Why Is My Floor So Cold?

It’s a chilly winter morning and you jump out of bed to get ready for your day. But today your were unpleasantly greeted with the shock of the cold floor on your feet. You are probably asking yourself “why is my floor so cold?”

There are several causes for your fold being cold. One cause is the temperature and airflow. Going back to science class, we learned that hot air rises and cold air sinks. Meaning that the coldest air in the house is hovering around your floors. Another reason is the type of foundation you have. If you have a slab or stem wall foundation, concrete is directly under your floor covering and concrete naturally stays cooler.  If you have an unfinished basement or crawl space, there is an air-space between your first floor living space and the ground, which allows cool air to circulate under your floor system. Another cause is the type of flooring you have: tile, vinyl, laminate, carpet. Tile is typically the coldest floor covering.


Under-floor heating systems

There are several remedies for a cold floor that vary in cost. While we try to save on our electric bills, raising the temperature a degree or two at night can help get more warm air into your home. A more costly remedy is to install an in-floor heating system. There are three types of in-floor (radiant-floor) heating systems:

  1. Electric (heat via electric wires)
    • Electric systems are less expensive to install but more expensive to operate
  2. Hydronic (heat via hot water tubes)
    • Hydronic systems are less expensive to operate, but more expensive to install.
  3. INFRAFLOOR™ (ultra-thin electric film or mat)
    • INFRAFLOOR™ can be installed under wood and laminate flooring that gently warms the floor and area around it with infrared heat.

Another option could be an HVAC vent in the vanity cabinet toe-kick. This system blows across a tile floor and can really warm up the floor as the tile absorbs the warmth from the warm air and stays warm even when the heater is not on. A more cost effective remedy that doesn’t involve remodeling your home would be adding an area rug(s) or you can always wear thicker socks or slippers.

While cold floors are a quite unpleasant shock in the mornings, there are a few options you have to remedy them.

Edited and posted by

McKee Homes online marketing manager

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4 thoughts on “Why Is My Floor So Cold?

  1. mine is marble flooring in india, too cold in winter and too hot in summer, apart from the above any remedies like carpet or wooden sheets will help ?

  2. As I was reading your article, you state that tile is usually the coldest floor covering. My husband hates carpets; he thinks they are gross because they can hold so much dirt and hair. I have been thinking of updating the primary flooring of our house to concrete floor tiles.

  3. John, this was an informative post about different types of flooring. My husband and I have been wanting to get some new floors in our house but aren’t sure what type we want. We were thinking about tile but I don’t want to have cold feet all the time. Does electric floors work with tile?
    Emily Smith

    • Yes Emily, you can have electric heating added underneath tile before the tile is installed. See the first photo in the article photo strip. However if the tile is already installed it would have to be replaced to add the electric heating. One inexpensive option if the tile is already installed is to add a toe-kick heating vent to blow warm air across the tile floor which will warm it nicely when the central heat is on. Thanks for your post, John

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