Heated floors are a luxurious experience, and they are a lot easier and more affordable to install than you may think. Floor heating is not air heating, and you should be sure that your client does not get the two confused. Radiant heat does not distribute allergens within the air (as it does not use air), and it is actually much easier on the environment and your client’s budget. There are several considerations that both you the contractor and your clients the homeowners need to know about radiant heat subfloors. Here are a few important points for you to consider:
For You (the Contractor)
When you install the radiant heat subflooring, you need to talk with the homeowner about the type of flooring which will go over the subfloor. This will greatly affect the type of radiant subfloor needed. It is always best to try to persuade your homeowner to use ceramic tile, bamboo flooring, or eucalyptus flooring as these work best with the heating systems. You do not want to have a floor covering (such as carpet) which will require additional heat or be disrupted by large amounts of foam over the heat subflooring.
When using wood and laminates, the contractor needs to be aware that heat will cause the material to expand and contract, depending on the weather conditions and the amount of heat being emitted from the radiant heat subfloors. If the house has had settlement issues in the past, the contractor is advised to evaluate the fluctuations in the expansion and condensing of the material as well as the house settlement patterns to keep from having to perform maintenance after the install.
Where hydro heat sources are generally used on radiant heat subfloors, if you can manage to use panels/electric layouts, it is preferred (and easier to install).
For the Client (Homeowner)
Before you contact your contractor, you will need to know what type of radiant subfloor you which to use. Typically, heated floor systems do not use air heat. Hydronic (liquid) systems are the most popular type of the radiant heat subfloor system. Keep in mind that you will have tubing running throughout the floor. You should take a proactive approach to caring for the system. Keeping the pumps and the tubing inspected and maintained is a must.
In most cases, electric radiant floor heat is ideal. These floors heat quickly and effectively, and they carry significantly less risk of damaging the structure of the house should anything happen (such as a leak).
For both parties
Like any large project, the installation of subfloor heating is something that should be discussed by both parties in great detail. The contractor should be knowledgeable of the subflooring systems and have experience working with the particular type of flooring material that has been chosen by the homeowner. From the opposite perspective, the homeowner should have a clear vision of how the room will be used as well as the covering which will go over the subfloor. Finally, both parties should be committed to communicating clearly and respectfully throughout the duration of the project.
Subfloor heating is a great investment for any home. It is comforting and inviting, and it will certainly add value in the eyes of future buyers. If you are planning to install any of the Bildermann’s products and wish to include radiant heat subfloors as part of the installation, ask a member of our team for helpful tips and advice.