Anybody whose bare foot has met a cold tile on a winter's day has considered radiant or heated tile floors. Learn some of the basics first before ripping up your existing tile.
Do radiant tile floors really feel warm in the winter?
While it is possible to crank up the thermostat high enough to make the floor feel "warm," the main idea is actually to heat it up just enough to "cut the chill." You want the tile to feel neutral--almost like it would on a summer's day.
Can you leave the thermostat on radiant tile floors on all the time?
Is it safe? Yes. We have our thermostat set at 69 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. We could turn it down or off in the warmer months, but there is no point to it. The thermostat kicks off anyway.
Do heated tile floors use a lot of power and cost a lot of money to heat?
Heating costs vary from place to place, but at least judging by 2007-2008 costs in the Pacific Northwest, it is about $10-$15 per month.
Can I install my own radiant heat tile floor?
Yes, you can. Anything is possible, but generally this falls under the category of "Best Left to the Pros." Remember, you are dealing with not just one but two expert trades: tiling and electrical. So you would need to be proficient at both.
Aren't there two kinds of radiant heating systems?
Mat or cable. The cable system uses thin, 1/8" wires, each wire about 3 inches apart. Mats come with the cables pre-installed. Both mat and cable systems can run off of 120v or 240 v applications.
What is the benefit of mat vs. cable radiant systems?
Generally speaking, cable allows more flexibility and you can get in tighter areas. Mat is easier to install, but covers only larger areas. Other than that, the heating properties are about equivalent.
Do radiant flooring systems really work?
Yes. While you may want to think twice about pulling up a perfectly good floor simply to install radiant heating, it's definitely something to consider when installing a new floor.