What to choose between radiant floor heating and masonry stove heating

Radiant floor heating and masonry stoves are both using thermal mass as a factor for their heating method. Both systems heat a large mass which is releasing heat into the rooms and due to this fact these systems are comfortable, free of noise and very efficient.

The first system uses pipes which are installed under the floor into a concrete layer.

A boiler or rooftop solar panels heat a glycol solution which is directed to these pipes to warm the house. The drafts are eliminated because heat is coming up through the floor. Heat is distributed efficiently and isn’t collected at the ceiling. Also, cost can be reduced if the radiant floor system is attached to solar panels.

On the other hand, cost of the installation can be high for this system. These systems fit well in new houses and they can be difficult to install in old ones. Also, fixing projects can be costly and difficult as the concrete layer is present on the pipes.

The other system, masonry stove work in the same way as a normal wood stove does, but they represent permanent installations due to their weight and way of installation. They are usually made of stone, brick or cement which provides them a long lifespan. The chimneys of those systems provide a good distribution of the air inside the room because they wind back and forth inside the masonry mass and don’t allow air to escape out through the chimney. Also, they represent an important piece for the interior design of the house.

Masonry stoves have a big disadvantage if we consider their mass and weight. They can’t be installed in any place and the floor requires reinforcing into the area where the stove is installed, fact that will give you an extra cost. Also, they need a lot of space and this can be a problem for a small house. They are a good source of heat, but they can’t distribute hot air as well as a radiant floor system.

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