With so many flooring choices today how do we know which floorcovering type is right for us to use with radiant heat? First we must identify lifestyles and desires. For example “I like to feel the heat on my bare feet” would limit your floorcovering choices due to heat sensitivity. If we look at wood floors they may not be your best floorcovering choice if you desire to have that warm feeling underfoot. Wood needs moisture to survive and exceeding 82 degrees will void many manufacturers’ warranties.
First, we must understand a few basics of radiant heat transfer. Heat always moves from a warmer place to a cooler place. Cold objects in a warm room will heat up to room temperature. For example, if a hot cup of coffee and ice cube is left on the table what would happen to them? The cup of coffee will cool to room temperature and the ice cube will melt and the water will warm to room temperature. We must remember heat transfers only in three ways: Conduction, Convection and Radiation.