In today’s ever-evolving world of practical, lifestyle enhancing, and environmentally friendly improvements to our homes. One of the best examples of money well spent is a radiant floor heating system.
Users of these systems all agree that those toasty warm floors are a welcomed change to their home life, and the lower utility bills are awesome!
So, let’s look at the best radiant floor heater systems and find the one that is best for you
A traditional radiator needs to heat up to somewhere between 150 – 170 degrees Fahrenheit to heat a room properly. A radiant floor heating system uses much less energy. This is because it can heat a room by heating the floor to 84 degrees Fahrenheit (or less, depending on the floor finish.)
There are two types of radiant heat systems that are installed in floors. One relies on forced hot water, and the other on wires that heat up floors.
We are not big fans of the forced hot water systems because of cost, the difficulty of installation, and the increased floor thickness required (making the room smaller). But, most of all, because we will be wondering when it will finally spring a leak and create a nightmare of a problem.
Therefore, we will be looking at 120 Volt and 240 Volt radiant heat systems, which are very DIY and professional grade friendly.
- Are You Living Like Goldilocks?
- How Much Can We Save On Heating Bills With Radiant Floor Heat?
- Would You Like A Bigger House?
- Have Allergies? Keep Reading!
- Can A Radiant Heated Floor Make Your Vehicle Last Longer And Be More Fun To Drive?
- Top 3 Best Radiant Floor Heaters To Afford In 2020 Reviews
- What is the Best Radiant Floor Heating System?
Are You Living Like Goldilocks?
Remember Goldilocks eating the porridge? One bowl was too cold. One bowl was too hot. Finally, she found one that was just right.
That is what living with traditional radiators is like. You sit close to them, and they are too hot. The heat is going straight up the walls, so the room then has spots that are too cold. With luck, maybe you can find a place in the room that is just right.
In the world of radiant heated floors, the entire space is just right! The room is uniformly heated, is not stuffy, and does not have cold spots. In addition, if you have kids who play on the floor, or pets, they will think they are in heaven sitting on a warm as toast floor.
How Much Can We Save On Heating Bills With Radiant Floor Heat?
Although there is no hard and fast rule in terms of savings, and too many variables to factor in. The majority of users report that a radiant floor heat system will reduce energy bills by about 15 percent.
Would You Like A Bigger House?
Best Radiant Floor Heater systems eliminate hot radiators, heat ducts, and floor vents.
Radiators, central heat, heating vents, all require open areas to work properly. Interior design becomes a delight when homeowners can put their furniture where they want it, without having to work around the location of heating systems. Users report that they feel their homes seem larger because they get to use the entire space without working around heating elements.
Think of all the systems, piping, HVAC vents, boilers, radiators, and other heating components that new home builders can eliminate by going with radiant heating systems right from the start!
Zone heating is a winning strategy
The best radiant floor heaters are absolutely the best tool for a zone heating strategy. Each room can be programmed to different temperatures and times, and all the heat goes exactly where you need it.
Programmable systems allow for heat only in rooms that will be used, and only when they are needed. This results in meaningful energy savings in the long run. And over time, covers the cost of installing a radiant heated floor.
Dust free and easy to keep clean…
We write these reviews from our office, and it is a delight to control the temperature in just one room, instead of having to heat the entire building to keep warm. That is a huge saving on utility bills, and the office remains dust free and easy to keep clean.
Some radiant heated floor solutions include computerized monitors. These allow users to tell the system what time they want a floor a certain temperature, and the device will calculate the appropriate start time! How cool (warm?) is that?
Have Allergies? Keep Reading!
Homes that rely on conventional convection heating sources all suffer from the same heating cycle.
Super-hot hair from a radiator goes up the wall and creates a hot cloud of air close to the ceiling. It then cools and settles into our living spaces. More hot air is added to the room, creating a recurring cycle of rising hot air, going in a continuous circle.
This cycle creates a perfect scenario to keep dust, allergens, and dust mites airborne and active.
Best Radiant Floor Heaters operate at much lower temperatures. And since they heat “from the bottom up.” They do not create the same too hot, too cold, too hot, too cold cycle that ends up creating a very dusty and uncomfortable environment.
Can A Radiant Heated Floor Make Your Vehicle Last Longer And Be More Fun To Drive?
Folks who are fans of our reviews know we sometimes have interesting angles others never write about. Here is a good example from personal experience.
We had our “dream car,” and it was an investment we needed to take care of. Many people do not know that the cold start on a motor creates more wear and tear than driving at highway speeds!
In the frigid winter conditions, oil, and other fluids in your vehicle become very thick and sluggish. This means that when you start your car and drive away, the engine is not properly lubricated and metal on metal wear is taking place.
A wonderful solution to this problem is to heat the engine and vehicle from the bottom up. By using a radiant heated floor in the garage. Installing a radiant heated floor under the parking space, and programming it to start in the morning before you drive to work will result in longer engine life. Oh! And did we mention you get to drive to work in a warm car?
Top 3 Best Radiant Floor Heaters To Afford In 2020 Reviews
1 SunTouch WarmWire (120V) Floor Heat Kit
What we have here is a collection of the raw materials required in most radiant heat floor systems. The kit includes a spool of heating cable, a hold down system, a color touchscreen programmable display, and a “Loudmouth” installation tool.
Other systems integrate the heating cable into a flexible mat. This is a spool of wire users lay down and properly space out. This may seem like extra work when compared to the integrated mat systems. But really is a feature that is much appreciated in complex layouts with obstacles and built-in items to work around.
Don’t make mistakes…
It is critical to install underfloor heating cable without damaging it, since it will be totally inaccessible after being coated in concrete. Therefore, it is critical to constantly be alert and not make mistakes.
This is where the “Loudmouth” alarm comes into play. It is a continuity sensor that will instantly initiate a loud alarm if a wire is damaged or broken. This is a big help during installs since it offers peace of mind that no errors are taking place.
One of the features we love about the best Radiant Floor Heater systems is their ability to target zones and heat them strategically. The SunTouch WarmWire system includes a forward-thinking high-resolution color touchscreen display that allows for a seven-day programming schedule.
It senses both floor and air temperature and uses that information to do all the thinking for users. Homeowners choose the desired temperature at specific times, and the “SmartStart Technology” calculates the time needed to reach those parameters.
In plain English…
We tell the system we want the bathroom floor to be 80 degrees Fahrenheit at 7:00 AM Monday through Friday, and 75 degrees at 9:00 AM Saturday and Sunday. The system does the calculations and “knows” when to start up and hit those numbers.
We also respect the manufacturer for integrating a monitor log to keep track of energy consumption.
Electric Radiant Floor Heat Heating System with Aube Digital Floor Sensing Thermostat
This system comes in many sizes, so here are three of our favorites.
These products are manufactured in the USA, listed with Underwriters Laboratory (UL), and come with an impressive 25-year warranty.
The mat system is very thin, with a self-adhesive backing, which is a highly desirable trait to ensure minimum floor thickness. Each system incorporates a very high quality twisted pair heating cable (Twisted pair eliminates EMF.)
Quality all the way…
In the world of instrumentation and controls, it is hard to compete with the quality of Honeywell. And that is who provides the Aube Digital Floor Sensing Thermostat integrated system.
The easy to use backlit thermostat system is 7 day programmable. And we like the fact this best Radiant Floor Heater supports both Fahrenheit and Centigrade configuration.
Like other high-quality systems, the company includes a device to monitor the wires for continuity during installation. And it will issue a loud alarm if you damage any of the heating wires during installation.
20 Sqft Mat, Electric Radiant Floor Heat Heating System With Aube Digital Floor Sensing Thermostat
20 inches wide, and 12 feet long (20 square feet). It operates at 120 Volts, 2.0 Amps, and 240 Watts.
25 Sqft Mat, Warming Systems 120 V Electric Tile Radiant Floor Heating Mat With Programmable Thermostat
20 inches wide, and 15 feet long (25 square feet) that incorporates a very high quality twisted pair heating cable (Twisted pair eliminates EMF). It operates at 120 Volts, 2.5 Amps, and 300 Watts.
40 sqft Mat Kit, 120V Electric Radiant Floor Heat Heating System W/ Aube Programmable Floor Sensing Thermostat
This product is manufactured in the USA, listed with Underwriters Laboratory (UL), and comes with an impressive 25-year warranty.
20 inches wide, and 24.4 feet long (40 square feet). It operates at 120 Volts, 4.0 Amps, and 480 Watts.
50 Sqft Cable Set, Electric Radiant Floor Heat Heating System With Aube Digital Floor Sensing Thermostat
This is a very high-quality spool (200 feet) of heating cable that can cover 50 square feet when set to the manufacturer recommended spacing of 3 inches. It is made in the USA, and listed with Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
The wire is a very high quality twisted pair heating cable (Twisted pair eliminates EMF.)
Best for complicated floor layouts…
This system is best to use when there are complicated floor layouts and obstacles to work around. And is delivered with a pack of 12-inch cable guides. These can be attached to the subfloor. And are perfect for controlling cable tension and the radius of the turns in the wire.
It operates at 120 Volts, 5.0 Amps, 600 Watts, and this system must be embedded in a polymer modified cement based mortar.
Hard to compete…
In the world of instrumentation and controls, it is hard to compete with the quality of Honeywell, and they provide the Aube Digital Floor Sensing Thermostat integrated system. The easy to use backlit thermostat system is seven day programmable, and it supports both Fahrenheit and Centigrade configuration.
Like other high-quality systems, the company includes a device to monitor the wires for continuity during installation. And it has a loud alarm if the heating wires are damaged when installing.
2 Nuheat Standard Mat Floor Heating System 120 V
The Nuheat system is an ultra-thin mat system that is ideal for fast installation under tile floors in rooms that are square or rectangular. And without a need to work around obstacles or irregular shapes. And installation only requires a thinset coating, then the Nuheat mat, and it is ready for installing the flooring immediately.
The mat and wiring are so thin, and it really does not change the thickness of the finished floor in any meaningful way. And it is a good choice for the DIY crowd, or professionals looking for a really fast and easy installation.
What a great company…
Users of this best Radiant Floor Heater system will be pleasantly surprised by how supportive and interactive the company is, and willing to walk installers through the complete process. If users interface with the company responsibly, Nuheat is happy to honor a 25-year warranty.
There is a very wide size choice (60 different standard sizes), and it is available in both 120 Volt and 240 Volt formats.
There is, however, a need to purchase heating sensors and programmable thermostats separately.
Here is a different size to consider
Pentair F1509 Floor Heating Mat 120 Volt 1.5 Amp 180 Watt 60 Inch x 36 Inch Nuheat
3 QuietWarmth QWARM3X10F120 30 Sqft Electric Floor System
We included this product because we feel this is an important niche in the world of home improvement that more and more people are interested in. While floating floors have always been popular in Europe. Americans are now adopting them because of the increase in quality and ease of installation.
This 3 foot wide, ten foot long (30 square feet) mat designed floor heating product is suitable for All Floating Floors, Laminate Flooring, Engineered Wood Flooring, Cork and Bamboo, Floating Tiles, and Luxury Vinyl Flooring (4mm or thicker.)
The company makes a lot of sizes, so keep reading…
The radiant floor-heating mat is paper thin due to advanced, highly efficient conductive ink technology. It is designed to operate at a maximum temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Homeowners will enjoy warm floors at a small fraction of the cost of other systems. Since the QuietWarmth Electric Floor System only needs 12 watts per square foot to operate.
Child’s play to install…
One of the frustrating drawbacks to most radiant floor heating systems is that they cannot be cut and still operate. This system can be cut to the required length (but cannot be reduced in width) which makes it child’s play to layout and install.
In our introduction to this review, we talked about the fact that traditional heating systems have hot and cold spots in the room. We believe this system is a wonderful addition to any room, and particularly one with small children. Since it delivers safe, even heat and the acoustic/insulating underlayment really holds down the noise.
A “no brainer”…
For the DIY crowd, this is simply a “no brainer” if you are going to redo a room. It is almost laughably easy to install. There are four steps. Install the underlay, roll out the radiant heat film, hook the wires together, and install the final floor covering. Weekend DIY warriors of the world rejoice!
15.0 sq. ft, 120V Ceramic & Stone Tile Electric In-Floor Heating Mat – ThermoTile TT10-120 – Other Sizes Available
Here is another example of a fiberglass mesh mat system with high-quality Zero Electromagnetic Field wiring. It is very narrow (15 inches) and 10 feet long, so very adaptable to complex configurations.
The 120 Volt version uses 180 watts. And is capable of being joined together to service up to 200 square feet. Larger rooms require the 240 Volt products.
The programmable thermoset and lead wires are sold separately.