Floor Heating System: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know

Everyone deserves a comfortable lifestyle. In almost every aspect of one’s life, people always search for something that can make their lives easier, relaxed and comfortable anytime and anywhere.

Floor heating system is a good option to seamlessly heat a house but nowadays this technology is mostly used for comfort to keep your toes warm.

Radiant floor heating system to keep your toes warm

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In most countries, especially during winter, getting warm is certainly the topmost priority of people. So, it is best to have an efficient floor heating system which apparently needs no maintenance in comparison to other heating systems. Floor heating technology installed underfloor helps to adjust the room temperature and provides an opportunity to enjoy warm floors. It is best known just because it exudes high comfort, saves a lot of space, consumes less energy of the system, and above all population free technology. This is the most comfortable and natural form of heating among all as it feels like the warmth of the Sun.

Floor heating systems are preferably used for kitchens, and this is a good idea to install floor heating system while remodeling your kitchen. Because kitchen and baths tend to have tile flooring, mostly due to which when winter starts, tile floor retains the cold temperature and turn walking on them quite an unpleasant shock, particularly in the morning!

The floor heating system facilitates you to save the environment and a lot of your hard earned money. But did you know that this floor heating can do actually more than just adjusting room temperature? Yes! it doesn’t save your money only in the long run but also improves your health.

Heath Benefits

The vast majority of homeowners use a forced-air system to heat their homes, but this traditional heating comes with few problems like it may contribute to poor air quality, which can be a cause of allergies, asthma, and other bronchial issues.

However, people with allergies prefer floor heating system over forced air system because it doesn’t spread allergens or dust in the home. These floor heating systems tend to provide a good feel factor as hot air rises from in-floor heating facilities. This hot air will warm you from toe to head due to the warm floor giving you a natural warmth. It will increase your floor installation cost but it is the coziest way to warm your toes and feel the comfort in a natural way.

Radiant floor heating system

BRV Remodeling is a home remodeling company located in Seattle, Washington. They have been serving their customers for 20 years with excellence to bring their home remodeling dreams to life. By catering to their clients’ needs, they ensure the use of quality materials to provide the installation of durable floor heating system. They offer floor heating system installation in very reasonable prices so that you don’t need to worry about the bunch of money to have this technology installed in your home. For floor heating system installation, they provide membrane floor heating system by using NUHEAT quality materials to give you a reliable output. We’ll talk about this technology and its benefits over other floor heating systems later in this article so, just keep reading!

Types of floor heating system

There are generally two main types of floor heat systems for homeowners; wet and electric.

  • Wet, (Hydronic) floor heating system

A wet underfloor heating system involves the use of warm water to produce heat from the central heating system. It basically involves the pumping of water through pipes that are laid under the top surfaces of the floor. No doubt, due to water heating at a lower temperature, this system reduces the overall cost of having this technology installed. But this kind of heating system is effective only where the floor can be pulled up and then put back to its place due to which it is limited in use in ground floor rooms.

  • Electric, (Radiant) floor heating system

This kind of underfloor heating system is powered by electricity to heat up the room. It involves coils attached to embedded mats, which are rolled out and connected with an end-to-end underfloor. These are then connected to the thermostat and main power supply so they can be used accordingly. These can cost a bit more but are much effective than wet systems, and installation is also very quick and easy. If you are looking for a heating system to heat up your larger space, this would be the best choice.

Many electric floor heating technologies including mesh, membrane-cable, mats and loose wires materials are being used. Among these membrane-cable is the cost effective with quick installation and most preferably used technology for floor heating system.

Why radiant membrane-cable floor heating system?

No matter either your room is large or small, a membrane floor heating system can be a durable and reliable option for your floor heating system. Membrane basically is a tile underlayment, so you don’t need a second layer of concrete boards, and this way, it is cost-effective. Furthermore, it also minimizes the risk for tile to crack due to the movement. This membrane-associated with cable is the best in quality, durability, waterproof floor heating solution for your project. One must to mention thing is its installation process, which is very quick and simple.

A membrane heating system is a very convenient, economical, reliable, and maintenance free option for construction or remodeling projects.

How to install radiant floor heating system

Let’s talk about how this membrane-cable floor heating system is installed.

1-Test heating floor cable before installation

This is an essential step before the installation of the floor heating system. Conduct resistance, continuity, and insulation test of your cable by using a multimeter.

  • A resistance test is used to check how easily the conductor allows the current flow.
  • While the continuity test is used to investigate the continuity in the electrical path of wire, either two points are connected electrically or not.

Nuheat floor testing with LoudMouth device

In contrast, an insulation test is meant to detect very small breaks throughout the cable insulation because these breaks are left undetected during continuity test and may cause current leakage to the ground.

So, testing your cable before floor heating system installation is highly recommended.

2-Area preparation

For area preparation, make sure the surface is free from dust, grease, oil, dirt, curing compounds, or other contaminants.

  • Check the moisture content of the subfloor either it is appropriate for the application of primer and underlayment membrane or not.
  • Apply primer on subfloor using sponge, brush, or roller. Usually, one coat is sufficient, but you may need two coats for a very porous surface.

3-Membrane installation

After applying primer, a modified thin-set is used for the installation of the membrane. Modified thin-set enhance the strength and bonding with membrane for durable heating system installation

  • Spread the thin-set mortar using the trowel
  • Roll out membrane after modified thin-set application and press with a roller or flat trowel

Heating membrane installation

4-Heating cable installation

After membrane installation now the main thing is to install the cable on the membrane carefully. Apply it in a balanced way, so no place in the membrane gets too much or too low wiring. Heating wire can be inserted in two ways, with two or three pillar membrane space. If subfloor is plywood then the space between cable is 3 pillars, and 2 pillars spacing for concrete subfloor.  We practiced to mix cable and insert wire each 2-3-2-3 pillars and it works good.

inserting heating cable into heating membrane

  • Snap the cable on the membrane manually
  • Cover the whole membrane by snapping cable on it.

5-Apply self-leveling compound with fiber knits

After cable installation, apply a self-leveling compound on the wire to lock it in the compound. Make sure the wire is entirely encapsulated in the self-leveling compound. Using a flat trowel, can evenly distribute the compound on the membrane.

6-Floor installation, tile, or other types of flooring

The next step is the floor installation, either tile or whatever you have finalized.

7-Testing

It is of prime importance to check the heating system before and after all the installation stages. You must check it before the final floor covering goes down.

Electric Floor Heating Thermostats

A thermostat is basically a device connected with the underfloor heating system. It senses the heating system’s temperature and acts accordingly to maintain the temperature of the system to a particular set point. Controlling your heating system with correct thermostat settings is very important to keep your room comfortably warm while saving a lot of energy and money. Here we will discuss some right quality thermostats which are the latest and comes with manufacturer’s warranty.

1- Signature WIFI thermostat by Nuheat

Programmable wifi thermostat for electric floor heating system

It is the first Wi-Fi enabled floor heating thermostat that is entirely programmable. It can be accessed using any android or iOS smartphones. Moreover, it is also compatible with Nest thermostats, enabling it to control the whole house heating and cooling system. It’s some notable features are;

  • Wi-Fi enabled and can easily connect to your Wi-Fi device
  • Remote access
  • Controlling of multiple rooms/homes/zones
  • Easy to use
  • Custom preferences (language, time and Co or Fo)

2- Home Touchscreen thermostat by Nuheat

Programmable touchscreen thermostat for electric floor heating system

This high-resolution color touchscreen thermostat controls floor heating in quite an easy way with any heating system programming. Just like the Wi-Fi enabled thermostat, it can also be used efficiently and a very reliable option to connect with the floor heating system. Its notable features include:

  • Easy to operate
  • 7-day programmability
  • Compatible universally
  • Suitable for all flooring
  • Custom preferences (language, time, Co or Fo)
  • High gloss frame
  • Built-in GFCI
  • 3-year manufacturer’s warranty

3- Element thermostat by Nuheat

Element thermostat by Nuheat is a non-programmable thermostat. It simply has the feature to up and down the temperature of floor heating system. However, it is not as efficient as touchscreen and Wi-Fi enabled thermostat. It has;

  • Simple use
  • The feature to access your energy consumption
  • Backlight and clock feature

4- Harmony thermostat by Nuheat

Harmony thermostat by Nuheat is a programmable dual voltage thermostat. It comes with the following features;

  • Programming (days, time, and temperature)
  • Temporary Bypass feature
  • Manual mode
  • Configuration for laminate and hardwood floors

How to choose an ideal heating system?

As you have gone through the floor heating system, its health benefits compared to other heating systems, installation process and Nuheat thermostats. Since this technology has already become popular among people due to which electric floor heating systems are abundantly present in market. However, you may have heard of it that one size doesn’t fit all, so the same is the case with the floor heating system. It is essential to consider certain things while choosing a floor heating system. You must know the essential points to be considered while choosing a system with the best qualities to spent money on it. The following information can be a big help for you in this regard.

1- Easy installation

Ease of installation is an essential factor that must keep in mind while making a decision. Certain floor heating systems offered by reputed manufacturers like Nuheat are relatively easy to install and can be used in any room regardless of its dimension or size. Moreover, a floor heating system with a complex installation process would be heavy on your pocket and also challenging to maintain.

2- Heat Output

As you simply want warm floors, so you should not compromise on this feature of the floor heating system. A heating system with lower heat output can be best for warm floors, but if you want to warm the whole room, then you must go for the heating system, which has higher heat output. By analyzing specific heat output requirements carefully, you can also achieve sufficient savings in the power bill.

3- Thermostat control

As most of the heating systems have thermostat control and options in thermostat also varies greatly. Therefore, it would be great to consider the control options of these thermostats while purchasing. High-quality thermostats such as those offered by Nuheat like Wi-Fi enabled and touch screen thermostat enable users to program it for different times in a day completely. These completely programmable thermostats can be programmed to start heating one hour before you wake up in the morning. In this way, selecting the right thermostat can add to your comfort by ensuring that you do not step on the cold floor.

4- Wet or electric heating system?

While constructing a home, both wet (hydronic) and electric floor heating systems can be embedded underneath the floor when new concrete is poured. But electric systems can easily be installed in both remodel or construction, as in this case, heating systems are directly installed under finished floor coverings. Moreover, electric floor heating systems do not require any source like water or other plumbing in a wet heating system. Furthermore, these heating systems can be maintained easily with an easy installation process while remodeling a bathroom or kitchen.

5- Flooring for heating system

Hard surfaces are preferred for floor heating systems like tile and natural stone flooring materials as these are better heat conductors than carpet. If you have carpet flooring, then make sure to select a thinner carpet with lower padding and R-value for effective floor heating.

Hardwood flooring can get damaged due to the heat and also take hours to heat up. So choosing ceramic, porcelain and natural stone flooring materials are top of the list for floor heating system.

6- Professional installers

When it comes to finding a company to install a floor heating system, then be gentle here. Always remember a little effort during the initial stages of selection can be much beneficial in the future. A professionally installed floor heating system can save you from the future hassle and operational costs of this technology.

BRV remodeling is a reputable home remodeling company that can be your top pick while looking for professional installers. They use high-quality materials while installing your floor heating system and make sure its installation gives you the comfort you deserve the most. As, we have discussed that the membrane-cable floor heating system is a durable choice for the long run. BRV remodeling works with Nuheat membrane, which is much easy to install, and most importantly, it substitutes concrete backer boards. If your home has a plywood subfloor, then a membrane floor heating system can be a big plus as you may not have to install concrete baker boards before tile installation. In this way, you can save money and have a very durable underfloor heating system. BRV home remodeling professionals firstly inspect the whole area to identify any damage or weakness which may need to repair. They work with the top manufacturers (Nuheat) to ensure they provide you the best products and materials available in the market at very affordable prices.

BRV remodeling company has a viable solution for almost any budget regarding your floor heating system installation project. Due to the team of professionals, they guarantee exceptional workmanship with every project. By keeping the latest underfloor heating technology from a leading manufacturer like Nuheat, their technicians have the necessary knowledge to install a system that works efficiently and lasts for years. Moreover, Nuheat material, which they use for heating system installation, also comes with a warranty to provide you everlasting technology installed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

While remodeling your bathroom or kitchen, a floor heating system is worth spending money on. It will definitely increase the cost of kitchen remodel, but it is worth it. You should consider it mostly for the kitchen and bathroom, and it can save you from a lot of labor cost if the floor is being changed. It can give you the warm mornings in winters, and cost-saving of the running system on heating bills can also be beneficial for you in the long run.

Most of the efficient and high-quality electric floor heating system uses only 12 watts per hour per square foot which means 100 square foot room will use only 1200 watts per hour which is 300 watts less than the space heater. You can also get an appropriate estimate of the whole room power usage by multiplying the entire room’s square footage by 0.9.

An electric floor heating system is a much more durable option than any other system. When compared to a standard furnace, it is much more long lasting. A top quality and efficient floor heating system can last for 35 years or more with proper care in its usage.

No doubt, heat, in general, is not suitable for vein problems. But the current operating temperature of the electric floor heating system is entirely safe for you, even with venous diseases. This technology doesn’t compromise on your health at any cost, and even it can be beneficial for you from health perspectives. If someone have a problem of sweaty feet, this heating system can be a big help for those.

In the extreme winter season, this floor heating system can be turned on the whole day, but it is very important to operate it differently. Depending upon your home’s usage and activity, you can change the temperature of the floor heating system. As this system takes time to warm up the floor so, turning it off completely isn’t a good idea.

The short and straightforward answer to this question is “YES.” As long as you have the floor, you can utilize this heating system because it goes right into the floor by using electricity. You can have this system installed for any room or the entire house as you like.

Tile and stone is the best type of flooring to use with this underfloor heating. The main reason behind using tile or stone is because these flooring materials have high thermal conductivity. Due to this, heat transfers from wire to the floor surface quickly. Moreover, tile and stone flooring retains heat for a longer time, which makes this system efficient.

To be honest, floor heating is particularly popular for bathrooms and kitchens, so the simple answer is “YES”. This heating technology is very safe to use in bathrooms and completely prevents any harm to you before or after the installation.

Electric floor heating can take almost two to three hours to warm up the entire room to the required temperature. It can sound odd, but you must not leave the heating on while no one is in the home.

Lowering the set point of this heating system at night seems an excellent option as the system will use only fewer BTUs while saving the energy. In the morning, when the system ramps up, it can reheat without the loss of efficiency. Individual programmable thermostats also make it easier for you to do this job.

As many people love warm and nice bathroom so, don’t hesitate to set the floor heating to almost 32oC and note how you like it. Don’t worry about the electricity bill as this system uses 15% less energy than the traditional systems.

Electric floor heating is a much popular heating system compared to traditional heating systems. It’s an ideal heating system for kitchens and bathrooms; however, it can be used anywhere in the house. So, using underfloor heating than radiators is possible. You can even get rid of radiators depending upon your heat loss.

There are mainly two types of underfloor heating system which are electric floor heating also called as dry system and hydronic floor heating also called as wet system. However, both of these have their own advantages and disadvantages. Both of these systems use different source as wet system uses water source while dry system uses electricity to heat up the floor.