Radiant floor hydronic heating systems use a boiler to heat water that is circulated through pipes that are embedded in a concrete slag. The heat from the water radiates through the cement and into the room.
If you've never experienced radiant floor hydronic heating, let me just say it is luscious. If you live in cold climate where homes have basements, you have undoubtedly experienced the discomfort of being frozen from your knees down. This isn't what you're going for in a new home! And with radiant floor heating, even dark basements stay toasty warm. You will be comfortable year round in a basement with heated cement floors.
In the first custom dream home we had radiant floor heating in the basement. In this house we will have it throughout the entire basement and also in the master suite on the main floor. While it is expensive, it is worth it (particularly in basements) for the livability it adds to the areas.
This week, gravel was poured in the basement area and it was covered with a foil/plastic insulation sheeting. Rob Vigessa of Superior Heat & Air installed the radiant floor tubing over the insulation. When we inspected the tubing, we noticed that it didn't extend to a few needed areas, but that was quickly fixed by running additional tubing.
Here in the rental house, my office is in the basement. And I've got a portable heater sitting right next to me to keep the lower half of my body from getting frostbite. I look forward to next winter, when sitting on the basement floor will be comfy cozy again!