It’s winter in the Okanagan and unless you’re up in Big White, you’re likely to prefer the warm weather of our beautiful summers. Thankfully, there are a lot of great ways to stay comfortable during the colder months including some warm flooring options you’ll love coming home to.
These include everything from soft, comfortable, and warm carpet options to in floor heating for the ultimate comfort. Our team can help choose the right options to insulate and/or warm your floors and a few tricks can improve the comfort of your existing floor coverings.
Insulating / In-Floor Heating
Choosing the right underlayment is an important first step for flat, resilient flooring options such as vinyl, linoleum, and hard surfaces. Normally underlayment provides only a very small barrier to the surface they are installed over (chilly concrete subfloors, for example). Higher quality underlayment provides a higher R-value and can help reflect heat back up into the space, keeping your flooring—and feet—warmer.
Radiant heating systems however, can emit warmth directly upwards into a floor, providing for a wonderful and luxurious toasty feeling beneath your feet. At the same time, the heat also helps control the temperature of your space and will offset some of your forced air heating needs. These systems generally work best with highly conductive surfaces such as tile and hardwood, but can be used with carpet and other options as well.
Radiant heating systems are either electric (warming grids placed under the flooring choices) or hydronic systems long tubes filled with water). The later is more expensive but offer the added benefit of cooling during the summer.
Warm Flooring Choices
For an easy fix to a chilly bedroom or living room, look for a warm and comfortable area rug. They can do a lot to make the spaces you spend the most time in, warmer and more inviting. Area rugs can also be strategically placed around larger rooms for additional comfort.
After are rugs, carpet is the most iconic and popular warm flooring solution. Once the most popular flooring choice for homes, carpet has declined in popularity compared with hardwood and tile in new builds looking for a high end appearance. However, new fiber technology has created luxuriously soft and smooth options in pallets that match any decor. When it comes to comfort, there is really no replacement for wall-to-wall carpet.
Over the past ten years, cork flooring has surged in popularity. An unexpectedly warm and inviting choice, cork is made up of millions of natural air pockets that help create an extra layer of insulation to the sub floor below. Cork is soft, relatively easy to install, and has a wonderful natural look that competes with hardwood and tile.
Vinyl flooring (and other resilient options) are not commonly thought as warm flooring options. However, some options can be installed over in floor heating systems and new constructions often include built in cushioning capabilities.