Minnesota winters, split foyer with basement concrete floors about 4′ below grade. Late 1970’s construction with 7 1/2′ ceiling and a cold basement in the wintertime.

My sister is considering an electrically heated floor system in addition to other upgrades (insulation & re-ducting) that she is going to have done – Is this practical given the climate and the depth, below grade, of the concrete floor and the ceiling height? What other alternative does she have to warm the basement to make it a livable, comfortable space.

The floor area that she is considering heating electrically is about 200 square feet. Which I realize is rather small but it shares the basement level with a two car garage, laundry/utility room, stairs and closets. None of which will have a heated floor if she goes ahead with this heated floor approach.

In my opinion, if she goes ahead with the heated floor, won’t she be heating the concrete floor and not the room? Won’t she have to insulate the existing concrete floor from the electric mat to such an extent that it will impact the already short ceiling height? If she tries to heat the existing concrete floor, won’t her electric bill go up substantially?

What could she put in for flooring? The installer is saying that ceramic tile is basically her only option given that most everything else has to be nailed or glued down. I can, from personal experience, state that most floor coverings don’t work well in a basement for a lot of reasons – Moisture, water problems, wildly fluctuating humidity & temperature, condensation, etc. especially the Pergo/Masonite type flooring – Floating floor system?

Does anyone have experience with this type of situation – Either negative or positive?