If you are planning to have a fully finished basement in your new custom home you should put some thought into putting radiant In-floor heat in the basement concrete floor.
Radiant in-floor heat is a wonderful way to turn a cold basement into a warm and cozy liveable space.
What is Radiant in-floor heat?
Radiant in-floor heat is a heating system that is installed in the concrete of your basement floor before the concrete is installed. Pipes are attached to wire mesh that sits on top of sheets of polystyrene insulation and plastic vapour barrier. The pipes are run to a central place where they are hooked to a manifold.
Once the concrete is installed you hook the manifold up to the heat source, the heat source is usually a boiler that heats water and then circulates the water through the piping in the concrete floor. The concrete is warmed by the super heated water, the concrete as a thermal mass once warm stays warm for prolonged periods of time. The concrete floor absorbs the heat from the lines and then radiates the heat up and out, this pushes heat from the floor to the ceiling continuously over time, this means that you are always feeling warm air rise past you while the heated floor is in use.
Having warm concrete floors means that you don’t have to put carpet in the basement; you can have tile or hardwood. We actually recommend that you don’t install carpet over in-floor radiant heat because it can block the heat from the floor. The best material to install on top of radiant in-floor is engineered hardwood flooring. The reason for this is that engineered hardwood will stand up to any dampness in your basement while still allowing the heat from the in-floor to pass through it and warm the air in the basement. If you don’t want hardwood you can install ceramic tile or natural stone, it will warm up nicely but if you ever turn the in-floor off then the tile or stone becomes very cold and can be hard on the lower body when walking around on it.
What heating system do you need?
The heating system that you will require is what we call a flash-boiler. You can use conventional boilers as well but they aren’t as efficient.
These boilers can run on natural gas, propane, electricity or they can be hooked up to work with your geo-thermal units if you live out in the country.
So when thinking about what you plan to do with your basement if it’s more than storing boxes look into some radiant in-floor heat. It can turn your basement into a warm, livable and cozy part of your home.
Village Builders Inc.