Today Margaret writes:

Dear Diva, I live in a very cold climate and I am tired of my feet getting cold! Do you think those in floor heating mats are a good idea? Because they sure sound nice!  What brand would you recommend and do you have any install suggestions? Thanks

Margaret, you are definitely not alone in wanting to keep your feet warm this winter! Now that summer is officially over and fall has begun, a lot of people have started to think about the impending cold weather and what they could do to keep their homes just a little warmer. The most common winter insulation and maintenance that people perform this time of year are only temporary solutions; from indoor window insulation kits to outdoor faucet covers. While the in-floor heating mats you are talking about are a much more permanent heating solution.

So, the first thing I’d point out is that the in-floor heating mats are only cost-effective if you are going to replace your existing flooring, as well. Because in most cases, you cannot just tear up your existing flooring, install the heating mats and then lay the old flooring back down like nothing happened. If this is the case, and you have no plans on installing new flooring, I would consider other options to keep your toes warm this winter. Like space heaters, area rugs and slippers. I know none of these options are the same as having a heated floor, however they are the best options to consider if replacing your existing flooring is not an option.

If you are planning on replacing your existing flooring however, then I would definitely suggest adding in floor heating mats to the install. They’ll keep your toes warm this winter and can help to lower your heating costs as well. As far as which brand I would suggest, the only brand I’ve ever used is Suntouch. While I can’t provide in-depth information comparing Suntouch to other brands of floor warming mats, I can tell you that Suntouch has never failed me or any of my clients. Plus, they offer some pretty comprehensive information on their website and their installation guide is very thorough. So, with over twenty separate installs to compare to, I’d say they make a pretty solid product and if I were installing in floor heating in my own home, that’s the brand I’d choose. Plus, Suntouch floor heating mats are reasonably priced and come in convenient sizes.

Are In-Floor Heating Mats Worth It?

Here are a few things you should know about in floor heating mats and where they can be installed:

If you are estimating the cost of in floor heating, don’t forget the price of the thermostat and all needed materials. You will need one thermostat for each room you are installing the mats in and depending on which model thermostat you choose, this could cost an additional $150 per room.

Suntouch mats can be installed under almost any floor type, though it will warm floors with the maximum amount of heat by being installed under tile, stone and laminate flooring. In floor warming mats can be installed under carpet, vinyl and wood flooring but would first have to be installed using a polymer-modified cement-based mortar.  Also, you should be aware that carpeted floor will not feel as warm as tile or laminate because the pad and carpet itself insulates against it.

If you were thinking about installing the mats yourself, you should read their online install specifications guide first. Do this before purchasing any material to find out whether or not your skill level is up to the task. Because floor warming systems have to be installed under your flooring, if you are not comfortable with the install specs, hire a trained professional. Additionally, Suntouch Floor Warming Mats are DIY friendly, but you must have an electrician hook them up to the thermostat and connect the mats together.

Do you have questions about the selecting or the installation of: tile, carpet or wall treatments (window blinds, etc)? Then email me your tale of woe (diva(at)homemakeoverdiva.com) and perhaps I will be able to answer your questions right here at the Home Makeover Diva Blog!

Written by Amanda Hartley