Keep Your Feet Warm With A Heated Ceramic Tile Floor

Imagine heading for the bathroom on a frigid Canadian night and feeling warm ceramic tiles beneath your feet. Radiant floor heating is becoming a popular option for customers when the time comes to install new ceramic flooring. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional tile flooring contractor, it is becoming increasing less expensive as its popularity grows.

What kinds of heated flooring systems are available?

There are two types of heating systems available for ceramic flooring:

  1. Radiant electric heat. This method works the same way as an electric blanket. Electricity is passed through a heating element that is installed until your ceramic flooring.
  2. Hydronic heating. Heated water passes under your ceramic flooring through a plastic tubing system.

Radiant heating systems are more practical for heating a single room, such as a bathroom. They are by far the more popular option. Hydronic systems may be more economical over time, but because of their relative complexity, they are better suited for multiple room or whole house use, and most easily installed and cost efficient when added as an option in new home construction.

How is electric radiant heating installed ?

Radiant heating is installed by placing mesh mats woven with electric wire heating elements between layers of thin-set mortar, which is used in ceramic tile installation as a base layer. The heating element is very thin, so there is no discernible difference in floor height.

Although it is relatively simple to install, you may want to consult an electrician if you intend to install it yourself. You will need a dedicated twenty amp electric line from your circuit box for the heating system, along with a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor) unit. The GFCI unit protects users from electric shock in wet places such as bathrooms. A thermostat will also need to be installed.

How does heated flooring work?

Ceramic flooring, like that available from Plaza Ontario Marble & Tile Inc, is the perfect material for heating flooring, because it is an excellent conductor of heat. The heating elements take about thirty minutes to warm sufficiently for the heat to transfer to the tiles. Because the thermostat can be programmed, you can set it to begin warming at least thirty minutes before you normally get up in the morning, or set it at a constant temperature. This is an economical way to increase the heat in only your bathroom instead of the entire house. Ceramic floor tiles retain heat well, and water on the tiles evaporates more quickly. 

If the economical benefits don't sway you in the direction of radiant floor heating, think of your cold feet touching those warm tiles on a cold winter morning.