While the advantages of natural stone tile immensely outweigh the cons, one of their prominent cons is that they are chilly on the feet in the winter. However, natural stone is not at all inherently cold and is, in fact, a fantastic heat transference material which retains heat for a long time. Although stone tiling in a home may call upon the need for socks, often in the morning, there are some ways one can warm up their tiles and keep their feet warm during the cold Vancouver Island winter ahead.
Kitchen Stone Tile
Often, the kitchen is a high traffic area. For one to put down a small area rug would come off as impractical and would end up becoming a tripping hazard (especially when it comes time for the big family get-together for the holidays). A recommendation would be to install underfloor heating. Underfloor heating and stone tile is the perfect match due to it being a heat transference material. Not only does underfloor heating save a person space on radiators and other ugly heating units, but it can also save one between 15-50% of energy costs.
Bathroom Stone Tile
Stone tiles are an ideal choice for underfloor heating due to them transferring heat so effectively. Even if one does not install underfloor heating in all the rooms with stone tiles, the bathroom is a room worth investing in. Who does not love hopping out of the shower early in the morning onto a heated floor to match that warm shower one just had? Especially, in the dead of winter.
The best option for heating tiles in a bathroom is hot water underfloor heating and is basically central heating for one’s floor. Plastic pipes are installed under the stone tile, and water is pumped around it. As this particular type of underfloor heating uses water at a lower temperature than radiators, it can help to decrease water heating costs.
Living Room Stone Tile
Depending on the size of one’s living room, one will have a couple of options on what is the best way to warm up your tiles. If one is fortunate to have a gas or wood fireplace in their living room, the heat generated from the fireplace will sufficiently heat the tile in living room area. Remember the statement above about stone tile retaining heat? No sense in underfloor heating if there is a fireplace in the living room that will do the equally as good.
As gas or wood burners are long burning too, the tile may still be warm in the morning. One can always purchase a big rug to heat up the center of the floor although that would mean covering some of your beautiful tiles which were not the purpose of installing tile. Similarly, a heated mat/wire system would work well to heat up the floor but at the cost of the aesthetics of your stone. Therefore, the recommendation would be underfloor heating to warm every part of the floor.
Good luck on staying on warm this winter and hopefully this helps one with ideas on how to keep their tile warm. The initial cost of underfloor heating may seem like a lot, but in the long run, one will earn that back through the money saved on their hydro bill.
Stop by City Tile and ask the knowledgeable staff about their experience with warming tile for the winter.