Holds a Master’s degree in Engineering and is keen on her own home’s climate. Sometimes we think that Carolina owns every single product she writes about – that’s how profound and insightful her reviews always are.
For 8 years, Richard had been working as an HVAC specialist and AC unit installer since his student years. Now, he’s our main consultant on every technical aspect that may arise during our tests and research.
Last updated: January 06, 2021
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Ever come back home to a chilly floor in the dead of winter? It is certainly not a pleasant experience. On the other hand, imagine you come back home to toasty warm air around and beneath you. Sounds great, right? Well, that is what the best electric radiant floor heating can give you. This type of heating is an increasingly popular system that works great, especially if you live in areas of snow and harsh winters. There are several advantages of this heating over other systems, and in this post, we will review six of the best models on the market.
Before compiling this roundup, we considered several important factors. Some of the factors that we considered include size, power, output, cable, thermostat, and warranty. We will review each of these factors in the buying guide. Without further ado, let’s consider the six best electric radiant floors heating right now.
Our first unit on this roundup is this model from Heatizon. The Heatwave comes in a wide variety of sizes (up to 13) which means that you get plenty of options. It can cover from 160 square feet of space easily with its decent dimensions. This unit is easy to install and can be laid almost anywhere you want. It comes with clips and loose cable and installation strapping to map out the area you want to install on. It also comes with an in-built thermostat.
This system is made to be durable, and you will certainly get many years of service from this model. One reason why it is so durable is the non-corrosive cable parts. Apart from being non-corrosive, they also come evenly spaced in the mat.
The Heatwave has a customizable thermostat in the package. This GFCI thermostat is just one of the accessories included in the model. Aside from the thermostat, you also get the cables and the mesh. One nice thing about the mesh and cables is that when combined, they do not surpass 1/8”. Thus, you get a unit that does not unnecessarily raise your floor height.
Operational functionality is more than decent with this unit. During our testing, we observed that the heating can be cut and bent. The matting that is provided can be adjusted to a smaller height, although you cannot reduce the size of the wires.
With decent room for bending, you end up with a radiant heating floor that can be used even around corners of the space.
The protective covering on the wires results in a heating system that can be used safely, even in wet places around the home.
As mentioned, the unit comes with a versatile thermostat that can be configured to three different modes.
You get this model in a pre-built mat package with adjustable matting. With its design, you can install this unit inside your floors. Technical features include an in-built air sensor, 120/240 voltage frequency and 10 feet of cable.
Overall, it is a safe, durable, and highly effective electric radiant floor heating that passes several manufacturing standards and offers lifetime warranty.
The next option on this roundup is the best value option. It comes with good features, all at a decent price. First, it offers covering for up to 30 square feet of space. With its dimensions, you will find it a right fit to help you to cover a small area like your closet or the bathroom. This excellent unit comes with a loose spool of wire and spacers that allows you to lay wires around wherever you want. The thermostat also allows you to adjust the heat to want you want accurately. You also have an installation monitor to ensure accurate seat up of the unit.
One feature that we like about this unit is the open-weave design. This aerates the unit and makes it very easy to use in the space. If you want to install it on your floor or hardwood, you will find this feature super handy. The mesh system also means you have an electric radiant heating floor capable of working in wet areas like the bathroom. The design ensures that you do not have extreme heat buildup in the unit.
Cables in this unit are slim and evenly spaced. Therefore, you enjoy the maximum dissipation of heat in the area that you want. Although you might be tempted to use radiant heating floors everywhere in the space, we have observed that this particular model works more effectively when placed in areas that are often frequented. If you place it just everywhere, you’d be wasting energy and spending more money on electric bills.
Operational functionality is a strong point of this unit. As we earlier mentioned, the cables here are evenly spaced (3 inches). Therefore, it offers one of the most energy efficient options on the market today.
The mat covering the cables is made from high quality materials and is super easy to install. The model comes with adhesive tape at the back, so all you need to do is to mark out where you want to place the mat and place it. However, it is important to lay it on a clean surface as impurities can affect the adhesion.
The matting on this model can be cut into different sizes, but if you will cut it, you should be careful not to cut the cables.
It comes with a cold lead with 10 feet of length. Therefore, you can install it far away from a power source.
Overall, this model offers arguably the easiest installation of all the models we review on this roundup. Simply unroll the mat and let the adhesive hold it to the ground.
This model also comes with quite a number of useful accessories. For example, you get a monitor alarm. The function of this is to notify you of any issues during and after installation. Thus, you can ensure that no damage has occurred to the cables.
The technical specifications indicate that you have a durable and effective heating floor in this model. It comes with a 120V rating and 360W of power use. The thermostat and digital controllers are easy to use and completely customizable. With these, you can regulate the temperature on the mat.
While it doesn’t offer a lifetime warranty, it gives you a 25 year warranty period. It is also backed by regulatory companies that ensure that it is safe to use.
Thermostat: included, with temperature sensor and an alarm
Warranty: not specified
Other features: available in 11 different sizes, 3.1″ cable spacing, 1.2” bending radius, 16-20 AWG cold lead cable, compatible with most floor types, cable processed with several layers, 194℉ max exposure temperature, UL, CE, VDE, RoHS.
If you are on a budget, then this unit is one of the best options available on the market right now. It comes as a kit that has all the things you need for efficient installation of the unit. You get a model that can cover up to 80 square feet of space. While this is smaller than the options we have reviewed so far, it still allows you to use it in different parts of the house. The small, compact size makes it a veritable option for renovations and construction.
This budget pick is an electric mat that is super easy to seat up. You get a programmable digital thermostat. This mat comes with protected wiring to ensure durability.
The PVC cover here ensures that the heating system is safe and warm.
Unlike some other models on the market, the HappyBuy is made be fit into the floor. As a result, it is flexible and can be fit into different places. While it is flexible, it is still sturdy enough to give you the stability, warmth, and protection to the cables that lie inside it.
While you do not get as powerful performance as the options above, it is still better than many rivals. This unit sports an installation monitor to ensure correct installation. It doesn’t come in a mat form; hence you might require outside help to set it up. If you are a DIY enthusiast, though, you’ll find it to be a good project. The aforementioned monitor will guide you. With this monitor, you do not have to remove your flooring before you can detect what is wrong with it.
The model also comes with a programmable thermostat that you can adjust to meet your heating requirements.
The model offers you safety and durable parts. For example, it has PVC protective covering. You get PEP insulation and several qualifications. Thus, you can rest assured that this unit will serve you for a relatively long time.
If you are looking for a good unit to help with your underfloor heating, then we believe that you will love this model from HeatTech. It is a 70 square feet mat kit that offers good thickness that will not raise your floor uncomfortably. If you have issues with door clearance and similar problems, the low height of this unit might just be the solution.
There are many reasons to have this type of heating in your home. For one, it is far more efficient than most of the options you have. It helps to remove any allergens too as the heat rises from the ground up. This system will not remove all the moisture in the air
This unit serves several parts of the house or space, but we observed that it is specially made for wet areas like the bathroom. While it might be smaller than what you are used to, the good thing is that you can connect it with other radiant heating mats to cover a larger space.
The mat is flexible and can be cut to fight tight areas easily. Additionally, you can connect it with other mats while using a single thermostat to control them.
We like the evenly spaced heating cables that ensure proper heat dissipation. Due to this feature, you enjoy a product that can work on a wide variety of floor types. It will thus work with your marble, tile, or stone floors. You can use it in the kitchen, bathroom and other places.
Installation is simple and straightforward. You get an adhesive back that lets you comfortably set up the mat. The thermostat is customizable and comes with a clear backlit display for easy reading.
The technical specifications of the model make it a good buy. Although it is only 120V compatible, this outlet is what you find in many homes across the country. Producing 41 BTU per square feet, you have plenty of heat in your home for the winter. You get a 10 feet cold lead wire, and a 15 feet lead wire connected to the sensor.
Overall, this unit is a very convenient means of laying radiant floor heating. It features a larges surface area and great for large rooms. Installation is quite easy since it comes with an adhesive back. You can also combine this with other mats to improve the heating performance in your space.
Do you want a unit that can heat your floors effectively without any hassles? Then this model from the Seal brand might meet your needs perfectly. The Seal brand is one of the most popular brands in the industry, and it has a track record of making high quality models. This unit is no exception. We expected high-grade performance even before testing it out, and fortunately, we got what we bargained for. There are several reasons why this is so good to use.
First, it comes at just the right size for different spaces, especially if you are tight on space. Thus, it is good for the bathroom, kitchen and other small space. It can easily cover up to 120 square meters.
As with many of the models we have reviewed on this roundup, it arrives in a mat form. Thus, installation is markedly easier than expected. Another advantage is the heating cables are evenly spaced all round. This gives you excellent configuration that ensures optimum heat dissipation.
Made for different spots in the house, the Seal radiant floor heater can be used in wet areas. The entire system is encased in durable and waterproof material.
Apart from using it in such spaces, you can also use it under different types of floors. From stone to marble and granite flooring, this model easily fits into your flooring. As we earlier mentioned, it comes with matting that makes it easier to set up. There is a detailed instruction manual that shows you how to safely cut up the material to prevent damage to the cables.
Technical specifications include dual wire technology and 120V voltage. With these specifications, you’ll see that interference is greatly reduced. 20 years warranty is good, although other models on this roundup offer longer periods.
The Teflon coating here and braiding results in a unit that protects heating cables properly. The cables are just 1/8” thick. Thus, it doesn’t lift the flooring unpleasantly. With an adhesive back, you can easily set up the mat kit and start using it as soon as possible.
This unit also meets several important safety standards and regulations. Therefore, you can rest assured that it is safe to use.
The last model on this roundup is a wonderful unit from Warming System. It comes in a form different from what you’d usually find on the market. While others might come in mat form, this option comes with a loose cable platform. The result is a spool of wire that offers far greater flexibility than what you might be used to.
Due to the flexible design, you can set it up in any way that you deem fit. You can fit it into tight corners and spaces easily. Admittedly, a mat kit would be somewhat easier to install for many; we still like this model as it gives greater flexibility than the mat kits.
As a result, you get a unit that delivers up to 300 mm of bending clearance. Therefore, regardless of the shape of the space, you can still install this radiant heating floor. It comes in a wire spool, with the cables just 1/8” in size.
You get a bunch of accessories that make installation even easier. For example, you get cable guides that help you to hold the cables to the floor. Additionally, you get a completely customizable thermostat to adjust temperatures as you deem fit. Apart from the thermostat, this unit comes with a useful installation monitor. With this device, you can monitor laying cable and determine whether it is done properly.
Another thing we like about this electric radiant heating floor is that the conducting wire is twisted and reduces any EMF emissions that can interfere with other electric devices.
This unit offers you 30 square feet of space when evenly spaced via the cable mounts. You can set it up below the floor and bend into different odd shapes. With the provided monitor, you can detect problems before they even arise.
With the thermostat, you’ll observe that you can set up the heating system and have it run with little supervision. You can use your screws or tape to hold the cables to the ground. Finally, this model is certified by major safety bodies to ensure your safety.
What we liked:
Comes with a thermostat and installation monitor
Excellent value for money
Manufactured in the USA
What could be better:
Glaring thermostat backlight
Things to Сonsider
In the reviews above, we have considered 6 of the best options available on the market right now. These are some of the best, but we realize that you might want something else. That is one reason why we have created this section. Here, we will discuss all that you need to know about radiant floor heaters. In the end, you’ll be better equipped to select the right model for your needs.
Buying a Radiant Floor Heater
For most homeowners, installing a heating system is one of the most expensive things that can be done in a home. If not done properly, you might regret the huge bills that you’ll get at the end of the month or year. However, there are better options due to improved technology. Advancements in building technology have resulted in radiant floor heaters. These come with several advantages, but a major one is that it delivers plenty of heating without eating up your electrical bills. It comes as a result of good knowledge of engineering and the laws of thermodynamics. With the combination of this knowledge, you can enjoy relatively cheap and beautiful heating in your home and commercial areas.
In simple terms, this type of heating system is made to reside at the bottom of the floor. It is highly effective because it invariably transforms your entire floor to a heat distribution system. This makes it highly efficient.
Before you do this type of heating in the home, it is important to do it before the floor is made. However, you can still do it after the floor has been laid out; although it might cost you more.
Several advantages accrue to this system, with the main benefit being energy efficiency. It makes your electric bills easier to manage. Another good thing about it is that you enjoy good, even heating. Since you are using the whole floor, the temperature spreads out and isn’t restricted to just one area of the home. With proportional temperature, you enjoy heating wherever you go in the home.
How Radiant Floor Heating Works
The working system is rather straightforward. As earlier pointed out, it radiates heat right from the ground. The heat delivery works better depending on the type of floor that you have in the space. Due to the technology, the rising heat is uniform all around the house. It is very quiet, and you won’t hear anything at all. You get consistent temperature too.
You can even set it up in wet areas like the bathroom and patio.
To install this type of heating, it needs to be done before you finish laying the floor of the home. While this might affect building plans, and you might have to remove the flooring if it had been done prior to installation, the advantages and financial benefits make it worth the temporary inconvenience.
We also love this system because you do not have to force air through any vents. With the radiation system, your home is free from allergens that rise from blowing air. If you are asthmatic or have sensitive people in the home, this makes it an excellent and health-conscious method of heating the home. With radiant home heating, you do not suffer pressure build up in the space. This results in longer periods of heat.
Types of Radiant Floor Heating
This roundup and post majorly concerns electrical radiant heating, but in this section, we will discuss the types of radiant heating that you can have today. The main types of this heating are hydronic heating and electric heating. Let’s see what these are.
Electric Radiant Heating
The name obviously shows you what it is about. In this type of radiant heating, electrical heat is converted to heat. In such a system, there are electrical cables that resist electrical current, which in turn, produces heat. It is the heat generated from the cables’ resistance to electricity that results in the heat of the house.
There are several advantages to this type of heating. It can be easily installed in different types of floors and often come in the form of mats. These mats are great to have, although they generally cannot be cut away to make way for obstacles.
That is why this heating system is often used in large spaces with open spaces. They come in a wide variety of sizes and can be installed in a short time. As long as you have some DIY expertise, you can handle installing these mats.
These mats usually come in different bundles. To ensure that they all work together, they are connected by a thermostat. For most of the best options on the market, for example, most of the options on our roundup, the thermostats are completely customizable. Thus, you can control different things, especially the temperature of the mats.
To ensure that the heat produce travels upwards instead of into the ground, we recommend that you carry out thorough insulation on the ground. A lack of thorough insulation will cause the mat to lose heat into the ground or for it to travel sideways.
For electric radiant heating systems, mats are just one of the forms in which they come. From our research of the market, these electrical radiant systems also come in single wore installs.
Instead of mats, these use just a wire that passes through the mortar or other covering on the floor. It requires expertise and is quite difficult, especially when compared to mat installation. We have observed that it doesn’t work well with a wide variety of floors as the mat heating. It is majorly made for mortar floors.
This is not the type of heating that we are discussing on this roundup. Nevertheless, information about it can help you decide whether to go for it or to opt for the electrical radiant flooring system that we review in this post.
The hot water radiant flooring system is slowly gaining traction among users. Also referred to as Hydronic system, this system offers you plenty of thermal efficiency. How does it work in this instance?
Well, this type of heating utilizes polyethylene tubing. These are linked together to improve the thermal efficiency. There are many reasons why people like this system.
To enjoy it, you can add it to a sub-flooring bed made of mortar. You can also opt to install it under hardwood floors. It is also great to install between the grooves of a floor.
To enjoy it, as the name implies, you need hot water. This system is utilized in different parts of the country. The polyethylene tubing earlier mentioned plays a big role in transmitting the heat. You have to link the crisscrossed network of PEX to the water heater. The heat that is generated from this is then passed through several pumps and adjusted via a thermostat to give the temperature that you want in the room.
It is a good system that has found a place in many homes. Unlike mat kits, this system requires more than just DIY knowledge to set it up. You have to get a professional to link it up safely and effectively for you.
Factors that affect how well a radiant floor heater works
When you are out to choose a radiant flooring system, there are several factors that you must keep in mind. Let’s discuss some of the most essential factors that would affect your choice.
First, your radiant system must be efficient. Remember that one advantage this system holds over others is the efficiency. Thus, if it doesn’t give you impressive efficiency, you are being ripped off.
Thankfully, most of the radiant heating systems on the market right now are far better than traditional counterparts in this regard. Compared to other forced air heating systems, the radiant flooring heating system is more efficient.
The traditional method involved using air ducts to pass hot air to the rooms. Several factors contribute to the inefficiency of such traditional methods. For one, the air passing through the ducts is subject to leaks. Despite the best efforts of the manufacturer, leaks still occur, and these contribute to nearly half of the heat that you should be getting.
On the other hand, the radiant heating system doesn’t suffer from this problem. If it is correctly set up, you will get almost 100% of the heat that you need for the space. The HEATWAVE Electric Floor Heating Systemis very efficient.
Radiant heating technology is relatively new, and as such, it might tend to be more difficult to set up. However, as more people turn to it for heating in the home, the result is more technicians are perfecting ways of installing it.
If you are just building a home, now is the best time to get it installed. It is good and also very compatible with existing homes.
Nevertheless, if we are being honest, traditional heating technologies are still more commonplace and easier to install than radiant heating technology. However, we believe that this will change in the coming years.
In the past, this type of heating employed copper tubes to pass heat upward. However, these were prone to leakages. Thankfully, there are now materials that help to pass heat without losing any of the heat. Polyethylene or PEX is one of such materials. The Warming Systems Electric Radiant Floor Heat Heating Systemis made from such durable materials.
Before you choose to install a radiant heating system, it is vital that you consider the size of the space you plan to install it on. Most mat kits cover the whole area to improve efficiency; this, you should get a size that would match the size of the space.
If you are using an electrical radiant system, this can be rather expensive for several reasons. If your room or the space under consideration is irregularly shaped, you would be better off using an electric heating kit like the Warming Systems Cable Set. It is more flexible and lets you get the optimum layout for the space. If you are a DIY-er, you should check out what the manufacturer says about installation, spacing and stuff like that.
One good thing about these heaters is that you can get them in a wide plethora of sizes. Some come in large forms, while others are much smaller. You will have to lay the pipes in the areas where you need them.
You also do not have to set them on every square inch of your floor. You can employ zonal heating, which has proved to be economical yet effective.
Another way of being economical with respects to size is by using different thermostats for different parts of the radiant heater. It offers more control and ultimately saves you money.
An important accessory to check out when buying an electric radiant floor heating is the heat controller. If your kit comes with this accessory, it is a big bonus to the running of the heater.
Many of the models on the roundup come with a thermostat and a timer that can automatically switch off the system when the heat gets much. Some come with different features. For example, some models come with displays and touchscreens (although they are more expensive).
A major problem with these heaters is the time it takes them to warm up the space.
If you are rushing in from the freezing cold, you’d want something that can heat up the space immediately. Heat controllers offer you a way to get this in your system. Using these devices, you can set a timer, so you arrive to a warm home. The timer can also be set to switch off at certain times.
Another feature to consider when buying a radiant floor heating is the type of floor itself. After all, there are different floor types, and each of them comes with different insulation properties.
By considering this factor, you would get even more bang for your buck. Most people that choose to use this type of flooring in their homes usually opt for ceramic tiles. These tiles are typically cold. However, with radiant heating, they get warm quickly and for longer.
Other types of floors that you could use include wood, marble, carpet, etc. A general rule of thumb when choosing the floor type is that the thicker the floor is, the harder your system has to work to provide heat. Therefore, look for ways to reduce the thickness and the insulation against heat. Keep thickness to a minimum, and you’ll certainly enjoy the heating.
For those that opt to use carpets, note that you can use a thin carpet for best results. If you have a wood floor, consider the expansion and contraction that heat will cause to the wood. Thus, you should opt for strong woods that deliver slow contraction and expansion due to heat.
When buying your electric radiant floor heating, look out for any obstacles that can trap the heat and stop it from effectively heating up your space. For instance, the furniture in the living room can sap up the heat.
To that end, you should calculate the amount of space you will need while considering the permanent fixtures in the space. This will help you to buy the right size and plan appropriately. It means that you will not install heating under such obstacles as it would be a waste of resources.
Unlike other typical heating systems, a radiant floor heating produces no noise. It produces as much noise as your electric socket; which is no noise at all. If you use an hydronic system, however, you might hear a hissing sound from the air flowing through the pumps.
Yes, you can. And this is even recommended as it saves you money. To do this, you have to get individual thermostats for each section.
In this article, we have considered six of the best options you can buy right now. Here are the three best options. First, the HEATWAVE Electric Floor Heating System. This unit is easy to install and can be laid almost anywhere you want. It comes with clips and loose cable and installation strapping to map out the area you want to install on. It also comes with an in-built thermostat. For great value, the Warming Systems Electric Radiant Floor Heat Heating System offers excellent performance. It comes with a loose spool of wire and spacers that allows you to lay wires around wherever you want. The thermostat also allows you to accurately adjust the heat to want you want. You also have an installation monitor to ensure accurate set up of the unit. Lastly, for those on a budget, the Happybuy Electric Radiant Floor Heating Mat is an excellent buy. You get a programmable digital thermostat, and this mat comes with protected wiring to ensure durability. The PVC cover here ensures that the heating system is safe and warm, and it is one of the best electric radiant floor heating.