Stained concrete is excellent for residential floors. This flooring material strikes a delicate balance between aesthetics and functionality. So high is the aesthetic appeal of stained concrete that carpeting the floor is un-necessary since the carpet will hide the beauty of the floor underneath. There's only one problem. Concrete floors are known to be notoriously cold and a carpet over the floor will help to warm your feet. Because carpeting isn't a viable option, installing a radiant in-floor heating system is perhaps the next best alternative for a warm stained concrete floor. Find out more about radiant in-floor heating in the paragraphs below.
Mode Of Operation
In-floor heating systems use either electricity (electric) or heated water (hydronic) to distribute heat across a concrete floor. In the case of an electric system, loops of electric cable are installed in between visible layer of the floor and the sub-floor. Hydronic heating systems circulate heated water through a series of polyethylene tubes installed below the floor surface. Heat generated by either type of system radiates through the floor. Radiated heat is absorbed by any part of the body that's in direct contact with the floor.
Installation of in-floor radiant heating systems is no doubt a costly affair, but good things seldom come cheap. The cost of installation depends on whether the system is to be installed within an existing floor or within a floor that's yet to be installed. It's more expensive to install the heating system on an existing floor because the floor will have to be torn apart so as to allow for placement of cables/tubing. For this reason, the best time to install a radiant heating system is before the floor is installed or during a renovation exercise (when the floor will have been torn apart either way).
Benefits associated with the installation of a radiant in-floor heating system include, but they're not limited to, the following:
- Cleaner air: Conventional HVAC systems have ducts that allow air in and out of the system. The ducts will also allow dust and pollen grains to pass through, both of which will contaminate your indoor air. The absence of such ductwork in an in-floor heating system protects your indoor air against possible contamination.
- Less noise: Also unlike conventional HVAC systems, in-floor systems don't use fans for air circulation. These fans are often responsible for the noisy operation of conventional heating systems.