Under floor heating can be a great choice for heating your entire home or for just keeping a bathroom floor warm during the long winter months. This type of heating works well for underneath carpeting, stone, wood floorboards, and a variety of tiles as well. You might consider having this type of system installed by a contractor to ensure it gets done right, and he or she may be able to help you decide on the right type. However, it's good to note a few tips on making that choice so you know which type of system would work best in your home.
Wet systems work with your home's hot water heater and are one long continuous pipe that runs along the subfloor. This continuous pipe means there is little chance of the system leaking or coming apart at joints. A wet system usually needs to be installed by a professional to ensure it's connected properly to your hot water heater.
The advantage of a wet system includes more humidity in the home during the dry winter season; this can also keep wood floorboards from getting drier with heating underneath them. Note that this system doesn't produce so much humidity that it may mean the increase of mold or mildew growth--just added comfort during the winter months. One concern to remember about a wet system, however, is that your home's hot water heater needs to be able to accommodate. Depending on the size of the under floor heating system, you may need to upgrade your hot water heater to something with a larger capacity.
Dry systems work with electricity; a series of cables get plugged in and conduct warmth underneath a type of mat that keeps them in place. One advantage of a dry system is that many come in rolls that you simply unroll over your home's subfloor and cut to fit. It is then connected to a switch that is connected to the home's electrical panel. This mat requires less room for installation than the wet system, so it may be a better option for tile or stone, which needs more room to be installed over the subfloor.
Note that a dry system may not be as comfortable during dry winter months as a wet system; although adding a room humidifier can often compensate. They may also cost more to operate than a wet system, as it may take more energy to heat the cables of a dry system than it does to heat the water used in a wet system.