If there’s one thing that floor heating is, it’s luxurious. It would be difficult to find someone who is unimpressed by the comfort of a heated floor. That’s because heated floors are known for their upscale appeal. There’s something about heat radiating upward through tile, stone or hardwood floors that produces that “wow” factor that furniture and décor just can’t replicate.
Of course heated floors are more than just an upscale heating option. They earned their “high-end” reputation because of their discreet ability to operate efficiently and effectively under nearly any flooring surface. Compared with alternative systems that boast unsightly vents or radiators in order to transmit heat, radiant floor heating is invisible and more efficient because it offers no escape route for hot air leakage. Ductwork, for instance, is prone to leakage.
Because in-floor heating is so efficient and such a luxurious way to deliver heat, many homeowners take interest in heated floors when they’re ready to replace (or install for the first time) the flooring in one of their rooms — the bathroom, in particular. However, when homeowners start shopping, they may be surprised to learn how affordable these “high-end” radiant floor heating systems are.
How Much Does Floor Heating Cost?
Radiant floor heating cost will range from $10 - $12 per square foot— or about $600 for a typical remodeling project.
This price per square foot for electric floor heating elements can go up to $20 for custom underfloor heating mats or down to $5 for large projects using floor heating cables and fixing strips. For a full 50-square-foot bathroom, an electric floor heating system can cost as little as $265. A larger master bathroom that is 120 square feet will range between $590 and $833, depending on the type of installation you select.
WarmlyYours Radiant Heating offers five different products to meet its customers’ budgets and level of expertise.
TempZone Flex Rolls: Cut-and-turn fiberglass rolls with pre-attached heating cables
Flex Rolls are 1.5 feet wide and consist of a heating cable attached to a mesh at 3" spacing, which ensures an even heat output of 15-watts per sq. ft.
These mats can be embedded (in thinset or self-leveling cement) beneath almost any flooring type and can be cut and turned during installation for ease and to accommodate the room layout.
This is our most popular product and has been for many years, largely due to the easy installation and the broad applicability of this heating system with the most commonly heated flooring types, like tile, marble, and stone.
TempZone Flex Rolls typically cost between $10 and $12 per sq. ft.
TempZone Easy Mats: Targeted floor heating mats for high-traffic areas
Easy Mats are rectangular mats designed to heat small areas such as the space in front of a vanity, shower or toilet.
These fiberglass mats also come with heating cables attached to them at a consistent 3" spacing, which means they also boast a heat output of 15-watts per sq. ft.
The advantage of these mats, besides super simple installation, is that you're only heating the areas of your floor that you need to heat most, which means lower material costs and operating costs.
For some smaller projects, two abutting Easy Mats can be used to maximize coverage but the TempZone Flex Roll will typically be a better solution as it will make the electrical connections easier later on in the installation.
TempZone Easy Mats, like Flex Rolls, typically cost between $10 and $12 per sq. ft. but the total square footage is usually much smaller than projects with full coverage.
TempZone Cable: With Prodeso Cable Installation Membrane or with Fixing Strips
The Prodeso cable membrane serves not only as a framework for holding the heating elements at proper spacing (either 3.75" or 5") for even heating (between 7-watts and 15-watts per sq. ft.), but it also functions as an uncoupling membrane. This means the membrane is able to protect fragile flooring types, like tile or stone, from both foundational movement and from cracks telegraphing from the subfloor into the flooring surface.
The combination of the cable and the membrane is a costlier option, but can often cut the installation time for radiant heating down to a single day (unlike other methods which can require time to let the embedded heating elements fully cure).
This combo typically costs between $15 and $20 per sq. ft. but this is often mitigated by the fact that it elements the need for a secondary uncoupling membrane.
A more economical option is to install the TempZone floor heating cable with fixing strips. These fixing strips are adhered to the floor on either end of the room and the cable is then strung at consistent spacing between the two anchoring lines of fixing strips. This process is more labor intensive than most, but also affords a good amount of design flexibility and is by far the most fordable option.
Typically, a project using TempZone Cable and fixing strips will cost between $5 and $15 per sq. ft., with larger projects costing less per sq. ft.
TempZone Custom Mats: Customized heating mats that perfectly fit your project
Custom Mats are delivered precut according to your room’s specs so that all you have to do is roll it out to install it. These products can also be customized in terms of the wattage per sq. ft. with a range of 12 to 15. Because they're perfectly sized to the room they're designed for, this is the easiest floor heating product to install. While there are a lot of variables that will go into pricing this product, most projects will cost between $15 and $20 per sq. ft. for a TempZone Custom Mat.
WarmlyYours makes it easy to decide which product is right for you through its Radiant Heat Cost Calculator tool.
How To Get A Quote
By accessing WarmlyYours’s Radiant Heat Cost Calculator, you can enter the type of project, how large the room is, and a few more simple details to see your recommended choices side by side. WarmlyYours will show you the cost of each heating option and what the differences are between them so that you can select the one that best fits your budget and level of installation expertise. Once you’ve made your selection, the tool will even help you pick out a thermostat and any accessories you might need to complete your project.
With the Radiant Heat Cost Calculator at your fingertips every step of the way, finding an affordable in-floor heating system couldn’t be easier. WarmlyYours also offers free SmartPlans, which are custom installation plans for electric floor heating.
Other Floor Heating Costs: Accessories, Controls, and Installation
For almost all floor heating projects, the cost of the heating elements is just one piece of the puzzle. there are several other components to keep in mind including the control for your system, applicable accessories, and installation costs.
Thermostats and Accessories: The key to energy efficiency
WarmlyYours offers a wide range of thermostats for electric floor heating systems ranging from the nSpire Touch WiFi smart thermostat to the dependable nTrust non-programmable thermostat. You should typically expect to spend between $100 and $300 on a floor heating thermostat (more if you're looking to integrate it into a home automation system). A programmable thermostat can allow you to set up a heating schedule for your floor heating system that can decrease wasteful energy use, and turn into significant savings.
Likewise, if you're install a floor heating system on top of a concrete slab subfloor, you'll want to install a thermal break underlayment like CeraZorb. This artificial cork underlayment helps prevent heat-loss and costs between $1.80 and $2.75.
Installation Costs: Labor and Materials
Obviously, the cost of a new floor heating system will also involve the costs of a new floor. Tile, the most commonly heated flooring surface, has a huge variety in costs. The tiles for a new floor will typically cost between $2 per sq. ft. at the very low end up to $25 per sq. ft. Another cost involved in tile floors is the adhesive, such as thinset or self-leveling cement. Make sure to check the installation guidelines on your floor heating system to identify how much adhesive depth will be needed for your project. Combining this with the total square footage should give you an idea of how much adhesive you'll need to purchase.
If you'd like to hire a professional to install the floor heating system beneath a flooring material, there may be a surcharge since installing floor heating typically requires a few extra steps. If you're a DIY-er, you can probably accomplish the flooring installation yourself over a weekend. However, we always recommend that a licensed electrician make the electrical connections for your floor heating system. Hiring an electrician may involve more than just their hourly cost (typically between $50 and $100 per hour), such as a travel fee and a minimum project charge. Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-875-5285 and we can provide some guidance about hiring a professional for your project.
What Are The Operating Costs?
If you want an even better understanding of how much your electric underfloor heating system will cost you on a day-to-day basis, WarmlyYours has another tool you should check out. By submitting the square footage of the heating area, the cost per kilowatt hour in your state, and how many hours a day your system will be running, the Operating Cost Calculator will show you how much you’ll spend each day on electricity in order to run your system. For example, it would cost an average of $0.09 a day to heat the 50-square-foot bathroom mentioned earlier for four hours each day. That’s less than $3 a month! For a larger 120-square-foot bathroom, it would cost about $0.22 a day, which is less than $7 a month.
Test out the Operating Cost Calculator yourself.
How does the energy use of electric floor heating compare to other appliances?
To really get an idea of just how energy efficient electric floor heating is, it helps to compare the energy use of an electric floor heating system to other household appliances. For example, if you used a 1500-watt portable electric heater for 8 hours a day to add supplemental heat to your home, you’re going to see a sizable $43.80 increase in your electric bill (assuming a kWh cost about 12 cents). By contrast, an electric floor heating system can be ran in a 35 sq. ft. bathroom for about $6.60 per month. Even if you ran that system 24/7 in the bathroom, it would only cost $19.80 per month. For more information on energy efficiency and floor heating, check out this post.
Curious about how much it would cost to heat your project? Get started with a free, instant floor heating quote here.