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.
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.
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.
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?