heated tile flooring cost and installation price

Heated Tile Flooring Cost & Installation Prices

By Fortino Rosas / September 27, 2021 / 3 Comments

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    Has the latest polar vortex left you wondering how much it would cost to install heated tile in your home? This flooring has been around since the Romans and is gaining popularity among renovators. It’s also a wonderful way to boost your home’s resale value and energy efficiency.

    There are two types of radiant flooring systems. One uses electric heat, while the other connects to your burner through a series of hoses. You can use either method with ceramic, porcelain and even stone tiles.

    There’s debate over which is better, but the decision comes down to what works best in your home.

    Electric Heated Tile Floors

    Electric radiant flooring often comes in preassembled mesh rolls of assorted sizes. Most brands come with double-sided tape that sticks to your subfloor without glue. You can cut the mats along the mesh to navigate around obstacles such as vanities or cut-outs.

    Layering tile over the mats is simple, as the mortar will penetrate the mesh and adhere to the subfloor. Rolls come premeasured by square footage so you can define how much you’ll need before you buy. You’ll also have to invest in a separate thermostat and a monitor.

    Some online retailers sell a complete kit that includes everything you’ll need to install this system. They start at around $400 for 10 square feet of coverage.

    Electrical mats can be expensive to buy, but the installation costs are minimal. This system is straightforward and simple to put down. You can recoup some money by installing the mats yourself, but a licensed electrician needs to hook up the wires.

    Another way to conserve cash is to charge your radiant flooring during off-peak hours. Your electric company can advise you on the precise timing. The tiles will maintain their temperature for 8-10 hours so they will stay warm even when they’re off.

    Electrically heated tile is a perfect choice for additions, and a fantastic way to supplement your home’s heating system.

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    Hydronic Heated Tile Floors

    If electric floors aren’t practical for your home, consider a hydronic system. Hydronic systems use a combination of piping and tubing. Don’t try to mount this system yourself; it’s a complicated job.

    Hydronic systems are more efficient than electric. They run off a pump that’s connected to your furnace and use hot water to heat your tile. The entire floor acts as a conductor and holds the temperature of the room better than conventional radiators.

    Your tile will feel warm even at lower settings, and your burner will run less as it doesn’t need to recirculate hot water continually. Your floors will stay toasty without breaking the bank.

    These heating controls should be placed on their own zone and must be hooked up by a licensed HVAC contractor. The system should be functional before any tiling goes in.

    Hydronic systems cost about $6 per square foot, but they’re an economical way to heat your home for years.

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    The Benefits of Heated Tile

    There are numerous advantages to installing heated floors in your home. Radiant heating can go underneath any type of tile and in most indoor areas. Some systems are designed for use in wet areas, but for safety reasons, these installs are best left to the pros.

    If you have natural stone or porcelain tile, you know how cold it can get in the winter. Stepping onto a heated surface during the colder months feels amazing. You may even find yourself standing or sitting on the floor, just to warm up.

    If you plan to age in place, heated tile floors are especially beneficial to the elderly. We lose the ability to keep our body temperature as we age and lose body heat through our extremities. Heated tile can keep you warmer as you get older and rely on a fixed income to heat your home.

    Heated floors are desirable in the resale market. Agents list this type of heating as a separate feature to attract home buyers. It’s a smart investment as heated tile is considered an upgrade, not a fad.

    Electric systems are rechargeable and hold their heat without spinning the meter continually. Hydronic systems allow you to keep your thermostat on a lower setting without compromising your comfort. Both methods can improve your home’s energy efficiency.

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    What kind of tile do you use for heated floors?

    You can install ceramic, porcelain, or stone tile for heated floors. Most kinds of tiles are excellent conductors of heat, so they’ll make your floors feel warm and comfortable to your feet. Since all these tiles will have the same purpose, you can install whichever type you love the most and combine it with your heating system.
    Another interesting thing is that underfloor heating can be installed on top of tiles, and then covered with tiles again.

    How do you install heated tile floor?

    Electric radiant flooring comes in mesh rolls in a range of sizes, already pre-assembled. The mats have double-sided tape for attaching to the subfloor. Once the mats have been laid down, the tiles can be placed on top. The tile mortar will go through the mesh, ensuring the tiles adhere to the subfloor. 

    Hydronic systems need to be installed by a licensed HVAC professional, as installation involves connecting piping to the burner and setting heating controls at their own zone. Tiling can only be laid once this work has been done.

    How much does heated tile floor cost?

    Heated tile floor costs range between $6 to $12 per square foot. This price can increase if you’re using custom heating mats; you can estimate approximately $30 per square foot for this type of heating. 

    A complete kit that includes electrical mats, thermostat, and monitor will cost up to $400 for 10 square feet of coverage. Installing a hydronic heating system normally costs around $6 per square foot.

    What are the pros and cons of heated tile floor?

    The biggest advantage of having heated tile flooring is having warmth during cold winter months. Natural stone or porcelain tiles get very cold and radiant heating keeps your rooms with these tile types warm. Heated tile floors are beneficial for the elderly who are prone to losing body heat quicker in low temperatures. 

    It’s easier to manage your home’s heating requirements with heated tile flooring, and both systems are energy efficient. Heated tile floors also increase the value of your home for resale purposes. The initial cost of laying heated tile flooring is expensive, but the cost pays off over time.

    Do heated floors use a lot of electricity?

    Heated floors do use a lot of electricity; however, it’s worth noting that heated tiles hold heat for up to 8 to 10 hours. If the radiant heating system is charged during off-peak times, the cost of using this type of flooring can be minimal. 

    Smart thermostats can be installed to gauge the temperature of the room, switching off the system when the room is warm enough; this can save up to 5% on energy costs. Electric systems are rechargeable, making them more energy efficient. Setting the thermostat on a lower setting for hydronic systems also means less electricity is used.

    What are the disadvantages of underfloor heating?

    The installation costs of underfloor heating can be high, but it’s worth investing in these systems. Another reason why some people decide to stay away from this heating type is because it takes longer than other flooring types to be installed.  
    The last thing you should know before deciding on a final selection is that these heating systems can elevate your floors and reduce the height of your walls.

    Do I need underfloor heating under tiles?

    No, you don’t need heating under tiles; however, it’s a good idea to install it before installing tile floors if you are going to have it at all. These heating systems are convenient and will keep your floors warm and comfortable. 
    Although there are other ways to heat up a home if you have tile floors, heating systems are very common because they often use less electricity than radiators and other heating methods.

    What is the average cost to install heated tile flooring?

    The installation price of heated tile flooring depends on which system you choose, your location, room size, etc. For example, you can expect to pay an average of $6 per square foot for hydronic system installations, but the price can go up for other types.
    A heated-air radiant floor system installation can cost between $14 and $20 per square foot. Electric systems are the most expensive to install, with prices that average between $16 and $25 per square foot.

    Can underfloor heating be laid on top tiles?

    Yes, you can lay underfloor heating on top of tiles. For example, if you want to renovate your house and don’t want to remove the existing tiles but still want underfloor heating, you can install it on top of the existing tile. In this case, you would cover the underfloor heating system with new tiles on top.
    Two layers of tile create a great environment that conducts heat and keeps your floors warm at all times.

    To Sum It up

    If you’re planning on redoing your flooring anyway, and your budget allows for a splurge, heated tile floors are worth the investment.

    You’ll never notice the difference in your flooring height, and you can clean them like any other tile floor. Radiant floors won’t burn your feet, as temperature monitors prevent the tile from overheating.

    Heated tile may seem like an unnecessary luxury, but studies have proven radiant heating pays for itself over time. Many homeowners believe that radiant heat is one of those things, that once you have, you’ll wonder how you lived without it.

    Do you have heated tile floors? If so, which system did you choose?

    About Fortino Rosas

    Chief Floor Critic, 32 years of experience in flooring installation and sales

    Fortino Rosas is an independent flooring contractor with 32 years of experience in residential and commercial flooring installation and sales. He joined the Floor Critics team to share his expertise with our readers. Fortino has acquired vast knowledge and skills in the areas of product selection, space planning, and installation. He has installed flooring in residential, government, and commercial office projects in the Midwest. Visit Website.

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