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Radiant Floor Hydronic Heating

Radiant Floor TubingRadiant 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.

Radiant Floor HeatingIn 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!

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • StanD January 5, 2010, 6:14 am

    I’ve never been in a house with this kind of heat. How expensive are we talking here? And is it really worth it?

  • Alison Moore Smith January 8, 2010, 1:17 am

    StanD, there are a number of costs involved, from the tubing, boiler, etc. I’ll be breaking out the costs a bit later and posting that.

    I can give you one example of cost. With the infrastructure already in place, we were given a bid of $2,100 to add radiant to the main floor master suite.

    Of course, “worth” is relative, but if it’s in the budget, it’s really an amazing feature.

  • Todd - Home Construction & Improvement January 14, 2010, 6:49 am

    We have radiant heat in our home in the basement, first floor and bathrooms on the 2nd floor. It’s really an amazingly comfortable feature that we love. I’m a bit skeptical to the sales folks who claim it’s more efficient compared to other heating types. However, we love our system and if you can afford it I say go for it!
    .-= Todd – Home Construction & Improvement´s last blog ..Top Ten Remodeling Tips =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith January 14, 2010, 10:15 am

    Todd, we had it in our last house and it’s one of those “you can never go back” features if you ask me. Having radiant heat in the floor , high ceilings, and a walk-out were the only things that could convince me to put any bedrooms in the basement!

  • vsi January 14, 2011, 11:54 am

    This is an extraordinary idea.If you live in basement you know how cold is when it is in winter.This gonna be a grate revolution for them.

  • si January 14, 2011, 11:57 am

    If we want to use this Radiant floor hydronic heating systems to our home.How much it will cost?

  • Alison Moore Smith January 21, 2011, 11:02 am

    I hate to give a stock answer, si, but the truth is there is a wide range. It depends on the square footage and materials (all sorts of possible add-ons) as well as how much your sub will charge for installation.

    My advice is to check with a local subcontractor and then get a couple of comparison bids.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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