Home>Discussions>INSULATION & HVAC>Retro-fit... Brrr...cold concrete kitchen floor...HELP!
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Retro-fit... Brrr...cold concrete kitchen floor...HELP!

All of our house has a crawl space, but our north facing kitchen. It was the old billiard room and it is cold. It registers 53 F right now when the rest of the room is 73 F.

Before we put in new flooring, I want some better heat. Electric floor mats are probably the easiest to install, but the most expensive to operate, RIGHT? Is there a good baseboard heater plan that would be efficient? What about retro fitting a floor with water heat since we have natural gas to heat the water?

The rest of the house is heated with a wood furnace and a back up natural gas furnace. We live in S W Missouri and we can have some brutal winters. Right now it is in the teens at noon.

MLB Construction
Re: Retro-fit... Brrr...cold concrete kitchen floor...HELP!

if your kitchen is on a slab then electric radiant is by far the easiest to install if you're putting in tile. if you want hydronic radiant heat you'll have to put a grid on your slab to hold the pex tubing and on top of that you can install tile or wood flooring. only downside is that it could raise your floor level by about 2 inches.

baseboard heating will help the room temperature but not the cold floor.

Re: Retro-fit... Brrr...cold concrete kitchen floor...HELP!

Has anyone had experience with Utility Costs of electric radiant floor mats under tile? In our 17 x 20 north facing kitchen, would our heating bill skyrocket?

Re: Retro-fit... Brrr...cold concrete kitchen floor...HELP!

Why don't you look at insulating the slab first? You can't get under it but the ground below the slab should be warmer than 53°. The heat is likely to be lost around the perimeter of the slab. The simple solution is to remove any coating on the blocks used around the perimeter and footings, cover the whole exposed perimeter and down to either the footing or the frost level with foam boards and cover with stucco. Then backfill. Do the whole perimeter, including the part that is in the crawl space.

This should allow the slab to warm up closer to the room temperature.

If you then opt for floor heating, I would recommend that you gut the kitchen, put down 1" thick foam boards, lay the pex or electric grid and then cover with a floor leveling compound or speciality cement. Then you can put down tile, vinyl, linoleum or what ever.

Without some insulation, that slab is going to be a giant heat sink. It will be very costly to heat.

Re: Retro-fit... Brrr...cold concrete kitchen floor...HELP!

I would also check the insulation in the ceiling. I'm assuming this room is an add on to the original house and probably exposed on three sides with a roof.
Any way you can get more warm air into the kitchen?
A radiant slab would certainly feel nice, but they should be insulated.

Re: Retro-fit... Brrr...cold concrete kitchen floor...HELP!

Hi, You need to remove the slab or insolate it. Wood heat works better with a hot air system back-up because the cold air can return to be reheated by the wood in the air ducts. Thanks

Re: Retro-fit... Brrr...cold concrete kitchen floor...HELP!

You can estimate the cost to operate the proposed floor mats, if you know their wattage.

Adding insulation, to the foundation and ceiling, will require a relatively higher investment, with long term break even point.

How about throwing some good quality rugs on the floor?

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