In the heat of the summer, there is nothing quite so wonderful as stepping onto a cool tile floor. The smooth surface provides a bit of respite for warm, if not sweaty, feet. With colder climate finally starting to show itself in West Michigan, however, we are reminded of the less pleasant side to tile's ability to keep cool. As soon as temperatures start to drop, your floor quickly becomes unbearable to walk on. You may even dread going into whatever room it is that houses your beautiful tiles.
So what can be done? Well, you have a few options here, but first we want to address the question mentioned in the title. Truth be told, it's not easy to warm the actual tiles themselves without installing underfloor heating. The good news is that tiles are an excellent type of flooring to conduct heat. If you do have the opportunity to install a new floor and can invest in the underfloor heating, tile is a great option.
For those of you who are stuck with your current tile flooring for the foreseeable future, we have a few tips to help you fight the chill.
1. Start with socks
This is the obvious solution for anyone looking to protect chilly feet from winter nights. Socks or slippers will ensure that your toes never have to endure the hideous shock of hitting icy tile in the morning, and they'll add a bit of cushion for your joints too (bonus!). Now, if you do end up championing socks this winter, invest in some wool socks. Wool has the ability to repel moisture, whereas cotton will trap it and leave your feet both cold and wet. Yuck!
2. Change the Scenery
You can use a little imagination for a fashionable solution to cold tile. Get some winter area rugs or runners to spread across the floor. The redecoration will give you the opportunity to change things up a bit while giving your feet something more inviting to walk on. Rugs will also protect your floors from damaging winter dangers such as snow, salt and mud. It's a win-win!
3. Upgrade those Rugs
If rugs aren't cutting it on their own and you have a little wiggle-room in your budget, consider an electric heated mat to go underneath. These toasty mats are intended to slip under your rugs and then you simply plug them in. Just imagine stepping on to a deliciously warm rug when the day is chilly! Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? We just wouldn't suggest installing them without great caution in rooms susceptible to water spills (bathroom, kitchen, etc.).
4. Guard Against Drafts
Tile doesn't need much help chilling over, but the problem with their temperature increases drastically whenever a draft finds its way in from the outside. Check your doors for unsealed drafts or holes. If you find anything, particularly at the bottom of the door, you can fix the issue with an inexpensive draft guard. Installing a new seal under the door would be a great choice too!
There you have it! Good, cheap solutions to protect your feet against those tiles of yours. Be sure to contact us if you have any questions about what you've read or about installing a floor with underfloor heating. We'd love to help the Greater Grand Rapids Area!