Radiant Heat Installation Remodels And New Homes

What are the differences between installing radiant heating during a remodel vs. installing in a new home? The answer comes down to hydronic vs. electric heat, and of course, cost.

Radiant heat can be a great addition to a new home or a remodel. It can add elegant comfort and extra value to your property. It can also provide environmentally conscious cost-saving additions, especially in the Portland Metro Area. Oregon tax incentives and cheaper heating costs mean a lot of money can be saved by including radiant heat in your remodel or new home. But what are the differences between installing during a remodel vs. installing in a new home? The answer comes down to hydronic vs. electric heat, and of course, cost.

Hydronic Vs. Electric Heating

There are two types of radiant heating that work well for different projects. Electric heating uses zigzags of resistance wire that are installed in the flooring. This is usually best for small projects like retrofitting a single room or bathroom. Hydronic heating, on the other hand, circulates hot water from a boiler through loops of polyethylene tubing. Hydronic heating is the more cost-effective choice, but the installation can be more expensive. That’s why it’s best to use hydronic heating when approaching a new build.

Installing In A New Home

Radiant heat is so popular today because of all the cost-saving and luxury benefits. When you’re building a new home, the price of installing a hydronic system is easily outweighed by the savings and Oregon tax rebates. Hydronic heating tubes can be installed in grooves on top of the subfloor, clipped to the underside of the floor, or embedded into poured concrete. Once installed, hardwood or tile is the ideal finish flooring types to complete the process, making hydronic heating the perfect way to heat the living room, bathrooms or kitchen.

Renovating An Old Home

Installing a boiler or new water heater into an existing home can often be complicated and costly. Fortunately, electric radiant heating is perfect for this task. Electric heating may not have the same cost-saving benefits as hydronic heat, but the installation costs are much lower. Often electric radiant heating can be added to just particular rooms like the bathroom or kitchen, so the price tag is not as daunting as a new home installation. It’s also easier to install than hydronic heating because the resistance wire is always installed above the structural floor system. Furthermore, since the wires are installed just under the flooring finish, heat transfer is faster. And finally, electric systems require less maintenance than their hydronic equivalent.


Radiant heating is an excellent choice for your Oregon home, whether it’s new or old. Call The Earth Heating today at (503) 788-7777, and let us help improve your new build or remodel.

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