Hydronic Floor Heating
Conservation of energy is not the only reason that up to 30% of new homeowners are turning to
hydronic floor heating. Remodeling projects of replacing existing furnaces are also looking the
this heat form that just makes sense for comfort, durability and saving money on a long term basis.
If you are considering hydronic floor heating, be aware that the initial cost is up to 10 times
higher than that of electric radiant heat.
A small bathroom may run $400 to install electric radiant heat compared to $4,000 for hydronic
heating. The difference is in the long-term costs of providing heat for your home.
Hydronic floor heating system can cut your heating bills by as much as 40%, not offered by
electric floor heating.
Hydronic Floor Heating Installation Types
There are different ways that installation of hydronic
floor heating can be done. The most popular option is referred to as slab-on-grade. Proper groundwork is
necessary to compress the ground then placing a polyethylene vapor barrier on top. Mesh is then lain down and the
tubing placed on top and tied to the mesh. Next 4 to 6 inches of concrete is poured and the tubing is fast in
The thin slab procedure involves laying the tubing directly on the sub floor and covering with a
thin layer of concrete of 1.5 inches. Another way of thin slabbing is to sandwich the tubing between the sub floor
and the actual floor covering by using underlayment panels to hold the tubing firmly in place.
Other installers select the dry or plate system of hydronic floor heating tubing. Here the
tubing is attached directly to the underside of the sub floor and held into place with insulated aluminum
Deciding on the type of water flow to use is also something to consider. Oil fired boilers, gas
fired boilers or large water heaters that are powered by kerosene, gas or solar power are option available today.
If you have been considering putting in a solar powered hot water heater, now would be the perfect time to install
hydronic floor heating.
Not every room in your home needs to have heat tubing ran. A professional installer that will
take readings on heat loss, your most used living space and the amount of money you have to spend will determine
Bathrooms and kitchens are usually the most popular areas where hydronic radiant floor heating is installed because of the amount of heat that escapes in
these areas. If you are planning on adding more tubing later, buy a heating unit that will be able to incorporate
this without having purchase a larger boiler or water heater.
Installation of hot water floor heating can be tricky and require measurements and
calculations of exact measurements for your particular situation. Also, a qualified company can take care of
details such as working with your utility company and county licenses that may be required.
One thing is for sure, however. Once you have had hydronic underfloor heating installed, you
will never consider any other type. The warmth of water under the floor evenly radiates heat to not just your space
but items that release a cold air with regular forced air heating systems. There will be no cold or damp spots with
hydronic floor heating, just continuous comfort.