The great thing about carpets is that they are warm under the feet when the weather is cold. I love hardwood floors but the only drawback to surfaces like woods and laminates is that they retain the cold during those winter months. However, there is a solution, and one that not only eliminates this problem altogether but makes your surface a joy to walk upon. What am I talking about? Electric underfloor heating for homes! It’s simply the perfect solution to chilly floors.
Back in the early 1990's I used to teach English business presentations in Thailand and many of my students were Japanese professionals working in the Kingdom. One guy who I befriended, a Mr. Yoshihiro Goto, invited me over to his home on the outskirts of Tokyo to meet his family during one of his leave periods.
I jumped at the chance as I'd never been to the Far East before, although it was on my list of places to visit someday. It was in this charming little home that I first got acquainted with electric underfloor heating, and I've go to tell you it's a wonderful concept. Even when the air around you is nippy, it's still a lovely comfortable feeling to have warmed floors under the feet.
About 18 months later I returned to the USA as my contract in Thailand was up. It was strange to feel the nippy air of an approaching winter again because the only cold I ever felt in South East Asia was from air conditioning. It was always hot in Bangkok, and after being warm for so long, it was a just horrible thought knowing I would soon be feeling the bitter cold of an American winter again.
We have central heating systems indoors of course, but even so, the floors in my house which are not carpeted always felt freezing under the feet no matter how warm the room was. This was just awful, especially first thing in the morning, and the thought or walking around our beautiful hardwood and tiled rooms without carpet slippers was just unthinkable. This got me thinking back to the electric underfloor heating experience in Japan and so I decided to look into the potential of getting this in the US.
I began by doing a search online for electric underfloor heating, but not knowing anyone that had it in the United States, I wasn't really anticipating finding anything or anyone locally who could arrange this. Was I in for a surprise! I found a stack of info and what's more there were suppliers and fitters right on my doorstep. In fact, the installation of electric underfloor heating was a lot easier to install that I ever thought possible and some kits actually came in Do It Yourself (DIY) packs. Another bonus was the cost. I just assumed that this would be a pricy addition to home heating, but once again I got a pleasant surprise.
The surprises weren't over yet. One company told me that their electric underfloor heating was so effective that I would find little or no use to have radiators working at the same time meaning it works as your primary source of room heating. I also discovered that there are 3 main types of underfloor heating which are as follows: Electric, Hydronic, and forced air. I'll not go into the nitty-gritty of the various types here, but you will find specific details on all of them with an online search and soon ascertain which type of Electric underfloor heating is best suited for you home.
Our first installation will be completed soon, and for once I'm actually ooking forward to the winter just so I can try it all out.
Andy Maingam writes articles for the website Floors for folks dot com where he has works on The beauty of Marble Floor Tiles and Harwood Floors . He also has other pieces related to floor coverings and treatments.