tile is laid down. One drawback with electric radiant heated tile floors is that they can use a lot of electricity, especially during winter months. This type of heating is best utilized when it is placed on a thick concrete subfloor that will help hold the heat, often for up to half a day.
- Hydronic radiant heating – Hydronic or liquid heating systems are usually the most cost-effective and popular floor heating options. These systems involve tubing that is laid underneath floor tiles. Heated water is then pumped through the tubing to heat the tile flooring. The water temperature can be regulated differently in each room to accommodate different tastes. Hydronic systems are best for areas that are 1,000 square feet and above.
- Zmesh radiant heating – Zmesh is a low-voltage heating element that resembles a screen door material. It usually comes in a 12-inch-wide strip on 50 to 300-foot rolls. Zmesh can be installed over any floor surface and it is almost as thin as paper.
- BueHeat Cable radiant heating – This system involves a cable that is woven across the floor surface before tile flooring installation. The cable can also be inserted into a concrete slab (it is inserted into ½" of concrete or mortar). BlueHeat systems are often much less expensive to operate than hydronic systems.
- ComfortTile heating systems – The cable in this type of heating system is razor-thin (approximately 1/16th of an inch in diameter) and is ideal for floor space that is anywhere from 10 to 500 square feet. The cable can heat an entire room in most situations and is a good fit for tile, marble and slate floors.
- QuickNet heating systems – This system is a fiberglass mesh mat with a heating cable woven into it. With this system, the cable placement is of no concern because it is woven into the mat. The matting comes in 20" widths and will work in any room.