Friday, July 27, 2012

Floor Coverings for Radiant Heat

In-floor radiant heat systems warm objects instead of air, creating optimal comfort and keeping your feet warm. For these systems to operate most effectively, installers must maximize the amount of heat that travels upward from the hydronic piping or electric heating mats. Insulating underneath such tubing or mats is crucial, but don’t disregard floor coverings.

Radiant heat systems work with many types of flooring, including tile and hardwood. Wood floors can be damaged if surface temperatures get too hot, with maximum temperatures usually somewhere around 82°F (always follow the flooring manufacturer’s recommendations). It is possible to have a heated floor in a carpeted room, but carpet (especially thick carpet) prevents more heat from reaching the surface than any other type of floor covering. The ideal surface for a radiant heat system has no covering at all: bare concrete, which can be polished and colored for an attractive finish, brings your feet closest to the warmth embedded below.

For more information on radiant heat systems, visit