In-floor heating is nothing new – the ancient Romans used radiant floor heating for their bathhouses and Koreans have heated their palaces and homes in this manner for centuries. With the most recent, advanced technology, a properly maintained floor heating system can endure a life span of up to 40 years, and the use of durable pipes called PEX can last you more than 50 years. Coleman Heating offers Greater Vancouver homeowners with professional installation services using the highest quality materials for your in-floor heating needs.
What is in-floor heating?
Hydronic radiant in-floor heating heats your home by applying heat underneath or within the floor, warming your floor and increasing your heat supply through an object, rather than through air temperature. Pipes are laid within your floor to move hot water through each area of your home, delivering heat through the floor. Using a “closed-loop system”, the used water returns to the heat source and is reheated before passing through the pipes again. Your heat source can be a boiler, heat pump, solar energy or hot water heater – this is determined by pipe spacing, water temperature, flow rate and floor covering, and must be correctly calculated to adjust to your home’s specific heat loss and gain demands.
One of our experienced specialists will design your floor heating system by first calculating a heating-load estimate of your home based on each room. With the proper design in place, we will ensure the most efficient heating system and accommodate the insulation requirements for each room. You will also be given a copy of the design so that you know where the piping and tubing are located within your floor.
We offer three different types of installation for your in-floor heating
- Slab-on-grade – this type of system usually uses cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) tubing attached to a wire mesh or clipped onto a firm Styrofoam insulation. We pour concrete over the tubing at the ground “grade” level. The slab should be insulated from the exterior side of the floor all the way to the slab edges.
- Thin Slab – this type of system sees the tubing fastened above the subfloor and covered with lightweight concrete or self-leveling gypsum cement underlayment. The floor thickness ranges from 3.2 to 3.8 cm (1.25 to 1.5 in). Another option for a thin slab system involves sandwiching the tubing between the finished floor and subfloor, raising the floor by only 1.3 cm (1/2 in).
- Dry or Plate – this type of system involves the attachment of tubing to the underside of the subfloor. Improved performance is achieved with the attachment of well-insulated tubing to well-insulated aluminum transfer plates.
Is in-floor heating right for my home?
In-floor heating can easily be designed and installed in new homes, but you can also add it to an existing home as long as your home meets the following requirements:
- Your building structure can support the extra weight of the concrete or cement over pour
- The underside of your subfloor can be accessed
- There is enough height for a concrete overpour above the insulation (when being added to the basement)
You can also choose to install your in-floor heating throughout the entire house or only in selected rooms. The most popular rooms are the areas you spend the most time in: your kitchen, your living room, and/or your bathroom. If you do opt for partial installation, a separate heating and ventilation system would need to be installed to heat the rest of the home.
Your in-floor heating can also be zoned to provide individual temperature controls for each area.
The best surfaces for conducting heat by floor heating are exposed surfaces, such as finished concrete or ceramic tile. If you make any changes in your flooring after your in-floor heating system is installed, be sure to contact your contractor to make the appropriate adjustments.
I want heated floors!
Our specialists at Coleman Heating provide you with the most professional and comprehensive design and installation for your in-floor heating system. Call us at 604.466.5895 and speak with one of our expert representatives today, or fill out our online contact form!