Northern Virginia is in a pretty sweet spot in not getting too cold in the winter time, with minimal amounts of snow. BUT, when it does get cold here, it’s pretty uncomfortable, and forget going anywhere when it snows; you better get cozy where you are, because it’s going to take a while!
When deciding what types of flooring to get, you may want to think about whether or not you want to install radiant heat. It makes for a more palpable winter season, animals love laying on it, and radiant heat is actually quite economical.
There are a few different types of floors that do quite well with radiant heat, but you may want to consider the pros and cons before making your final selection.
Porcelain and ceramic tile are the most popular types of tile, and are the best at conducting heat. Your home will get the maximum in radiant heating and the tiles will not be adversely affected as the heat warms or cools. Whereas expansion and contraction can cause damage to other forms of flooring, tile is completely unaffected.
Laminate floors come in a wide range of styles including those that look exactly like hardwood floors. Laminates are a popular choice for those that are on a budget. This form of flooring does great over radiant heat because of how it’s made. Layers of wood, running in opposite directions makes it a stable flooring option-more so than solid wood.
Engineered Wood Flooring:
Produced in layers, just like laminate, engineered wood flooring has a stable base that won’t react to the heating and cooling process. Engineered flooring’s top layer is solid wood and the bottom layer is a great conductor of heat. Because it’s not actual hardwood, it’s not as susceptible to the damages that hardwood can endure by the heat.
Natural Stone Flooring:
Natural stone is the best when it comes to conducting heat. Granite, travertine, and the like are porous by nature, and allow the heat to travel through it, not just beneath it.
When it comes to radiant heat, there are really only two types of flooring you may want to stay away from; vinyl and carpet. Vinyl can discolor or give off vapors from the chemicals used to create and process it. Carpeting already has insulation, so to put radiant heat beneath it would be a waste of money-you won’t feel it. As mentioned above, solid hardwood floors shrink and swell during the heating and cooling process which could lead to cupping, cracking, or crowning. In short, it’s not worth it in the long run.
Talk to us about what kind of flooring you want in your home, and we’ll plan together how to keep your feet warm even in the coldest of northern Virginia’s winters!