Are you tired of putting your bare feet on cold floors when getting out of a steamy shower in the depth of winter? Radiant floor heating gives you the gift of warm tiles or hardwoods all year round, but you'll have to choose between systems that use hot water or electric heating coils. Electric coil systems offer five distinct benefits to the homeowner on a budget.
No Water Problems
Hydronic radiant heating systems consist of a water heater or boiler that supplies hot water to dozens of feet of pipe buried under each room. If something damages the pipe, a leak develops that is hard to find and costly to repair. Reinstalling new pipes to replace the damaged ones costs an average of $5,000 to $7,000, so you'll need to have some money set aside immediately after installing the system just in case. Those quotes don't include any costs for water damage caused by the leaks. Electric coils eliminate the water, so when something causes one of the lines to shut down, you only end up with reduced heat and no lingering moisture.
Great for Small Spaces
Since electric radiant flooring is connected directly to the home's power supply, there's no need for a boiler or water heater dedicated to the system. This means you're better off with electric coils if you're only adding a radiant system to a single bathroom or a small part of the home. Adding extra equipment for such a small space doesn't make sense, and many homeowners in relatively warm climates only want warm floors in the bathrooms and bedrooms. Tiny homes are also better served by electric systems since there's not much spare space for installing a boiler.
Lower Overall Costs
Don't have a lot of money to invest in a major home renovation project? Stick with electric radiant flooring to control your costs. Both the parts and labor cost less for these systems, not to mention the savings on a water heater. If you're a skilled DIY savvy homeowner, you may even be able to lay the heating cables or mats yourself under the subflooring. Make sure you have your work inspected before you connect the power cable to your home's wiring if you decide to tackle part of the installation yourself. As with any electrical project, you need a professional to sign off on your handiwork.
Faster Installation Times
Since there's no pipes to carefully slope and check fittings for leaks, the installation of heating elements powered directly by electricity goes a lot faster. Want to get your bathroom or guest room renovation done in time for guests to visit in a month or two? An electric radiant floor should be done well within that deadline, while a hydronic system may still be in the planning or troubleshooting stages at that point. When you're deciding to upgrade your home's heating just a few weeks before the first snowfall of the year, you're also more likely to be able to book a professional installation crew for a faster project like an electric cable installation.
Heat Storage Options
Finally, you don't have to sacrifice the ambient heating effect just by switching to electric coils. If you embed the cables or mats in a solid layer of concrete, the heat is absorbed into the solid mass and released slowly throughout the day. The water in hydronic systems offers a similar effect, but it's much more short-lived. You can always top the concrete slab with hardwoods, tile, natural stone, or other types of resilient flooring to continue the heat transfer if you don't want to finish the concrete itself into a stylish floor.
For more insights on your installation options, contact companies like Custom Comfort that work with radiant heat flooring.