Heated Flooring: Warm Your Wisconsin Toes


This spring could go on record as the longest non-spring we’ve ever seen, or so it feels. As you might have noticed, the hardiness and patience of even Midwesterners can wear thin with time! Never fear. It can’t go on forever! Once the temps get fully out of the frigid woods, we always see an uptick in calls for remodeling. People start thinking about deck additions and exterior repairs. We love it! But before you let your thoughts fly outside entirely, we want you to reflect on what last winter thought—how blasted cold your feet were in the mornings these past many months!

Have you ever considered having radiant floor heating installed in your home? It’s a trend that’s gaining popularity every year, but the concept has been in use for centuries. Of course, adding radiant heat underfoot is a little more expensive than buying fluffy slippers, toe socks, and area rugs. Yet you might be surprised that this luxury addition doesn’t carry a luxury price tag. Especially if you focus on the one or two rooms where people want heated floors most—the bathroom and kitchen—it’s a relatively affordable addition. An electrician and tile installer make it happen pretty quickly, too.

Wonder how big of a difference a heated floor could make for you? Well, radiant floor heating is surprisingly potent, reaching up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. And floors retain heat for quite some time even after you turn the heater off. By the way, you wouldn’t want to use radiant floor heating for a substantial amount of square footage, because the energy bill could get prohibitively expensive. (Hydronic systems are the better fit in these situations, and are a whole other ball of wax.)

What radiant floor heating doesn’t do is significantly up the room temperature. It’s for comfort to your feet, not the rest of your body. Also, this heating is most effective under tile. Wood and carpet make it harder for the heat to reach the surface.

So, go on, go forth into the spring—what’s left of it—just don’t forget the winter will be back for you and your toes come autumn. Your feet will thank you if you prep for it with heated flooring. And wouldn’t it be great to toss out the rugs and see more of your beautiful tile anyway?