The best heating system a house can have is the one you don’t realize is even there. No radiators clanking in the night. No vents whooshing like a jet preparing for takeoff. No dust-spewing duct work to run up your allergists’ bills. Just an even blanket of heat right where you want it.
In a radiant floor heating system , the warmth is supplied by hot-water tubes or electric wires buried underneath the floor. As the invisible waves of thermal radiation rise from below, they warm up any objects they strike, which radiate that captured heat in turn. Though the air temperature remains relatively constant, you stay comfortable because the surrounding surfaces aren’t stealing warmth from your body.
There are two basic ways to supply this gentle, even warmth: hot water or electricity, Hot-water “hydronic” systems—the most popular and cost effective way to heat an entire house—circulate water from a boiler or water heater through loops of 1/2-inch polyethylene tubing. The flexible tubes can be installed in a variety of ways: on top of the subfloor in grooved panels or snap-in grids; clipped into aluminum strips on the underside of the floor; or embedded in poured concrete. Once the system is in place, you can cover it with most types of finish flooring, including hardwood and tile or Carpet
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