Q.: What is the difference between radiant floor
heating and more traditional forms of heating like the most common forced
A.: A simple description: radiant floor heating is one of the
most comfortable forms of heating for almost any structure, including your home.
The steady heat is radiates upward from the floor to your body. Because
you are in constant contact with the floor, the warm comfort will travel from
your feet all the way up your entire body.
• Radiant floor heating is healthy: No dust, particles or
allergens are blown around. • Radiant floor heating is one of the most
energy efficient methods to heat a home for several reasons:
1. Radiant heating, similar to standing in the sun on a
cold winter day, warms your body and objects in your home, not just the room air
(as opposite to a forced-air furnace). This allows you to keep the room air
temperature somewhat lower, yet still feel comfortable. By keeping the indoor
air temperature lower, there is less heat lost to the outdoors through the walls
and windows. If less heat is lost outdoors, your heating system consumes less
fuel. Average of one to two percent is saved per degree of lower thermostat
2. Precise control. You are in control the floor
temperature, not the air temperature which should stay cool while you are
healthy warm from the floor up.
Q: Isn’t electric heating EXPENSIVE
A.: That’s a GREAT BIG MYTH. Unlike gas or oil, electric energy
historically has very predictable cost. Among consumer energy purchases, only
residential electric services have maintained a low rate of price increase over
the past decade. Compared to gasoline, home heating oil, natural gas, and other
petroleum-based products, residential electricity prices have remained very
Electricity is the future. It is closely related to current and
future renewable energy sources such as Solar Photovoltaic Panels or Wind
turbines. Our floors convert electric into warmth and comfort at the rate of
Q: What is the cost of running it?
A: It depends of how much you electric rate is, how much power
it will use, what the subfloor made of (wood versus cement slab), where and how
it is used (climate zone) and for how long. For example 130 s.f. of the heated
flooring (typically good enough for an average size kitchen), done with ELEKTRA
MD100/12.0/240V mat, will consume 1200Watts/hour. That’s 1.2kWh. At the current
NJ rate of 14 cents per kWh and typical 10 hours a day on the programmable
thermostat (wintertime), that’s an average 17 cents per hour or under $2/day.
Q: Our master bathroom is almost 200 sq.ft. What
type of mat or cable do we need?
A: Floor heating is only installed under open areas, not the
floor covered by vanities, cabinets, toilets, shower stalls, bathtubs,
appliances, kitchen islands, etc. Having said that, please chalk mark what
will be installed there and re-measure the net flooring area. There is a good
chance you will need much less than 200 sq.ft. of floor heating.
Q:We like the idea of
radiant floor heating and our heating contractor convinced us to look into
radiant floor heating done with tubes and hot water. Isn’t it better and cheaper
It is yet another big myth. Hydronic (water
based) systems are great, but unfortunately, often twice, three, or even
four times more expensive and complicated to install than our precise electric
system with electronic controls, with a much higher reliability than pumps,
mixing valves, and electromechanical controls. Yes, ‘hydronic’ makes a lot of
sense when planned for at the house design stage, when properly installed to at
least entire floor of the house, not to a kitchen floor here and bathroom or
entry hall floor there. Floor buildup is usually an additional issue. Our system
is only approx. 1/8” thick, perfect for retrofit, kitchen or bath remodeling,
additions, hi-rises, condos or new construction.
Q:Can this system be
used under wood or parquet floors? What is general application
A: Tiles, stone, slate or even
engineered floor covering (like Pergo®) are always great for floor heating.
Wood, on the other hand, is an insulator and ‘does not like to be heated’.
Constant heating would eventually drive out its natural moisture with
undesirable long term results. Good hardwood floor is at least ½ ” thick and
often as much as ¾” or more. That’s too much for the radiant heat to penetrate
it well and then still being able to heat the room and its occupants. Carpet
with carpet padding are also not so good for radiant floor heating, because
carpet is an insulator, thus by definition it prevents good heat transmission or
Q. Can we have it installed
between the joists of the subfloor, from underneath the floor? Our floors are
A: In general: no. We are aware of the
various radiant heating products advertised or installed from beneath the
subfloor. If the subfloor is wood, then this is a strong ‘no’. In general: not a
good idea for number of reasons, mostly having to do with poor heat conduction
thru several inches of wood, and consequently drying the wood and floor
Q. Is this system safe? A: When
installed as intended by the manufacturer, in agreement with NEC and local
electrical and building codes and regulations, it is one of the safest heating
systems available. No carbon monoxide from a faulty gas heater, no wood chopping
or chainsaw adventures, no oil spills or even oil tank or chimney inspections.
It is clean, quiet, and safe. Nothing is exposed, nothing other than the
thermostat on the wall is visible, and certainly nothing little fingers can
touch or push tiny toys into.
this good for the basement remodeling? What if there is a flood?
A: It is perfect for
basements! When installed as intended by the manufacturer, in agreement with NEC
and local electrical, building codes and regulations and GFI protection, this is
very safe and reliable basement floor heating system.
Q.: What if it breaks? How can
it be fixed under the floor covering?
It never breaks by itself, but can be
damaged during or after the installation. Yes, it can be fixed, but with great
difficulty. Therefore, proper and not DIY experimental installation is highly
recommended. Covering the mats or cables with at least a scratch coat of
thinset, self leveling concrete or underlayment right after the initial
installation, checking the resistance and electrical continuity during the
process is critical. When installed properly electric radiant floor heating will
work for many years and Winters to come.
Q.: How long does it take the
floor to heat up?
A.: It depends how thick the floor
is, the initial room temperature and what the settings of the thermostat. Our
thermostats control floor temperature, not room temperature. Typical setting for
really warm floors are 80-85°F or less, so 75-79°F should be comfortable. It can
take anywhere from 20 min. to an hour for the floor to be 70-80°F.
Q.: Can this product be used
for outdoor snow and icemelting?
Q.: Is this information
proprietary, specific to ELEKTRA products?
A.: No, it is not. While we like,
sell and install Elektra products with great success, almost everything here
will be very similar to other manufactures products and techniques except for
wood, carpets, and under subfloor installations. If interested, please refer to
detailed manufacturers recommendations and do not rely entirely on this general