Author Topic: Tile floors in Cold Climate  (Read 877 times)

rbuck

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Tile floors in Cold Climate
« on: August 08, 2018, 12:46:15 PM »
The home that we purchased last year is a tri-level. The prior owner liked to do their own remodeling and as a result there is eight different types of flooring in the house and the floor levels are off more than you would expect. Anyways the main level has three different types of floor despite only being about 816 sqft with laminate in the kitchen. Between the bubbles that have formed on the laminate due to water and the pet stains from the prior owners dog on the carpet we are looking to replace the flooring on the main level.

Since we live in a cold environment and get a lot of snow we want something in our entrance way that will not be affected by the snow that gets brought in. We are looking at tile planks and having them go throughout the main level (hallway, kitchen, dining room, & living room). This part of the house is over a crawlspace. My question is does anyone have this type of setup and do your find the tile too cold during the winter? I usually have a pair of socks or shoes on so it doesn't bother me. I just want to make sure that it wouldn't bother my wife too much or that it would turn off future buyers if we were to sell.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 02:39:58 PM by rbuck »

OtherJen

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Re: Tile floors in Cold Climate
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2018, 01:15:30 PM »
Our house is on a slab foundation in Michigan, and we tiled our bathroom floor during a renovation 2 years ago. I'm very cold-sensitive and I've never had a problem with it (I wear thick socks all winter, regardless of flooring). The cat prefers to sleep on it during hot summer nights.

Cranky

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Re: Tile floors in Cold Climate
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2018, 01:56:47 PM »
I have terra cotta tile in my kitchen, and I don't find it any colder than the hardwood in the dining room.

tyrannostache

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Re: Tile floors in Cold Climate
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2018, 02:19:15 PM »
Personally, I would hesitate to put tile throughout a main floor in a cold climate. We live in the far north and have tile in a bathroom, but not anywhere else. Even if you don't mind it, I know that I would think twice about buying a place that has tile everywhere.

We had the same issue as you with a mishmash of poor-quality flooring types when we bought our house. We pulled it all out and put in wood-look vinyl plank flooring across most of the main floor (kitchen, LR/DR, and entry). I love it. It really ties the whole main floor together, it's easy to maintain, and it feels pretty good underfoot.

Fishindude

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Re: Tile floors in Cold Climate
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2018, 02:21:50 PM »
I like tile for the durability and low maintenance factor, plus it looks "permanent".    If you have some areas you might be walking around barefoot, just put down throw rugs.
I don't think it will be any colder than laminate or wood.

drudgep

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Re: Tile floors in Cold Climate
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2018, 02:39:12 PM »
Tile is fine- just wear socks and slippers. We also went with Luxury Vinyl which is very waterproof as well. Not as durable but we have little ones.

rbuck

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Re: Tile floors in Cold Climate
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2018, 02:42:26 PM »
Thanks everyone for their replies. Good to see that it hasn't been an issue for people that have them. Regarding the vinyl planks and luxury vinyl tile I have handled some construction defect claims where they haven't performed well. It is an interesting product but I would prefer tile.

Maenad

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Re: Tile floors in Cold Climate
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2018, 07:43:21 AM »
Could you put in electric heating underneath the tile? It's been a while since I was researching remodel options, but I seem to recall an electric mat that could go under flooring that didn't take up as much space as PEX tubing.

rbuck

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Re: Tile floors in Cold Climate
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2018, 08:21:38 AM »
Could you put in electric heating underneath the tile? It's been a while since I was researching remodel options, but I seem to recall an electric mat that could go under flooring that didn't take up as much space as PEX tubing.

Yeah there are some good products out there to warm the tile but it costs me with electricity. Last winter was our first in the home and the very first power bill we got was $800 (yikes!). Part of the problem was we had to turn off our boiler because it was leaking and use the furnace for our heat. Then because the furnace and HVAC unit was installed after the home was built they didn't spend the money to run any vents down to the basement, so I had to run a space heater in our basement to keep it warm. Even though I spent the winter working on small projects around the home to make the home more efficient I want to say the lowest our bill ever got was around $270. Now this is not a big deal for us but I would rather not increase our electricity usage during the months were we already use the most power.

GuitarStv

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Re: Tile floors in Cold Climate
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2018, 08:45:51 AM »
Tile floors are going to be marginally cooler feeling than carpet in the winter.  If your house is heated, this isn't going to be a big problem.  If it really bugs you, put on slippers, wear thick socks, or put down throw rugs.  Warming the tile is foolish.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Tile floors in Cold Climate
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2018, 04:38:16 PM »
Not an expert, but I believe that a well chosen tile, in a well chosen position, is a heat sink sort of thing, and will stay warm for a long time. I have some friends who have a slate floored conservatory, which gets a lot of sun in winter. They leave the conservatory doors going back into the house open, and those tiles keep the downstairs area a few degrees warmer in the evenings. It's nice to sit out there in the evenings because the tiles are warm on your feet.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Tile floors in Cold Climate
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2018, 11:43:24 AM »
+1 that tile can affect resale in cooler parts of the country. Is there a reason you are not considering hardwood?

rbuck

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Re: Tile floors in Cold Climate
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2018, 02:31:14 PM »
+1 that tile can affect resale in cooler parts of the country. Is there a reason you are not considering hardwood?

Mainly because with two kids, two dogs, and the kitchen we don't want to worry about water ruining the floor if it gets left on their accidentally. In our condo we installed laminate flooring and I was obsessive with making sure any water was wiped up immediately. Still there was water I didn't find in time and the edges started to bubble. Wood is going to be withstand a little standing water better but I just don't want to deal with it. We would also like to have just one floor throughout the main level. The way our entry is you walk through it right into the living room. There is no place to make a good transition between the hallway and living room.

The upper level is hardwood, which we will need to replace soon. The lower level has carpet and is our main living room area. We have our TV and game room area down there along with my office.

worms

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Re: Tile floors in Cold Climate
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2018, 02:35:04 AM »
I would argue against tiling a floor in a cold climate.  Our bathroom and kitchen (in northern Scotland) are tiled and although we are used to it, I once heard my sister in law get out the shower shouting “Ah! Cold! Cold! Cold!” as she ran out of the bathroom in bare feet!  Over the years assorted cats, dogs and house-rabbit rapidly found the group of four tiles in the corner of the kitchen where the hot pipe runs and they tended to snuggled down there!  As for working as a heat-sink, there is not much heat down at floor level and a lot of cold ground below!
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 02:37:10 AM by worms »

Malkynn

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Re: Tile floors in Cold Climate
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2018, 05:58:20 AM »
I live in an extremely cold climate and have tile in several areas of the house and would never think twice about not having tile.
Either your house will be cold enough that you won't be walking around barefoot, or you will keep it warm enough that the tile won't be cold. Either way, it would never cross my mind as something to be concerned about.

kimmarg

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Re: Tile floors in Cold Climate
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2018, 07:05:36 AM »
Counter point. I have tile on concrete slab in a sunroom/entry and it's stupidly cold in the winter as in MUST have slippers or socks or else. Really wish they had put in radiant under floor heat when it was installed.

Cranky

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Re: Tile floors in Cold Climate
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2018, 10:15:42 AM »
I can't imagine not wearing (wool) socks around the house in the winter. We keep the house pretty chilly, so the tile is the least of it.

Rural

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Re: Tile floors in Cold Climate
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2018, 04:05:27 PM »
My floor is concrete in a not-cold climate. You will find any drafts under doors in the winter, I can promise you. :)


But consider more than just temperature. Tile will be slippery (my old dog has trouble getting up from the floor where he lies down to cool off in summer). Also there will be no give at all, which will mean increased fatigue if you're on your feet much, and increased foot pain as you age. I think, in my climate, that it's more than worthwhile, but do consider those things.

lizzzi

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Re: Tile floors in Cold Climate
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2018, 04:20:00 PM »
I've lived in cold climates my whole life, and for the most part just wear wool socks or Uggs indoors in the winter. But after having owned six houses over my lifetime, my vote would be for tile in the kitchen and bathroom, and hardwood floors with nice area rugs in the other rooms. Wall-to-wall carpet is warm and comfortable in winter, too. Ideally, have an entry area or mudroom that is tiled for taking off wet/snowy/muddy boots and outdoor clothing before going further into the house.