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Are Heated Floors Worth the Investment?

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4 Jul, 2023


Heated floors, also known as underfloor heating or radiant heat, provide a comfortable and luxurious feel to any room, from below the floor surface rather than through traditional radiators or air conditioning systems. 

They can be installed in any room of your home – from bedrooms and bathrooms to kitchens and living rooms – providing an even temperature throughout the space with minimal noise or disruption. HCW heated floor systems work with various types of flooring, including hardwood, engineered flooring, vinyl and ceramic.

Comfort does come at a cost, so is it worthwhile to invest in heated floors? This post will go over their specifications as well as the installation and maintenance costs. You'll have all the insights you need by the end to decide whether heated floors are worth the cost for your house or business.


What exactly is a heating floor system?

Underfloor heating is a system in which electrical cables or hot water pipes are laid under the floor to generate warmth. The energy then radiates upward, evenly heating the room from the ground up. Because there are no bulky radiators or vents to take up valuable space, it’s an efficient way to heat any room.

Because the heating element is located beneath the floor, hot air cannot escape before warming your space. It's an efficient alternative to central heating and a good choice for people suffering from allergies.

Electric and hydronic heated floors

Electric heated floors are the most popular and commonly used systems. They consist of heated wires that are laid underneath a flooring surface, such as carpet, tile, or wood. The cables are connected to a thermostat, which allows you to control the temperature.

Hydronic heated floors use hot water or a glycol mixture circulating through pipes under your flooring. The energy from the liquid radiates through the floor and warms up your room. Hydronic is more energy-efficient than electric heated floors, but it also requires more labor and skill to install correctly. HCW's product stands out since its pre-assembled kit allows homeowners to easily install their heating system on their own, saving a significant amount of money!

What can you expect from a heating floor system?

Improved energy efficiency and cost savings

Heated floors offer improved energy efficiency and cost savings compared to other traditional heating systems. These systems are particularly efficient, as they require less energy to heat a room than other types of heated floors - such as baseboard heaters; this means you'll be able to save money on your monthly utility while ensuring comfort in the home.

With heated floors, heated air rises from the floor, creating an even temperature throughout your home and eliminating hot and cold spots. This can make it more comfortable for you and your family when the temperature drops. 

A hot water system, which can reach temperatures exceeding 200 degrees Fahrenheit, is circulated throughout an insulated layer of pipes encased within your floor. In fact, since heated floors are self-regulating and require very little energy for operation, they are considered "green" technology.

In addition, heated floors provide better air quality by reducing the amount of airborne particulates and allergens. With all these benefits, it's no wonder that so many people are opting for hydronic infloor heating. 


Heated floors reduce the need for obtrusive radiators or vents, which can detract from a room's attractiveness. This gives you more freedom when it comes to furniture placement and interior design.

Design flexibility and home value enhancement


  • They can be installed in any room of the home, making it easy to customize heated flooring to your needs;
  • Hydronic heated floors are easy to install and maintain. HCW pre-assembled kit allows you to enjoy heated floors without having to hire a professional;
  • With heated floors, you can choose from a variety of materials, styles and colors to match any decor.

Home Value Enhancement:

  • These systems provide improved comfort and energy savings which can help reduce utility bills over time, increasing the overall value of your home;
  • They are considered a luxury feature and can make a home more appealing to potential buyers who are looking for high-end amenities. It can be a selling point for energy-conscious buyers.

How much does heated flooring cost?

Upfront installation costs and potential for additional flooring costs. The upfront cost of heated floors will depend on the type of heated floors you choose and the size of the area that needs to be heated. Electric systems are typically more affordable than hydronic, but both types require professional installation, which can add to the overall cost.

Did you know there was an affordable alternative? HCW's pre-assembled kit makes it simple to install a heating system without any technical expertise.

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Maintenance and repair concerns

Both heated floor systems are simple to maintain, with regular cleaning and inspection needed only for electric heated floors. 

Electric systems are often easier and less expensive to maintain since they have fewer components and are less complex. However, they are more vulnerable to harm if they are built incorrectly or if the heating element is damaged during construction or renovation. If an electric system needs to be repaired, accessing and repairing the heating element can be more complex and time-consuming.

Hydronic systems require more maintenance and can be more expensive to repair, but offer greater efficiency and heating power. Proper installation and maintenance are key to ensuring that heated floors remain in good condition and provide efficient, reliable heating for years to come.

This may include regular inspections, cleaning of filters and other components, and occasional repairs or replacements of components such as pumps, valves, or boilers. But this system is much more durable over time because it’s designed to run continuously, there are fewer parts that can break or wear out. Additionally, the water used in the system is not exposed to air or contaminants, which can reduce the risk of corrosion or other damage to the system over time.

What costs should you consider before investing?

When considering heated floors for your home, keep the following factors in mind:

Electric system costs

The expense varies based on several aspects, including the size of the room to be heated, the type of flooring installed, and the system's sophistication. It’s approximately $10 per square feet for Electric. This didn’t include the cost of the heating element, thermostat, wiring, and installation labor.

It's important to note that there may be additional costs associated with installing an electric heated floor system, such as the cost of removing existing flooring or installing subflooring to support the heating element. 
Additionally, some homeowners may choose to install a dedicated electrical circuit to support the heating system, which can increase the overall cost.

Overall, an electric heated floor system can be a cost-effective option for heating a small space or a specific area, such as a bathroom or kitchen. However, for larger spaces or for whole-house heating, a hydronic system may be a more efficient and cost-effective option.

Hydronic system costs

On average, the cost for a hydronic heated floor system can range from $3 to $4 per square foot for the materials and installation. This includes the cost of the piping, the boiler or other heat source, the circulation pump, the controls and valves, and the labor required to install the system.

While the initial cost of a hydronic heated floor system may be higher than an electric system, but it's important to consider the long-term savings in energy costs and maintenance. Hydronic systems are typically more efficient than electric systems, which can result in lower energy bills over time. Additionally, hydronic have a longer lifespan than electric systems, which can result in lower overall costs over the life of the system.

Overall, the cost of a hydronic heated floor system can be a significant investment, but it can also provide long-term benefits in terms of energy savings, comfort, and durability.

Labor costs

The labor cost for installing a floor heating system can vary depending on the size and complexity of the project, as well as the region in which you live. It can be a significant portion of the overall project cost.

An hourly rate in Canada should be $30/hour - average rate - and this should include the cost of preparing the subfloor, installing the heating element, connecting the thermostat, and testing the system.

Additional factors that can affect the labor cost include the type of flooring being installed (for example, tile may require more labor than carpet), and the accessibility of the installation site. If the installation site is difficult to access or requires extensive preparation work, the expense may be higher. You can install the HCW hydronic system yourself, which will save you money on the plumber’s hourly rate, which is $90/hour in Quebec.

Ongoing energy usage costs and savings

Heated floors are an energy-efficient way to heat your home, resulting in significant cost savings over time. 

They can be zoned, meaning that different areas of the home can be heated to different temperatures based on usage and occupancy. This allows for more precise temperature control and can result in energy savings by only heating the areas that are being used. When combined with a programmable thermostat, these systems can be even more energy-efficient. 

Overall, heated floors can be an energy-efficient heating option that can result in long-term cost savings and reduced energy usage. However, it's important to consider factors such as the size of your home, your energy usage habits. In areas with high electricity rates, the cost to operate an electric heated floor system may be higher, mostly in the winter season.

On average, the cost to operate a hydronic heated floor system is lower than an electric system. This is because the system is typically heated by a boiler or other heat source that is more efficient than electric heating elements.

The federal and provincial governments, as well as the Société d'Habitation du Québec, the Agence d'Efficacité énergétique du Québec, electricity and gas distributors, and even some municipalities, provide a variety of financial assistance programs. 

Are Heated Floors Worth It?

Heated floors offer a more energy-efficient and cost-effective way to heat your home, resulting in significant savings on monthly utility payments. It’s an excellent choice for new construction because it allows you to save energy from the start.

As a homeowner, you should carefully consider your preferences and budget when deciding whether it’s the best option for you. Of course, there is the cost of the appliances themselves, but there is also the cost of installation by specialists. Then there are the operating and maintenance costs. Given the long-term savings, replacing an obsolete system may be worthwhile.

By taking into account both cost-benefit analysis as well as personal preferences, you can make an informed decision about whether heated flooring is right for your home. 

Allow your projects to take flight. The HCW pre-assembled kit allows you to save significantly on the installation of your heating floor!


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