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Electric mat radiant floor heating?

I'm planning a kitchen remodel and I'm considering putting in the electric mat radiant floor heat under a laminate floor.
Anyone out there had experience (good or bad) with this application?
Concerns I have revolve around the durability in a high traffic area like a kitchen and whether the flooring warranty would be affected in such an installation.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Re: Electric mat radiant floor heating?


I don't have any direct experience in installing electric radiant, but I have been doing research recently as to how it compares to hydronic radiant, with which I have more experience.

If you happen to have hot water heat now, it may be much more economical to extend the HW system. which can be easily modified to include a radiant zone for the kitchen.

The sites below discuss the issues connected with the 2 different systems & offer some recommendations.

Both types of radiant have seen increased sales recently; electric radiant seems to have the advantages of a quicker response time to heat the floor of 30-60 minutes, wheras hydronic can take several hours.

Google "radiant floor heat" hydronic electric to access further sites.

Have you consulted your local Yellow Pages under "Heating Contractors" & gotten any estimates for your proposed system?


Re: Electric mat radiant floor heating?

Our house has forced air heat. I'm considering heating the floor because our kitchen is always so cold in the winter (Western NY). When I gut the walls, I hope to find the location of the infiltration of the cold air and perhaps the radiant floor heating won't be necessary, but I want to have that in my pocket in case.
Thanks for the links!

Re: Electric mat radiant floor heating?


Yes, I think you're following the right path on this by concentrating on insulation of the exterior walls & perhaps even the under floor joists of the kitchen floor.

If you decide not to gut (gutting would allow you to install R19 fiberglass blanket), there is an excellent commercial insulation service that blows in cellulose from the outside after removing a small piece of exterior siding here & there; the entire procedure is done within 1 day.

This is a low-cost service that I recently had done on my house.

I was astounded at the improvement in fuel costs, and the way it tightened up previously drafty walls; they are listed in the Yellow Pages under "Insulation".

I would also strongly encourage you to first try to work with your forced hot air system before making a decision on floor radiant.

You should be able to get more ducting and additional registers (if needed) into the kitchen to get more hot air in there.

This may very well eliminate the need for the radiant option altogether.

Why not consult the yellow pages under "Heating Contractors" to have one or two technicians do a free evaluation of what's going on with insufficient heat for the kitchen.

A decent contractor will be able to calculate how much hot air is coming into the room, and if it's sufficient to keep the room warm (it clearly isn't at this point); next they do a heat loss calculation for the room to see how much of a mismatch exists.

Additional insulation is the first step taken in reducing the mismatch; the 2nd step is to increase hot air influx.

I have posted HLC's in the other posts listed in this section if you want to do your own calculations.

It may simply be an imbalance in the warm airflow inside the main ducts.

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