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Comparing radiant underfloor heat products

You get what you pay for!

How many times have I found that out the hard way when buying cheap products or services that ended up costing me more in the long run? Not only would I lose out on my initial investment of the product that failed, I also needed to re-invest in a new product that would hopefully last longer than my original, cheap choice.

Imagine yourself in this scenario: You are about to undertake a do-it-yourself bathroom-remodeling project. You have a set budget amount to guide you in your purchasing decisions. Special attention is given – without question – to the aesthetic products in the bathroom, such as the vanity or pedestal sink as well at the plumbing fixtures and tile choices. You also plan to warm up your cold-tiled floor with an underfloor radiant heating system.

Due to the small amount of square footage in a bathroom, underfloor heating product choices for bathroom remodeling projects are basically limited to electric radiant heating systems. Underfloor electric radiant heating systems are made up of either cables or mats. These products are readily available through big box stores, electrical supply warehouses or e-commerce retailers.

The next thing you’d probably do is go online and research the underfloor electric radiant heat products that are available – you will no doubt be overwhelmed by the number of choices you find. Most of the systems you will view are cables that operate at 120 or 240 volts AC power. You will notice fancy names on the product boxes that come in all sorts of colors designed to get your attention. Many underfloor electric cable companies manufacture their products for companies that will then privately label those products as their own, and then bring them to market.

Now, I’m not saying all cable systems are cheap. Many of them are far superior to cheap “big box” types. The problem with cable systems is that they have a very thin heating element, which can be easily damaged during installation. Compare it to the filament in an incandescent light bulb: We all know that once the light bulb fails, it’s a throw away product.

However, there is an alternative to high voltage electric radiant heating systems. offers STEP Warmfloor – a low voltage mat product – as an energy-efficient, more durable alternative to cable systems.

At, we chose to market the STEP Warmfloor product because we strongly believe that energy efficiency and reliability are benefits that homeowners are looking for. This unique, low-voltage heating mat is rated at 7.8 watts/ foot which calculates into a 45 percent savings over standard cable systems. Furthermore, the product is capable of self-regulation, which provides additional energy savings, and can be utilized under virtually any floor covering, making it a more versatile system than cable-based products.

The product is also backed by a 20-year warranty and is physically unable to overheat, as it does not utilize a filament to create heat like radiant heating cables do. The product utilizes Nano-technology by utilizing carbon black as its heat source. This material does not have an end life – meaning it will literally last forever.

All of the above benefits do make this product more expensive than most high voltage electric cables, but its energy efficiency will provide a return on investment due to operation-cost savings (250 percent), and you’ll have peace of mind by knowing that the system will be working under the finished floor for as long as the house is standing.

The energy that is saved from utilizing STEP Warmfloor will pay back your initial investment in less than four years when compared to the cheapest electric cable heating systems. The investment really pays off as STEP Warmfloor has never failed, eliminating the need for new purchases several years down the road.

Do it once and do it right! Now that is getting what you paid for!