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heated floor cost

How much do heated floors cost in Canada?

Heated Floors Cost in Canada: Installation, Maintenance, And More

A part of improving the home that not many homeowners consider is heated floors, a luxurious addition that elevates living quality. The total heated floor cost depends on the type of heating source you choose. Although the price is something to consider, they radiate heat more evenly throughout the house. 

Whether this is the first time you’re considering heated floors or you’ve been investigating it for some time, Alpine Credits can help you achieve your goals. By helping you access your home equity as a loan, you can start renovating your home and installing your new heating system within a few weeks.

Keep reading to learn about heated floor costs and how Alpine Credits can support your home renovations.

An Introduction To Heated Floors 

As Canadians make home improvements and change their flooring, some want to bring additional comfort by installing radiant heat flooring. You can decide between three types of radiant floor heating systems. Their names represent the method of how the floor is warmed up. 

  • Electric—the heat comes from electrical resistance generated by wires or mats under the floorboards.  
  • Hydronic—warm water running in pipes heat up the floor. The water circulates, where warm water leaves the boiler and returns to it at a lower temperature.  
  • Air—similar to hydronic, air is pushed through pipes and returns to the source cooler to be heated up again.  

How do heated floors work? 

While floor heating systems are normally regarded as heated floors, the floor panels themselves don’t provide the heat. Rather, the heat comes from wiring or tubing winding under the flooring. The heat travels upward as they heat up the ground, making the room feel warmer. Each type works differently. 

For electric heating systems, electrical wires are encased in tubing. As they warm up, so do the floor and the rest of the space. Unlike the other two types, electric systems do not need to circulate anything additional to create heat. They are also commonly done as a DIY project.   

Hydronic underfloor heating involves small pipes connecting to a dedicated water boiler. The water circulates through the house; warm water runs through the tubing and eventually returns to the water heater. Hydronic systems take more time to heat up a space than electric systems.  

The least common of the heated floor types are air radiant heating systems. They operate similarly to hydronic systems, pushing warm air through pipes winding underneath the flooring.

Benefits Of Heated Floors

Adding heating under your flooring can really elevate your living quality. Especially in certain areas of Canada, winters can drop into freezing temperatures. You can keep your home warm and cozy by installing subfloor heating while enjoying other advantages.  

  • Energy efficiency—compared to forced air systems, heated floors do not require as much energy. As a result, your home is warmer more quickly while using fewer resources, which will help you save money on your energy bills.  
  • Balanced heating—you don’t have to worry about parts of your home missing heat. You can rely on the full coverage that heated floors offer.  
  • Compatible with any floor type—how you design your home is important, and some in-floor heating can be used with carpet, tile, or hardwood.  
  • Little to no maintenance—certain types of sub-floor heating can last for decades before wearing out. 
  • Allergy-friendly—since heat originates from the floor and doesn’t push air, the likelihood of dust, pollen, and other allergens is reduced.  
  • More comfort—cold floors may be uncomfortable to walk on, so having heated hardwood floors can provide convenience. 

Average heated floor costs in Canada

As mentioned earlier, you can choose between different types of heated flooring. They each have their own price ranges, and the total will depend on how big your home is.

System Type Average Installation Cost Per Square Foot Total Cost in Standard 2,600 Sq/Ft Home
Electric $8 to $12 $20,800 to $31,200
Air $20 $52,000
Hydronic $20 $52,000

On average, heating floor systems cost $8-$20 per square foot. That wide range exists due to the variety of in-floor heating options available with different advantages and disadvantages. 

Many factors are involved in pricing such a heating system, and there is no one-size-fits-all heated flooring solution. No matter how much the system costs, Alpine Credits can help you secure financing by giving you access to your home equity as a loan.

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heated floor cost

Electric floor heating systems

An electric floor heating system costs between $8 and $12 per square foot, making them the most affordable option. They rely on thin wires that radiate heat from under your flooring.

One thing to be mindful of is that the wires are delicate, especially in high-traffic areas. If the wiring is damaged beyond repair, you’ll have to replace the whole system, which would mean completely redoing the floor.

Additionally, electricity systems are more expensive than other forms of heating. As such, electric floor heating systems are primarily used in Canadian homes where other methods would be impractical.

One important thing to note regarding electric floor heating operating costs is that in-floor heating is best used for supplementary heating. As such, expect to pay additional costs to operate other systems like traditional heating systems.

Air-heated Radiant Floor Heating System

Air-based in-floor heating systems cost roughly $20 per square foot to install, representing a step up from the electric variety.

This type of heated flooring system relies on warm air passed through tubes underneath your flooring. The problem, however, is that air does not hold onto heat very well.

Additionally, using air in an under-floor heating system exposes homeowners to the same pitfall that often prompts them to seek an alternative heating system in the first place: leakage. Piping that leaks air can be quite difficult to detect, often only making its presence known via a surprisingly-high utility bill at the end of the month.

Air-heated radiant floors – like the electric variety – generally represent a compromise. For example, homeowners often use them when they’d like to simply connect their existing furnace to an under-floor apparatus.

Air-Heated Radiant Floor Operating Costs: Air-heated radiant flooring systems are comparable to traditional forced-air HVAC units when it comes to operating costs. Expect to pay anywhere from 35 cents to 70 cents per square foot each month depending on your flooring material and furnace.

Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating Systems

As you may have guessed, hydronic systems rely on water pumped through tubes. This is widely considered the best method for radiant floor heating as water is inexpensive and retains heat very well. Hydronic systems usually cost about $20 per square foot to install radiant floor heating.

Hydronic heated floors cost roughly 30 cents per square foot monthly. This makes it the most cost-effective long-term option for in-floor heating by a considerable margin.

Keeping The Radiant Floor Heating Cost Low

The labour involved is a significant portion of the heated floor installation cost. Workers must retrofit the homeowner’s existing flooring to make it compatible with whatever heating apparatus they place underneath. 

If you currently have carpet flooring, you may also need to factor in the cost of replacing it with something more conducive to radiant heat, such as tile or stone. That said, here are some tips for keeping in-floor heating costs low. 

Install heated flooring in a larger area

If you want to keep costs at the lower end of the spectrum, consider installing heated flooring in a larger area of your home.

This might seem counterintuitive. After all, a larger area means more materials and labour, right?

While that’s certainly true, a larger area also gives crews more space to work in, which can reduce your cost per square foot, delivering greater value for an incremental amount of money. Depending on what type of radiant heating system you choose, you’ll need to crunch the numbers to figure out the point at which additional square footage becomes too expensive.

Buy the best system you can afford

When it comes to keeping radiant heat costs low, think long-term. Many homeowners make the mistake of choosing electric in-floor heating systems for the lower upfront expenses, only to find themselves blindsided by costly wire repairs.

This isn’t to say you should never purchase electric in-floor heating. As mentioned earlier, there are valid reasons for making that compromise. As long as that reason isn’t shortsightedness regarding price, repair costs down the line won’t sting as much.

If you can spring for a hydronic system, you likely won’t regret doing so. It’s a solid investment in your home that will result in lower heating costs.

Use pre-fitted subflooring

Installing a radiant heating system under standard flooring panels requires a silicone sealant that must be left to cure and dry for 24 hours. This can add to your costs significantly.

If you have the luxury of pre-planning, choose sub-flooring that comes with pre-existing channels. Crews will be able to slide the tubing right into place in a matter of minutes rather than hours. As a bonus, you won’t have to worry about the silicone coming loose.

Use tile or stone flooring

While wood flooring offers a classic look, it can complicate your installation significantly. An expert will need to ensure the system does not cause the wood to warp or expand, which requires careful engineering.

Tile and stone, on the other hand, make for a much simpler installation since they are less prone to being damaged by heat or moisture. They also transfer heat more effectively.

DIY heated floor cost

So far, the costs we’ve mentioned have included parts and professional installation. However, if you’re interested in performing the renovation yourself, here are the material-only numbers.

System Type Average Cost of Materials Per Square Foot Total Cost in Standard 2,600 Sq/Ft Home
Electric $5 to $7 $13,000 to $18,200
Air $6 $15,600
Hydronic $6 $15,600

Remember that installing an in-floor heating system can be demanding, and you’ll benefit more from hiring a professional if you’re not experienced with this sort of work. 

Renovating Your Home For In-floor Heating 

The heating under the floor itself is not the only change you’re making to the house. If you want to add this feature to your home, be mindful that it is considered a whole makeover. Getting subfloor heating involves more than buying just the source of warmth and could include the following.  

  • Door modifications—adding a layer under your flooring naturally raises the walking space more than where it normally would be. You may need to buy new doors if they do not have enough space to accommodate higher flooring.  
  • Insulation boards—to prevent heat from escaping, consider adding a layer of insulation. This helps the heat flow to the top rather than the bottom.  
  • Professional electricians or contractors—you can hire experts to install and connect the power supply to your heated floors. A significant portion of the budget is normally allocated for installation costs compared to the materials.

How Alpine Credits Helps With In-floor Heating Costs 

Installing an in-floor heating system in your home is a sizable project requiring significant resources. If you choose electric radiant floor heating, heated flooring costs $20,800 for the average 2,600-square-foot home, while hydronic systems can start at $52,000. 

While you can use your credit card to cover the installation cost, they have interest rates of nearly 20%, so most homeowners search for an alternate solution. Traditional financial institutions are also possible, but they have high qualification standards.  

Instead, you can access your home equity as a loan with the help of Alpine Credits. You can calculate how much equity you have by subtracting your outstanding mortgage from the appraised value of your home. If you meet the requirements for minimum equity, Alpine Credits can provide a loan of up to 75% of that value.  

Applying for a home equity loan from Alpine Credits 

Unlike traditional loans, getting a home equity loan is more straightforward, and the entire application is processed within a week.  

  1. Apply online—you can finish the application within a few minutes. The application will ask you to provide some personal information and the appraised value of your home. 
  1. Wait for results—Alpine Credits processes applications faster than traditional financial institutions, and you can hear back in as little as 24 hours. 
  1. Receive funding—Alpine Credits will deposit the funding directly into your bank account within a few days to a week.  

Advantages to using your home equity 

Home equity loans are secured loans, meaning that they are different from other ways to finance your renovation. Since your loan is secured by your property, it offers unique benefits from traditional unsecured loans.  

  • Comparatively lower interest rates—credit cards and personal loans can have higher interest rates than you’d ideally prefer. Home equity loans offer more reasonable interest rates regardless of your credit score or income.  
  • Flexible eligibility criteria—to be eligible for a home equity loan, you only need to have enough home equity in your property. For a home equity loan from Alpine Credits, you need at least 25% equity.  
  • Substantial amount of funding—personal loans are limited to $50,000, and credit cards are limited even further. Home equity loans can offer you significantly more financing because the value of the loan is based on your equity worth.  

Using your home equity for your floor renovation 

You’re eligible for a home equity loan as long as you own at least 25% of your home. Getting financial support for your aspirations becomes simpler and comparatively more affordable when choosing a home equity loan. 

Alpine Credits has spent over 50 years helping homeowners tap into their equity for any major expense, including home and floor renovations. Since homeowners build equity naturally and properties in Canada have high value, you could utilize a financial tool you’ve acquired in your home.  

If you have more questions, you can contact an expert on the Financial Solutions Specialist team, free of obligation. They can assist you with the application process and help you determine how a home equity loan can be right for you. 

home equity loan equation from Alpine Credits

At Alpine Credits, we’ve spent more than 50 years helping homeowners tap into their equity for just about any major expense, including home renovations.

Need financing support with your home renovation? With enough home equity, you may be eligible — get your free estimate today.

Apply now

Frequently asked questions

Baseboard heating relies on forced air and is typically used to warm a specific area within a home. Radiant heat flooring goes underneath your flooring material and is intended to heat your entire home.

Radiant heat flooring systems typically cost substantially more to install than your typical forced-air HVAC unit. While you’ll generally spend a minimum of $20,800 to install a radiant heat system, forced-air units can typically be had for under $4,000.

That said, a hydronic radiant heat flooring system’s typical operating costs are much lower than that of a forced-air unit.

BuildDirect recommends tile and stone for radiant heating since those materials transfer heat well and are less prone to warping than wood. However, if you’re insistent on wood, consider engineered wood rather than hardwood.

The heat from in-floor systems rises directly upward. It doesn’t drift through rooms as air from a conventional HVAC system would. As such, the only way to really achieve full-house heating is to install the in-floor system throughout your entire residence. This is feasible for most modern homes.

It depends on the type of radiant heat system you purchase. Hydronic systems are built to last decades without much headache. Electrical systems are much less durable and may represent a liability in the eyes of potential buyers.