DIY Network

Health-Friendly Radiant Heat Flooring

Modern conveniences such as water heaters and kitchen ranges can be health hazards. The experts discuss healthy alternatives, specifically radiant heat flooring.

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radiant floor heating is efficient heat system

Radiant heating has actually been around for awhile, despite its growing popularity. Radiant heating can be installed in walls, ceilings and floors. Radiant heat in floors is a healthy alternative.

Radiant heat can turn floor or ceiling into a large heating panel. A grid of metal tubes or plastic-tubed mesh filled with hot water or electrical wires transfers heat without heating air. Radiant heat should be used with an inert solid flooring surface such as tile or stone. Synthetic products used in tandem with glue or resins should be avoided.

People can be comfortable at lower temperatures and utility bills are lowered (although the radiant system itself can be expensive).

It's a quiet, easily-maintained and healthier alternative: no sealing of joints, no dust blowing around and no place for allergens to collect. On the other hand, it can cause gases to rise from plywood and carpet and requires a separate ventilation and AC system. Overall, however, it's a healthy choice.

If you're tired of shoveling snow and ice from the driveway and sidewalks, an outdoor radiant heat system can melt your troubles away.

Installation Overview

Expert Rodney Blackburn gives a brief overview of how he installs a radiant heating system.

The radiant system is controlled by either an air sensing (ambient) thermostat (heats the entire room) or a floor sensing thermostat (heats floor only). To install the system to the floor, the electric radiant floor mat is hot glued to the concrete slab.

Thinset is applied over the mat, then a lightweight underlayment (ditra) is applied atop the thinset. After the thinset has dried overnight, the solid flooring can be applied.

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