ANGIE'S LIST: Why radiant flooring is a hot trend

ANGIE'S LIST: Why radiant flooring is a hot trend

(ANGIE'S LIST) - Getting "cold feet" before your wedding doesn't happen in the literal sense, but getting them each morning after crawling out of a warm bed is annoying.

If you're tired of feeling that cold floor under your bare feet, a radiant heat floor system could be your answer.

These little piggies are perfectly comfortable on this hard floor, even in the middle of winter, thanks to the radiant heat system underneath them.

"With radiant heat, it heats up the floor and all the objects in the room and you don't have the on-and-off cycles like you do with a forced-air system," Radiant Heating professional Sean Smith said.

"A radiant floor can be a great addition because it's efficient, it's quiet and it provides that nice touch of blanket heat, but it is expensive to install,"  Angie's List Founder, Angie Hicks said.

There are two kinds of systems: hydronic and electric.

A hydronic system is usually designed to heat an entire house and is installed during construction. An electric system is more typical in bathroom or kitchen remodels as an additional heat source.

"If you're going to be adding it to a remodel, you're going to need to access that by either installing it from the basement or you're going to have to replace the floor itself," says Hicks. 

If you replace the floor, make sure your flooring and heating system pros are working together to ensure compatibility.

Once it's done, winter won't seem so harsh.

"You're going to feel that heat more consistently. Also, the mass of the floor absorbs that heat, so even when the boiler or the heat source isn't working or the electricity is not working, that floor is heated," Smith said. "It is a luxury that once you have it, it is hard to go back. And the other thing is you notice it when you don't have it,"  

Angie says an electric radiant heat system should cost about seven to ten dollars per square foot, and it will also add to your monthly electric bill.

A hydronic system can cost twice as much to install, but can save you about 20 percent in annual energy costs compared to a traditional forced air system.

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