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Question DetailsAsked on 2/12/2013

we have a room addition with a concrete floor. Can we replace the carpet with hardwood and add heat to the existing concrete? rm size 20x20

our room addition has a concrete floor. it has carpeting now. can we install
a heated hardwood floor? how much would something like this cost the room is approx. 20x20. the floor is not heated.

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3 Answers


We'll see what the experts say, Marsha. But if you're looking to hire someone to install that heated hardwood, just log on to Angie's List.

Answered 7 years ago by HughV


Absolutely, you can. Something to keep in mind: the heat strips will have to be embedded in a thin morter layer which will raise the floor slightly. A good tapered transition will make this not very noticeable. There are some floor heat systems that claim to not need embedding and a floating floor can be installed directly over the top of them. I have not installed these but have seen them in stores. There's not much call for floor heating in South Texas. You'll need to verify that the heat system used is acceptable with the flooring manufacturer you choose. Also check local code for any requirements. A local general contractor can coordinate the electrician to add the circuit for the heat, the heating strip installation, and the flooring purchase and install.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services
San Antonio, TX

Answered 7 years ago by Todd's Home Services


Having seen a couple of these go bad, my recommendation would be NOT to go heated in this way. The cost, from my experience, for an in-floor hot water tubing heat in an overlay (I think Todd Shell suggested this) will run about $2000-3000. This means you will have hot water running in plastic tubes in the floor - if you ever spring a leak, presto - instant mold farm, plus have to tear up the flooring. This assumes you have a hot water baseboard heating system - if not, higher price for a seperate electric heater for the coils.

There are electric heating systems to go under flooring - I am constantly amazed that UL rates these. In many jurisdictions they are prohibited - I worked one job where the house burned to the ground because one of the wires shorted out from the friction of the flooring moving up and down on it as people walked on it.

The concrete slab is cold (assuming it is basement) because it is in contact with the ground, at about 45-50 probably. Wood flooring over a pad will feel a lot closer to room temp than that. If you use a heavy visqueen vapor barrier over the concreete (mandatory to prevent moisture condensation in the carpet or flooring), then special insulated underlayment or rubber mat designed to go over concrete under a floating hardwood or laminate floor, the top surface should be close to air temperature, like an upstairs hardwood floor.

Bear in mind any laminate or wood flooring is going to feel colder than a carpet with similar padding, because of its higher heat conductivity - plainly stated, it xxxx heat out of any part of you touching it much better.

For further info on this google - "insulated concrete floor carpet mat"

One thing you could try real easily, if you can peel back a corner of the downstairs carpet (watch out for the edge nailer strip that holds it down) or open up an eddge by removing a door sill strip, is just get a few foot square scrap of thick rubber or foam carpet padding and slip it in under the carpet and see how that feels when you sit on it. I think you will be amazed at how much warmer it feels. It may be all you need is to pull up the downstairs carpet, put down a vapor barrier (tightly sealed at all walls), put down an insulated underpad, then put back down the existing carpet pad (unless the insulated underpad is thick) and carpeting.

One other suggestion - unless you are really enamored of hardwood, I recommend that people use wall to wall carpet in basements or depressed dens instead, as if you ever get a water leak it will accumulate under the flooring and ruin it, and economy carpet is WAY cheaper to replace. I had one coworker who installed true hardwood flooring in their basement - the next week had a water pipe break while they were away for the day, flooded entire basement, floor was totalled.

I also recommend, if they insist on hard flooring, that they use articifial laminate, preferably vinyl, as it is much more resistant to moisture coming through from the walls and floor, plus basements tend to be moist anyway. Real wood (and even wood laminates) can have some really nasty swelling and rotting issues in that environment unless you have unusually good ventilation and heating.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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