Wood flooring & radiant heat installation rec’s and questions
We are looking to replace carpeting with wood flooring in two small offices in our built out basement. I want to add hydronic radiant floor heating because we won’t have the warmth from the carpet to offset the freezing concrete. It also gets cold downstairs, so I was hoping the radiant heating would help offset the overall chill. My questions: does anyone have a recommendation for a floor guy or gal with radiant heating experience? Does anyone have radiant heating and have an opinion on whether this makes sense (we will probably do the same thing to the large family room if the smaller rooms work out well)? Any other thoughts or considerations? Thanks!
Feb 13, 2023
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I grew up in an Eichler with radient heating and absolutely hate it. It takes forever to heat up and cool down. If there's an issue with it you have to rip up your floors. If you have a functioning HVAC system I wouldn't mess with it. Invest in cozy, warm slippers instead. However, my experience is with a system installed in the 60s, newer systems might work better.
We have radiant heating and I wouldn't say that it makes the floors noticibly warm. It is just a different way to heat the space (as opposed to blowing hot air around, etc). If what you really want is a warm floor, then you'll need good insulation below and thick rugs will help regardless of the heat source. We like our radiant floors but it was (at the time) more of an environmental decision than a comfort one. However, now that heat pumps are on the market it's important to note that we're still a few years out from having a really usable heat pump for radiant flooring so you will be using a gas boiler which is considerably less sustainable.
I recently visits Carmel Valley Manor that has radiant heat in some floors in bathrooms, noticeably warm for your feet, and you can set the temperature and time of day it goes on. It was pretty nice, and I would guess they'd let you know what company/product they used.