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The Perfect Blend of Warmth and Elegance: The Best Flooring for Radiant Heat in Quebec

In Quebec's biting cold, the comfort of a warm floor beneath your feet is unmatched. Properly chosen heated floors not only provide even heat distribution but can also reduce energy costs by up to 15%.

In this guide, we'll share tips to help you select a floor covering that combines both warmth and elegance.

Essential criteria: What to consider before choosing your covering

Before deciding on the type of covering for your heated floor, several key elements must be taken into account. The conductivity of the material is crucial: can it evenly distribute heat throughout the room? This is essential for ensuring the thermal comfort of your space.

The thermal resistance of the covering is also important. A material that is too thick or too resistant might require more energy to reach the desired temperature, thus increasing your energy costs.

For example, although carpet is soft and comfortable, it is not the most economical choice. It is also not recommended to use insulating coverings like cork or rugs with a heated floor, as these materials do not transmit heat well. On the other hand, coverings like ceramic or porcelain are often favored for their thermal efficiency. Finally, don't forget to consider the durability of the material. 

Tile, natural stone, ceramic: The champions of conductivity 

These materials, appreciated for their aesthetic appearance, stand out mainly for their efficiency in heat diffusion. They are durable and wear-resistant. Moreover, they retain heat well, which can help save energy. For optimal diffusion, choose tiles smaller than 60x60cm.

Pros:

  • High thermal conductivity.
  • Durability.
  • Wear resistance.
  • Aesthetic variety.

Engineered wood heated floor 

With technological advances, it is now possible to have a real or imitation wood floor with an integrated heating system.

Engineered wood is an excellent choice for heated floors. It is stable, resistant to temperature changes and humidity. Made of plywood with a wood veneer, it combines the aesthetics of natural wood with durability and ease of installation, making it ideal for a basement heated floor. Moreover, it is often less expensive than traditional hardwood. 

Hardwood heated floor 

It is a misconception to think that a hardwood floor cannot accommodate a heating system. In reality, as long as the heat is not excessive, the wood does not suffer damage. Installation is possible by attaching the boards to joists. However, the thickness of the wood and the ambient humidity are criteria to monitor.

Species such as cherry, oak, ash, maple, hickory, and walnut are suitable for heated floors, thanks to their good thermal conductivity and stability.

Oak deserves special mention, especially for electric heated floors. It has the characteristic of mainly expanding and contracting in thickness. Thus, its width stability is ensured, positioning it as a top choice compared to engineered wood.

Note on thickness: Wood, whether engineered or solid, has intrinsic insulating properties. These characteristics can limit heat transmission, especially when the wood is thick. For effective heat diffusion, opt for parquets with a thickness of up to 15-18 mm.

Note on humidity: Hardwood is a natural material that reacts to humidity changes. Controlling the humidity level is essential to preserve the beauty, functionality, and longevity of your floors. To do this, you can install an insulating layer under your electric heated floor.

Pros:

  • Natural warmth of wood
  • Adaptability to various interior styles
  • Thermal stability

Heated floor: Vinyl and linoleum in the spotlight 

These coverings, suitable for a heated vinyl floor, offer good value for money and are suitable for all rooms in the house. Their thermal qualities are appreciable, and the variety of their designs caters to a wide range of tastes.

Choose quality products to avoid VOC emissions. Also, make sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations regarding compatibility and adhesive to use.

Pros:

  • Effective thermal conductivity
  • Good value for money
  • Wide choice of patterns and designs

Polished concrete: a contemporary touch 

Polished concrete, with its high thermal mass, is perfectly suited as a heated floor. It is characterized by its ability to heat up quickly and retain heat efficiently.

Moreover, polished concrete has the ability to store heat. Thus, opting for a heated polished concrete floor is an ideal solution to increase the thermal comfort of your home while benefiting from a modern and sleek aesthetic.

It is recommended to call in a professional for its installation to avoid cracks due to thermal expansion.

Pros:

  • Easy maintenance
  • Moisture resistance
  • Visually enlarges space

Tips for a successful installation

Installing a heated floor is no small task and requires expert know-how. From the choice of the subfloor to defining thermal tolerances, to selecting the right covering, every decision is crucial to optimize the system's performance.

See the heated floor as a major investment, capable of transforming your home into a cocoon of warmth. The type of covering chosen will determine the longevity and efficiency of your system.

Leave nothing to chance: inform yourself, seek expert advice, and make informed decisions. For additional information or tailored advice on the best flooring for radiant heat, we are at your disposal.