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Warm Your Feet With A Heated Tile System

I don’t know about you but when my feet are cold I usually feel a lot colder than I really am. But, if I can keep my feet warm the rest of me is a lot more comfortable. This is the main reason I am so excited about in floor heating systems. They just make a lot of sense to me.
Heated Tile Under FloorFirst, the warm floor makes it possible to walk around in bare feet and still not feel chilled. Also, since heat rises, the temperature of the floor heating system will transfer to the air in the room and the entire area will feel more comfortable. This is vastly superior to systems that heat some of the air while leaving the layer next to the floor surface cold and chilly. This happens with forced air, radiator, baseboards, and the worst culprit, in ceiling heat.
Heated Tile Floor
There are many radiant floor heat systems available but one of the easiest to do is heated floors under tile. This is assuming you don’t already have tiles laid out on a concrete slab. If this is the case then your best bet would be to remove the tiles and use an electric heating mat on top of the slab which you then lay new tiles over. More about this later.
Heated Tile Floors In New Construction
The easiest way to install a heated tile floor is during new construction or remodeling. There are two main ways of actually warming the floor. You can use hot water which is pumped through pipes either embedded in a concrete slab or you can install tubes for hot water between the floor joists.
The hot water system allows for a choice when it comes to the energy source. With the hot water system you are basically doing the same operation as heating water for domestic use. If you already have the most efficient type of energy used for your hot water in the home, then you will probably want to use this same source for your radiant floor tile heating system. For example, if you are tied into the natural gas network then this is usually the cheapest way to heat water. You would most likely put in a small natural gas boiler in order to heat the water for your floor. Really, any energy source can work to heat the water, even a wood stove heat exchanger.
When you use a concrete slab system you are really creating a heated floor under the tile. The heat from the concrete floor then heats the tiles which in turn heat your feet and the air in the room. This is a very efficient method for in floor heating because the concrete acts as a heat sink and will work to keep the temperature in the room more constant. If you use a system under a wood sub-floor then the temperature can swing a little more as the heating system cycles on and off.


Electric Heated Tile Flooring
The second option is to use an electrical mat under the tile as a way to create warmth. The nice thing about this style is you can easily retrofit it onto a floor that already exists, such as if you are doing a remodel. As I said above, if you have a tile floor laid on a concrete slab then you really can’t get good results without removing the existing tiles and then starting from scratch. If you have a concrete floor, though, installing an electrical in floor heating system can really work well. You just have to lay the wire mesh out, have it connected to a thermostat system, and then you can lay your mortar and tiles right over it. Installing heated floors under tile is just not possible if they are on a slab. But, you can retrofit a tile floor with under floor heating if you have a common wood floor with floor joists. You just have to go under the house, or open the ceiling if the floor is on the second story, and then run the hot water tubes. Then all you have to do is plumb the hot water tubes to the small boiler and you can enjoy warm feet.
Installing A Heated Tile Floor Over Concrete
If you have an existing concrete slab then you can install a heated tile system in one of two ways. The first would be by installing an electric mesh like a noted above. This works but electricity may be very expensive in your area compared to natural gas or propane. If this is the case then you can install a hot water tube system on the slab, cover it with your mortar layer, and then lay your tiles directly onto the mortar surface.
With this method you can use a cheap heat source and still have warm feet. The only downside is that this will raise the finished layer of your floor. This may be noticeable when going between a room with in floor tile heating and one that you choose not to retrofit. It also can mean your doors will probably need to be trimmed off. But this is a small price to pay for the comfort you will get on those cold, winter nights.
For my money, in floor heating systems are unbeatable for comfort and you won’t go wrong if you decide to install one.

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