When the winter weather intensifies, you may find yourself considering options for keeping yourself warm. Apart from upgrading your furnace, there's also another step you can take: heating your floors. Heated floors produce radiant heat from below your flooring -- and the hot air then rises up, warming the rest of your home. Here's what you need to know.


What Flooring Can Be Used with Radiant Heating?

Understandably, carpeting cannot be used with radiant heating. Tile, laminate, engineered wood, and natural stone are all excellent to use over radiant heating sources. But wood often has some advantages. The best type of installation over a radiant heater is a floating floor, which can make wood floor preferable over other options such as tile, laminate, and natural stone. Hardwood installations can improve the value of a home, especially alongside radiant heating, and it creates a surface that is both comfortable and attractive.


Should there be the need to make any adjustments or repairs to the radiant heating system, it's far easier to pull up a floating wood floor than it is to pull up tile or laminate. And because hardwood floors have a little "give" that tile and natural stone do not, heated, hardwood floors will generally be more comfortable than the other options.


That being said, engineered wood is generally preferred over solid wood for these types of applications. Engineered wood will transfer more heat energy into the home and will have the same appearance as natural and solid hardwood flooring. In many situations, it will also be easier to install.


What Are the Types of Radiant Heating?

Radiant heating for flooring comes in a few different types. Radiant air floors have hot air forced underneath them; though this can be pleasant, it's usually expensive and inefficient. Electrical radiant floors use electricity to warm the flooring material. With concrete floors and subflooring, this can be expensive; without it, it can be costly. Finally, there are liquid-filled radiant floors, which tend to be more cost-effective. These systems use hot water pumped through the floor to warm the surface.


Whether radiant heating is right for your home depends on your budget, your needs, and the type of flooring you're interested in. If you want to explore your options further, contact the experts at UB Hardwoods.