Tile or stone floors are great to look at, but they can be really cold to the touch - especially in colder months. One way of taking care of that problem, and also heating your home, is to install radiant floor heating. Many homeowners may not know how extensive a project this can be and have a hard time predicting what the cost to install a radiant heating system will be. Your first step should be to talk to a reputable professional who can explain the best course of action for your particular home and who can estimate what your particular project will cost. Once you've talked to a professional, there are a few things that can impact the cost to install a radiant heating system.
Square Footage of Flooring
The square footage of your home will help to determine the price. Oddly enough, smaller projects tend to cost more per square footage than larger ones. This is usually because a large room, like a basement, is probably outfitted with radiant heating while in the process of being remodeled or finished as opposed to retrofitting a smaller room like a bathroom. However, if the space is small enough that it can be tied to the existing hot water heater, then the cost to install a radiant heating system will be more affordable.
Type of Radiant Heating
There are three types of radiant heating: electric radiant floors, hydronic floors and radiant air floors. The cost to install a radiant heating system is the highest with electric radiant floors and lowest with hydronic floors. Radiant air floors don't generate as much heat and tend to be used more in commercial projects than residential. Hydronic systems use PEX plastic tubing to pump hot water underneath the flooring.
If you're retrofitting a room with radiant heat, then your professional will have to drill holes in your existing flooring to install the plastic tubing. If you have to cut through existing flooring, then the cost to install a radiant heating system will increase. The installation for radiant heating will be the most affordable with new construction or during a remodel when floors are already ripped up.
Radiant Heating Equipment
Hydronic systems use a boiler to heat water, and then a pump to circulate that hot water through the tubing. If you go this route, the boiler and pump will increase the cost to install a radiant heating system, but will still be one of the more affordable radiant heat options. You might also need an extra water heater to supplement your radiant heating system, which will also factor into the price.
You'll want to have a thermostat that controls the radiant heating so you can have control over the temperature. This will factor into the cost to install a radiant heating system but will be crucial to the day-to-day use of the system.
Overall, the cost to install a radiant heating system will depend on if you're putting it into new construction or retrofitting, as well as the type of system you choose. Just make sure to talk to at least three professionals to ensure you find someone who you can trust.
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