Between the cabinets, island, and appliances, kitchens can be one of the challenging rooms to install radiant floor heat. In PHCP Pros, columnist Stephen Minnich advocates for installing heat in an alternative location.

“I think radiant ceilings are too often overlooked as an option for primary heat and supplemental heat if needed,” he writes. “My preferred method of design is to approach these kitchen projects as two stages of heat. The radiant floor panel would be the first stage of heating, managing the load through the bulk of the winter. And the ceiling would be the second stage, banging on only during the coldest days. This is easily accomplished with a two-stage thermostat and a couple of relays; don’t forget to use a floor sensor with projects including hardwood floors. I prefer to use them on all my jobs, but that’s just me.”

With a high-efficiency propane condensing boiler providing consistent heat that radiates up from the floor, or down from the ceiling, radiant heating can be one of the most comfortable sources of heat for homes. It can even solve design challenges by eliminating bulky ductwork from between floors. Just don’t overlook the option to add heat sources from unconventional surfaces.

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