With winter approaching, it is time to take precautions to make your house warm and comfortable. The cold can seep in from every crack and fissure; even from the ground. Apart from sealing and repairing leaks and cracks, you also need to pay attention to your flooring and come up with ways to make it warmer. Walking on cold floors is uncomfortable, but when you know the right ways to make it warm, the winter will not feel so uncomfortable. Irrespective of the flooring material you choose, it can be kept warm if you know the right tricks.
Characteristics of Different Flooring Materials
To determine the best way to keep your floors warm, it is essential to be aware of the general characteristics of different flooring materials and how they react to changing temperatures and humidity.
Carpet has a soft texture and is the warmest flooring solution. Superior quality carpet flooring with a thick pad feels warmer as it improves the R-value, or the carpet’s resistance to heat loss. Carpet is, however, not the best choice for living spaces with pets, high moisture and those prone to waterlogging and spills.
It is a soft and warm, yet durable flooring material, resistant to fire. The cushioned structure of cork flooring contains air pockets that enhance its insulation and retain heat in winter.
A resilient material that is popular for its affordability and beauty, vinyl absorbs the chill and feels cold underfoot. But with the right underlayment, you can enhance its insulation and keep it warm.
A classic choice among homeowners for its durability and beauty, hardwood flooring can also get uncomfortably cold. Radiant heating, area rugs and joist insulation are the best ways to make your hardwood floor warmer.
When laid directly over a concrete subfloor, laminate flooring can feel uncomfortably cold during the winter months. But with the right underlayment, this can be avoided. A thick foam padding between the concrete and laminate can do wonders to keep your floor warmer.
Tips to Make Your Floor Warmer in Winter
Irrespective of the type of flooring material you have, the right insulation techniques can warm it up. The following are strategies to keep your floor warm in winter:
Keep out cold air
This is a preventive measure to trap heat indoors and elevate your home’s overall temperature. Stop drafts and heat loss by first sealing leaks and fissures. Check the weather stripping around doors and windows and replace them if needed. As hot air rises, it is a wise move to also insulate the ceiling, as there can be heat loss from there as well.
Area rugs are quick fixes for a cold floor. They are soft and provide sufficient warmth, depending on the material they are made with, and can be placed anywhere. They not only feel warm but look beautiful, adding a design element to your space. If you generally walk around barefoot, a softer and warmer surface is always welcome, particularly as winter sets in. They are great if placed bedside and near doorways and kitchen.
A suitable underlayment is the best way to maximize your floor’s warmth. If keeping the floor warm is your primary reason for installing underlayment, use a moisture barrier to prevent the cold from directly seeping through the subfloor to the underlayment. In this way you maximize the warmth of your flooring material. Naturally insulating underlayments, like cork and rubber, are the best choices when you prioritize the warmth of the flooring.
This is the best investment for keeping your floor warm. The only drawback is that radiant heating is not compatible with every type of flooring, so consult your flooring professional beforehand. The system is installed between the subfloor and surface flooring and emits heat directly upwards through the floor, keeping it warm during the coldest periods. It not only heats the floor but maintains the house’s overall temperature. However, it works best when your flooring material is conductive in nature, like tiles and stones. It can either be an electric or hydroponic system. However, if you have hardwood, the hydroponic system may not be the wisest option as it uses hot water to generate heat.
Drought proofing the floor
Using a drought-proofing sealant is the easiest way to make your floor warm when you have hardwood. Drought proofing locks in heat and keeps cold at bay. Installing it is time consuming and demands some work on your part but is worth it since it is so effective.
If your home is built on a joist platform construction, heat can be lost through crawlspaces and the unheated basement over which the structure is built. These floors should use fiberglass batt insulation to make them warmer. The rim joists should also be insulated to prevent heat loss.
Are you thinking of installing insulation below your floors or repairing them before winter sets in? Then this is the perfect time to check whether you can make them warmer. If not, then following the above-mentioned tips will ensure that walking around the house does not become stingingly painful because of cold floors.