Warmup under-floor heating works by using electrical resistance to create heat. The manufacturer offers the heating coils in a mat, as loose wires or in a foil system. Some Warmup systems require thin-set concrete to protect the wires, but others install directly under the flooring.
Radiant heat is an option for almost all flooring types. For hard surface flooring, radiant heat provides warmth other systems cannot match. Placing the system under the flooring eliminates cold spots, allows heat to rise naturally and keeps the heating system out of the way. The protection of the flooring and the fact that there are no moving parts eliminate the need to maintain the heating system.
In a radiant heating system, each room has an individual thermostat. With this feature, homeowners are able to take advantage of zone heating, which allows them to take the chill off one room without turning on the entire heating system.
However, under-floor heating systems do have some disadvantages. As of 2015, these systems take longer to heat than other types in use. Special precautions must be taken so that heavy pieces of furniture like pianos and bookcases do not damage the heating system. Finally, installing under-floor heating requires removal and replacement of the existing floor covering, which adds significantly to the overall cost of the project.