What comes to mind when you hear the word "luxury?" Perhaps you think of a private plane, expensive cars or huge homes in exotic locations? When I think of luxury I tend to focus on the experience rather than the item itself. Sometimes you can have a wonderfully luxurious experience with a super soft bath towel or while enjoying a delicious meal.
Luxury doesn't have to be super expensive.
If there was one luxury upgrade I could recommend it would be radiant heat flooring. The experience of waking up on a chilly morning and stepping out of bed onto a gently warmed floor can be a little touch of heaven. For clients who are planning a bathroom or kitchen renovation, it's an easy way to overcome the biggest negative of using tile on the floor. No one likes to step onto a freezing cold floor!
Whether you have pets that sleep on the floor, kids that play on the floor or are just looking to make your home a more comfortable oasis, radiant heat flooring can be the touch of luxury you're looking for. It is an additional expense but the return on investment will pay off with reduced heating bills and the comfort of walking on a surface that hugs your feet with cozy warmth when you need it most.
Heat can be installed under many (but not all) types of flooring. The most common form of radiant heat is using low voltage electricity in a thin mesh that is installed between your sub floor or slab and your finished floor covering. If you want to have every inch of your flooring heated, there are custom mats that can be made to fit the exact dimensions of your space. If you only need specific pathways or locations heated, there are also a variety of standard size mats that can be combined to cover the necessary locations. Most of these mats can be used under engineered wood, tile, laminate and even vinyl plank floors. *Be sure to check with the flooring manufacturer to see if their warranty will allow them to be installed over radiant heat.
One of my favorite methods of heating tile floors combine the heat element with an anti-fracture membrane that help keep the surface tile from cracking if your subfloor moves or cracks. Not only can you fully customize the locations of the heating element, but the quality of the tile installation will be improved! This method is particularly helpful if your home is on a slab foundation. Temperature is controlled by a thermostat that can be set and adjusted to ensure optimal energy efficiency and comfort. You'll find that the more you use the radiant heat, the less you'll use your old forced air heater!
Pricing can range quite a bit so I recommend getting a quote from your local flooring installer.