Hardwood floors add a vintage spice anywhere they are installed. They are the go-to of most owners looking to add some character to their space while still looking for easy-to-install and maintain add-ons. You could go as far as saying hardwood is perfect until the cooling issue is brought up.
Some people believe that hardwood floors make your house colder, with others outright disagreeing. Some say it is no big deal and that installing an insulator takes care of this problem.
With so many people saying different things, separating the wheat from the chaff is challenging. Lucky for you, we like challenges. We will be looking at the various schools of thought regarding hardwood floors and house cooling, and at the end of this article, you will know all there is to know.
Let’s find out!
Do Hardwood Floors Keep a House Cooler?
It is near impossible to know as there is no single answer. Reports have shown that sometimes the hardwood floor temperature can be cooler than the room temperature, but there is no conclusive evidence to show that is the sole cause or a cause of this temperature difference.
These same reports point to a lack of insulation as being the cause for the cooler room temperature, but there is no data to make this claim anywhere near irrefutable.
In contrast, some believe hardwood plays a central role in regulating room temperature. Only that, instead of making it cool, it warms it up as it retains the heat in the room.
The following are examples of hardwoods that are believed to be able to keep the house’s temperature cool.
- Ash wood
- White Oak
Does Laminate Flooring Make Your House Colder?
Laminate, made of wood, has the same effect as any other wood flooring. It might feel colder to touch for people making a change from using rugs but would otherwise remain about the same for people that have used any other type of wood flooring.
The wooden nature means that it might be relatively colder during winter days as the cold winter air can seep in from the subfloor. But this is expected with many other flooring options, and the solution is, as always, proper insulation.
If insulation is out of budget, you can invest in a quality rug. You can have it around areas you are more likely to be bare feet and likely to spend most of your time.
How To Keep Hardwood Floors Warm?
The following are some easy-to-implement ways that are all but guaranteed to keep your hardwood floors warm.
1. Use the daylight
Hardwood can retain heat for a long time. Ensure your curtain is opened during the daytime, so the hardwood can absorb heat from the sun. The curtain should be closed once the period of intense heat for the day has elapsed.
2. Get an area rug for problem spots
One way to keep your room warm, especially in problem spots, is by using a rug. It is perfect for people not keen on covering every square inch of your hardwood floor.
You can place these rugs strategically in places that see relatively more traffic in your home. It is common because it solves the problem by simultaneously making your floor warmer to the feet and conferring aesthetic value.
3. Ceiling fans
This is a hack, but it is known to yield undoubted results. For it to work, you need your fan on the lowest power option, as having it too high would make your room and your floors cool, not warm. Once your fan is on a low setting, it evenly circulates the warmer air at the top until other parts of the room get warmer.
4. Heavy blackout curtains
Do you know how a black shirt out on a sunny day is a bad idea? It is the same principle, only that we are using it in your favor this time. Having blackout curtains traps heat from the sun and then relays it into your room.
This also warms up the air and your hardwood floor. This is very cost-effective and comes in handy for those cool winter months.
5. Limit the Number of Doors that Open Outdoors
Instead of multiple entries into your house, using just one reduces how much warmth is lost. Preserving heat inside will keep your hardwood floor and your room warm.
6. Check for drafts and cracks
Sometimes the solution can be as easy as replacing wood panels with defects letting in more air than usual. If constantly looking for cracks and defects would be troublesome, you should consider investing in quality hardwood floors.
Do Wood Floors Have To Match Room To Room?
The most straightforward answer to this question is that it is based on preference. There is no obligation for your wood floors to match the room to room or otherwise.
The look of your home should reflect your taste and individual lifestyle. Consistency in your flooring will make your home look pleasant and organized.
Nothing also wrong with getting creative with your flooring. This gives a different ambiance to different rooms, sometimes reflecting more on the individual occupant’s tastes. Wood floors companies and designers offer a wide range of patterns and styles for your discretion.
How Do You Insulate Under Hardwood Floors?
You have several options when looking to insulate under hardwood floors.
The first is to install a reflective foil beneath your hardwood surface. Doing this ensures that the heat you would typically lose is reflected on your wooden floor, ensuring it stays warm to the touch.
You can install fiber beneath your wooden floor, with polyester and fiberglass being standard, affordable options. Like a reflective foil, they trap heat you lose directly under your wooden floor. An advantage over other insulation options is that they can expand and contrast, a process known as “breathing.”
Lastly, you can decide to install polystyrene beneath your wooden floors. It has the same effect as the above-listed insulation options. However, in the event of a fire, polystyrene is known to saturate the area with toxic fumes that compounds the fire problem.
Do Tile Floors Keep the House Cooler?
This is one of the more frequently asked questions by setting up a new place. Yes, this is one of the benefits of tile floors. Having tile floors installed means you will be keeping the heat at bay. Even if it is scorching outside, you are guaranteed your house will be cool and comfortable.
What Type of Flooring is Warmest?
Carpeting is the warmest option for keeping your floors very warm. Carpet is made from thick woven fabric. As such, it is a natural alternative for keeping your space warm due to the soft nature of the material. For more warmth, you can invest in a carpet pad or underfloor heating beneath the carpet.
Besides being a very warm option, carpets are available in many styles and varying qualities so that anyone can pick one up regardless of their budget. Carpets are about or less than the price of hardwood floors, with the most expensive carpeting option, the wool carpet, still being relatively affordable while offering all the comfort you will need.
How Do You Get Rid of Cold Floors?
The following are simple tips you can follow to get rid of your cold floor:
1. Get a warm flooring
Before you consider insulators, padding or other options that could warm your floor. You want a warm floor or one that is easy to warm up to start with. This article has established that different floors offer different levels of warmth, and you must consider this when shopping for a new flooring option.
2. Prevent cold air from getting in
If you already have the floor, especially one that is not doing an excellent job at keeping in the heat, and you have no interest in splurging, there is a simple solution.
Keep your doors closed, and reduce the number of doors leading outdoors. Check for chips and drafts around the window and fill in the gaps in your walls, if any.
3. Get a furnace
You can always make your heat if the natural heat is insufficient, especially in cold climate conditions. Having a furnace allows you to warm up your room and floors. There is also the added advantage of regulating the temperature to your taste.
4. Add a carpet or rug
Another easy way to keep your room and floor warm is the introduction of a carpet or a rug to your space. Get a carpet or rug for the spots frequently visited in the house to make cold floors a thing of the past.
5. Buy a floor heater
When it comes to warming up your floor, very few things do as good a job as a floor heater. It is designed for this sole purpose and does a good job. Floor heaters are cost-friendly, with several options for you to choose from. They are:
- Radiant floor heating system
- Space heaters
- Under-cabinet or Toe-Tick heaters
- Cove heaters