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Floor heating,what do you think about it?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Le Basseur, Mar 9, 2006.


  1. Le Basseur

    Le Basseur

    Mar 26, 2002
    Croatia
    Hi all,
    I'm planning a major workout on my house.Amongst the other jobs,I thought about changing the (although VERY old) heating system with a newer one.Since it's a home and not an apartment building,I'll have an independent heating system working on methan gas.Regarding the heater elements,there are two options:
    1.Stay with the "traditional" metallic heat radiators,placed under each window,or
    2.Get a floor heating system (water-based,not electrical).
    Personally,I'd incline for the second solution,but I'd want what you guys think about it.
    Do you have it in your homes?If yes,are you satisfied?
    Is there a major drawback as compared to the old radiator system?
    If some of you made recently the conversion from radiators to floor heating,is it true that it brings down the energy bill?
    And,finally,is there any health issue (feet illnesses,etc) related to floor heating?
    Thanks for any input!
    Regards,
     
  2. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Cats like it
     
  3. Tsal

    Tsal

    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Floor heating is excellent for bathrooms. Not only is it nicer to prance around with bare feet on warm tiles, it also makes the floor dry out, minimizing moisture creeping inside the structures. Unless, of course, you burst a water heating pipe.

    For normal rooms, I have no option, except that floor heating might make it easier to feel draft from windows and that hot floors might feel odd to people - at least around here where you take your shoes off at the entrance.
     
  4. canopener

    canopener

    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    This is a very efficient way of heating your home if it's insulated well. My father has been looking at selling my parents' current home and building an 'earth-covered' home. This would be heated by the way you mentioned.
     
  5. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    The major downside to these systems is that, in the unlikely event that is breaks or leaks you have to tear up the floor to fix it. That could become very expensive. You need to make sure ALL of your subs are well versed in that type of flooring.

    These systems are pretty bullet-proof, so repairs are probably a long way off. Just something to think about.
     
  6. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    I did it in my house, and we love it. We put it in the kitchen, the living room, our bedrooms, and the bathrooms.

    The major drawback I can come up with is leak problems. You could be in real trouble if something cracks or breaks.

    The house we are in now has had the floor heat since we moved in, so I have no point of reference to compare the bill to.

    -Mike
     
  7. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    As a genral contractor...
    In floor heat is the best kind of heat there is. no drafts, steady heat in the home. The floor is warm to the touch. no dust from forced air...
    As for leaks. thats a thing of the past, the way we do it here in Minnesota is with one plastic type pipe, the name is Worsbo or something like that. To heat a home of 2,000 square feet here is about $200 a month, that also includes you hot water you use in the home. They both work off the same water heaters.

    You can also lower the bill more if you get two water heaters and use electric. then run on "off peak" from the electric company....

    I should say the style I'm talking about is placed in concrete....
     
  8. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    There you have it. Facts right from a professional. Add bill h to the long list of TB professionals. Perhaps we can have home remodeling Q&A with bill every Sunday morning. :D

    -Mike
     
  9. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    In floor heating is not bad. It generates heat where the cold air usually sits, so it generally feels better. The only thing I could take issue with is furniture obstructing the heat pathways, and also the bad transfer of heat into carpeted areas. It definitely would be a better option for prevention of circulating allergens, but warm water (if the system ever broke) in carpet and wood spells nothing but disaster. But, if you have a basement or crawlspace with exposed access to the underside of the upper floor, this sytem would be relatively easy to work on.

    With the radiator system, you have some of the same benefits of the other system. You don't have forced air heat, so less circulation of allergens. To me, I always likes boiler/radiator systems. If it is a newer system with baseboard style radiators rather than the old, big radiators, it's even better. Either system will probably need a zone valve system so you can keep the rooms at different teperatures more easily. With a boiler system, this is really quite easy.

    So, take from that what you will. Let us know how it goes!
     
  10. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    My neighbor is a plumber who just put it in his own house, and like has been said before, it is GREAT!!! I'd say the only downside is the cost of materials and installation (it can get expensive for the manifolds and solenoid switches needed to break up your house into several "zones", and the install process is a bit labor intensive...) Other that that, it's comfortable, even heat that you don't notice at all.

    His system isn't in concrete, there are heat transfer plates that are attached to your subfloor from the basement, which have a chanel in them that PVC hose is run through to the manifolds which direct the water to the rooms of the house that request heat. You will want to get a better hot water heater since it will be heating both your shower water and your house, but it's just one piece compared to having a water heater AND a furnace.
     
  11. I can't imagine that natural gas is all that cheap in Europe (it's heinously expensive here in the States, and we've got way more energy resources than y'all do) so anything that helps you save on gas bills will pay for itself in the long run. Floor heating is much more efficient than radiators and delivers better results.
     
  12. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    You can also get drywall with heater elements in it so you can have warm walls. We've used it a few times in hotels.

    -Mike
     
  13. That'd be electrical, right? I'd imagine that doing liquid heating in drywall would be a bit tricky. :eek:
     
  14. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Yeah. Water and drywall don't go well together. :D

    -Mike
     
  15. Well, you could run pipes attached to the back of it or something, but that just seems...uh...silly.
     
  16. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts

    Yea, I remember about 20 years ago a place opened up near here that was selling radiant heat artwork. You basically plugged it in the wall and hung it and it was a radiant heat element like the drywall stuff. Never took off tho, artwork tastes change too fast.
     
  17. Le Basseur

    Le Basseur

    Mar 26, 2002
    Croatia
    Hey,
    Thanks a lot to everybody!:hyper:
    Alot of useful infos here and alot of simple,pertinent argumentations that'll surely matter when my architect comes for details!
    I didn't see,though,ANY remark or comment about some possible health issues:no one ever heard about such?No one sued nobody for,say,agravating feet health problems due to a floor heating system?
    Just keep them coming,guys!
    Thanks,
     
  18. jkritchey

    jkritchey

    Jul 23, 2002
    Northern Va.
    My grandmother had it in her home in Levittown, Pa. I kind of liked it, but among the extended family, the general memory of it was more negative. And it just came down to this: Hot sweaty feet while doing something innocuous like watching TV. Everybody liked the bathroom aspect of it(Warm Tiles), but when you're just sitting around (and what else is there to do when Grandma lives in an 800 sq. Ft Levittowner?) you don't need your feet getting all sweaty....

    Of Course, Grandma kept it a little warm....:smug:
     
  19. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    What about central heating with the pipes running right under the floor? We have it in the bathroom and it's great. You have the radiator but also a nice warm floor.
     
  20. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Yeah, that's not going to work. The sheetrock we used had a fine wire thin element running through it.

    -Mike