Stone or tile floors are elegant and add value to your home, but they can be very cold to the touch particularly in the winter months. One solution to that problem and also to keep the entire house warm is to install an efficient floor heating system.
In Canada the average change in temperature of about 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 degrees Celsius) and a record of low -25 degrees Fahrenheit (-32 degrees Celsius) especially during the cold winter months, means very cold nights. You can now imagine how Toronto residents huddle in fluffy blankets to keep warm at night. Cold months put homeowners in a very awkward temperature zone, forcing them to leave their AC and heat off during the day and switch them on at night.
Fortunately, installing a highly efficient electric underfloor heating system is a great addition to your home remodeling project that can eliminate the chill of cold in any room within your house. Note that estimating the entire in floor heating cost is essential so that you can budget for your remodeling project effectively.
The Cost of Cable Floor Heating – A Bedroom with Hardwood Flooring
Even if you don’t want to install a radiant floor heating system in the entire house, you can increase your comfort during the spring and fall months by installing the system in your bedroom. For example, a Toronto resident can use electric radiant floor heating as the main source of heat for a 124-sq foot bedroom. With a 120-volt cable (432 feet) spaced at 3-inches, the heating system can produce 12 watts for each square foot. That’s enough heat to keep you warm at night.
While Toronto is among the largest metropolitan areas in Canada, the cost of installing a floor heating system is significantly low. A good heating cable costs approximately $725, and when purchased with the recommended programmable thermostat, the cost hits $984. To heat a single bedroom for about 8 hours daily, all the operating costs are 92 cents according to indoor heating experts.
NOTE: This operating cost includes the kWh cost in Toronto which is about 14 cents (but this might change depending on your zip code).
If the heating cable is to be installed underneath hardwood, stone or tile floors, it should be affixed to plastic strips that should be placed at all the sides of the room. These strips keep the heating wiring secure during installation and application of self-leveling underlayment. While underfloor radiant heating system takes more effort and time than the installation of heating mats or rolls, it’s more efficient and can adapt to any room size and shape at a low cost.
Adding a Radiant Heat System beneath Stone Flooring in the Kitchen
If you have been planning kitchen renovations, installing a floor heating option is one way of ensuring your kitchen is warm and a more comfortable space. Assuming you have an 84-square feet medium-sized kitchen with a stone floor, you need a 1.5’x56’ flex roll (choose an efficient one) to keep the floor warm. The estimated cost of this flex roll is $958. That means the cost of heating one square foot of your stone kitchen floor is $11.40.
Besides, the operating cost of this heating option is low (about 62 cents) according to most residents in Toronto. Radiant heating doesn’t end with your kitchen floor; you can install the system under your kitchen countertops to keep your granite or stone counters warm.
In-Floor Heating for Marble Flooring
If you have a 13’x19’ living room with a lustrous marble flooring, the cost of an in-floor heating system for such a room isn’t too high. You need an 824 feet cable (240 volts) which costs about $1190.0. That means the average cost of heating a square foot of your living room marble flooring is $5.50. While evaluating any floor heating system, it’s always wise to consider its operating cost. For instance, the estimated operating cost of this in-floor heating system is 26 cents for about 8 hours each day.
Cost of Floor Heat in a Functional Home Office – Laminate Flooring
If you recently turn a rarely used bedroom into a functional home office and the entire room is notoriously cold, it’s time to add an electric floor heating system. Assuming your home office is about 112 square feet, you need a 1.5-x45- foot flex roll. The estimated cost of the flex roll is $730 and that means the cost of heating one square foot of a laminate floor is $11.00. The system’s operational cost is approximately 26 cents if you want to heat the office for about 8 hours a day.
Important Cost Factors to Consider
Just like most home improvement projects, there is not straightforward cost for the acquisition and installation of a floor heating system. Different factors influence the cost of any heating option in one way or another. Here are the factors that you should consider.
- The flooring square footage: The square footage of the room where you intend to install the heating system will influence the cost. Whether you intend to install the heating system in a small area or a large area, it’s wise to install it during construction. It’s way cheaper than installing the system in an already existing floor.
- Preferred type of radiant heating: You can use hydronic radiant heating or electric radiant heating. According to indoor heating and energy experts, hydronic systems are cheaper (about $6 per square foot) than electric radiant heating systems that cost about $8 to heat a square foot floor.
- Temperature zones: Some areas within your home might require higher amounts of heat than other rooms to achieve the desired comfort. This adds to the complexity of the radiant floor heating system and the cost as well.
- Other cost factors: Other cost factors such as local labor rates, distance to the actual job site, project scope, and collection and disposal of waste will also affect the cost of the heating option.
Can radiant heating be used as the main source of heat?
Yes. Radiant floor heating systems are highly effective and affordable. It can be used as the main source of heat for your home. It’s imperative to install floor heating controls such a thermostat (programmable or non-programmable one) to keep your heating costs within your budget.