To state that there is one radiant heating system that is best for heating all types of floors would be irresponsible. No reputable radiant heat provider should make the claim that one radiant floor heating system is the best for warming floors. Several factors must be taken into account, such as the type of floor, subfloor and size of area to be heated. Certain radiant heating systems are better suited for specific types of floor heating applications. Below is a table of radiant heat applications with the systems that would be best suited for those types of floors.
Several radiant heat systems are available for interior floor heating. While just about any type of floor surface can be installed over a radiant heating system, not all systems are ideal for all types of floor surfaces. Each system offers unique benefits and characteristics that make it best suited for certain floor types. So, there are some clear winners when it comes to heating specific flooring.
COMFORTTILE® - Floor Heating Systems
Warm tile floors are rapidly becoming standard for new and remodeled homes. Radiant heat for tile floors has always been considered a distinctive quality, so if you are building a new home or remodeling any of your floors, now is the time to add under floor heating. Many of the floor heating products that are available can be installed by do-it-yourself home owners. For small areas we recommend using electric radiant heating products for reasons of cost and ease of installation. Warmzone's ComfortTile is ideal for heating tile floors.
ComfortTile radiant heating has proven to be extremely effective for heating tile, laminate and marble flooring. This floor heating system is one of the most popular and versatile radiant heating systems, so it is used in a variety of other applications as well.
IN-SLAB™ - Heat Cable for Concrete Slabs
In-Slab heat cable is thicker than most other floor heating cables because it is intended for installation in new concrete slab applications. The durable heat cable is secured directly to the re-mesh and the concrete is then poured. The heat cable should be embedded so that it is about 2 inches below the floor's surface. When power is sent to the rugged thermal heating cable, it quickly heats, using the concrete slab to efficiently store and distribute the heat evenly throughout its intended area.
Capable of heating any type of floor, the In-Slab system offers homeowners an affordable heating solution. And because of the thermal properties of the concrete slab, it is also one of the most efficient heating systems on the market. This system is a popular choice for those looking to heat basement floors, and can be used to heat all floor types, including tile, hardwood, and even carpeted floors - in residential and commercial applications.
PRODESO® - Membrane
The Prodeso membrane system consists of a flexible membrane, designed to serve as an uncoupling and waterproofing system for radiant floor heating systems. The membrane contains a series of reliefs that form pre-engineered channels where the heat cable can be installed. The channels help to ensure precise cable spacing to provide consistent, evenly spread heat across the floor - and other surfaces - without movement or expansion joints in the screed.
The versatile Prodeso membrane can be used as the floor heating membrane for a wide variety of different flooring surfaces. The system is designed for use in indoor and outdoor applications. The Prodeso membrane system can provide a time saving and cost saving solution for heating your floors. Prodeso membranes provide waterproofing for the substrate in the case of overlaying on cracked or imperfectly cured floors with a risk of vapor stress.
FILMHEAT™ - Floating Floor Heating Panels
Perhaps the most effective, easy-to-use floor heating system for heating floating floors, the FilmHeat system is one of the most trusted, and recommended systems for homeowners today. This advanced system features an ultra-thin heating element that is just 0.016-inch thick, which is barely thicker than a sheet of paper. Despite the thin heating element, it is remarkably effective in heating floating floors, resulting in no floor buildup.
An underlayment is applied over the subfloor, and the thin heating panels are then rolled out over the area. The floating floor is then placed over the FilmHeat heating panel. The installation requires no alarms, special tools, or mortar or self-leveling compounds. The versatile FilmHeat floor heating panels can be cut onsite, facilitating quick, easy, and affordable installation.
- Film Heating Element
If you can access your floor joists from below, you are a perfect candidate for retrofitting your floors with energy-efficient radiant heat. The RetroHeat system is one of the best values for installing radiant heat under an existing floor, regardless of the floor type.
The floor heating elements consist of thin warming panels that can be cut to the desired length onsite and then stapled between the floor joists. Bat insulation is stapled up over the installed heating element to direct all of the heat upwards to warm the floor. The RetroHeat floor heating element can be installed to effectively heat just about any type of floor surface, but it is especially recommended for heating hardwood, tile, and laminate flooring. To heat an existing floor, you must be able to access your floor joists from below, either through a basement or crawlspace. RetroHeat is an ideal system for retrofitting floors with energy-efficient radiant heat.
FLOORHEAT STEP® - Low-Voltage Heated Floors
FloorHeat is a unique heating element because it can be installed directly under any material, ranging from hardwood, laminate, and parquet flooring to roofing. This low-voltage system features unique semi-conductive, polyethylene heating panels that are self-regulating. The system can be installed in a variety of applications.
The FloorHeat STEP heating element is installed directly under the flooring, and even in thinset when installing it under tile. No additional floor buildup is required when heating floors with FloorHeat because the heating element is so thin. FloorHeat is a safe low-voltage product for practically any application, and the heating element can be safely nailed through without damaging the panel.
FOILHEAT™ - Floor Heating System
The FoilHeat radiant floor heating system features thin heat cable that is sandwiched between two layers of reinforced aluminum. The thin, wide mats are easy to install and can be cut onsite to fit custom-shaped areas. (However, when cutting the mats, remember to only cut the foil mat. Never cut or damage the actual heat cable.)
FoilHeat floor heating systems are designed primarily for use under laminate, engineered wood, glued hardwood, carpet, and other floating floors. A power lead from the corner of the heating mat is connected to a power-supply cable. The power lead is a flat two-core flexible cord, consisting of two insulated conductors with a metal sheath and an outer sheath. FoilHeat mats are available in predetermined lengths to meet a variety of project dimensions. The floor heating system consists of the heating mats and an advanced digital thermostat with a 15-amp GFCI breaker and floor sensor to provide accurate programming and warmth.
For more information about radiant heating systems, call a radiant heat expert at 888.488.9276.