Imagine waking up, climbing out of bed, and stepping not onto ice blocks that are your morning floorboards but instead onto a comfortably warm floor. Sounds nice, doesn’t it, especially at the approach of cooler fall, and then downright icy winter, weather. The way to achieve this toasty method of home heating is through underfloor heating. If it sounds complicated and intimidating, read on – you might be surprised to learn that it’s not that far out of reach for even the most traditional minds.
An enclosed kitchen is easier to keep clean than an open floor plan kitchen, for example, because items are contained within the physical limitations of the space. Or, at the very least, the closed kitchen can be exited with a door shut behind, limiting the mess’ effect on the rest of the household and space, particularly the main, high-traffic rooms.
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Open space, to feel like truly open space, needs to have plenty of “white space” and free-flowing airspace. One way to achieve an opened up look in any room in the house (even the kitchen!) is to make larger pieces of furniture or even the architecture itself incorporate legginess. This allows our eyes to travel above, around, and under even the largest of elements, thus maximizing the sense of openness.
Keep in mind that design elements with distinct verticality – whether or not they’re all that tall in reality – do a great deal to define the space surrounding them. These colorful, stackable drawers provide verticality and the subsequent definition of space but, because of their cut-out design, they maintain a sense of openness.
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This form of underfloor heating involves circulating water from a boiler through flexible tubing that has been installed in the floor (e.g., on top of the subfloor in grooved panels, clipped to the underside of the floor, or embedded into poured concrete).
Once in place, hot water radiant heating tubing can be covered up with most types of flooring, although carpet isn’t ideal due to its insulative qualities, which end up counteracting the whole heating idea. Although the upfront installation costs are more, hot water radiant heating is the most popular and cost-effective way to heat a whole house – this system can be up to 30% more efficient than forced-air heating.
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