After toughing out last winter in a very old, VERY drafty rental house we moved back into our #samuelfamilyfixer post construction. Spring was already in full swing so we didn’t get a chance to feel the difference in our Warmboard radiant heated floors but do you want to know something I do not miss AT ALL?! (aside from the forced air heating in the rental house and all the dryness and runny noses and eczema and allergies we put up with All. Winter. Long.)… The baseboard heaters. They were really messing up my streamlined vision.

Let’s take a peek back with a little before and after of the corner of the living room because it is OH so satisfying. I already forgot the baseboard heaters existed.

Both are Iphone snaps of the same corner. Looking at the first one gives me the heebie jeebies for real. We had just landed about a week before from our cross country road trip and this was Clover’s make shift play corner, complete with our lawn chair furniture while we waited weeks more for our furniture to arrive.

Aside from the shelving change, the biggest difference is the absence of the baseboard heaters.

If you remember back to my first post on the flooring… after a lot of research on radiant heating systems (um michigan newbie over here) I found Warmboard and moved mountains to get them into our renovation. Ok not mountains but we did end up installing all the boards ourselves to get it to fit into our budget. First, I knew the winters in Michigan were going to be rough, so I wanted to make the inside of the house toasty warm or I wouldn’t make it so I researched radiant floor systems and Warmboard was the clear winner with all the different finished floor possibilities that work with it and the efficiency. I knew I wanted a combination of tile, carpet and wood or laminate and Warmboard works under all of them. And as you know, I wanted to ditch the baseboard heaters, they were killing my clean design vibes but didn’t want to switch to forced air for all the efficiency and cleaner air benefits of radiant heating.

The install process went smoothly with just a little bit of a learning curve. Warmboard designs the layout and you receive the plan and it’s basically a simple puzzle on a grand scale. The stand up electric screw gun which was indeed a life (and knee) saver. The first room is where we learned our first lesson, the walls are not square so we had to cut the last one on an angle every single time and things started to get a little tight to one wall as we finished the space, but it just worked out. On the rooms going forward we made sure to allow extra dead space on each end so the tubing didn’t get too close to the walls.

Despite Rupert scratching his head, the plans were very easy to follow.

Once all the panels were in place we had to do some custom routing which was all outlined in the plans as well.

Warmboard sends three templates which work for all the custom routing we needed to do around various corners and where all the tubing goes down below the floor to the boiler.

Pop Pop is screwing on the router template to make a channel for the tubing to connect from the boards in our master closet to our master bedroom. To use it you screw the template in place, follow the channel with the router and then unscrew it for the next spot.

Once we installed all the boards and finished the custom routing (which all in all took us about a week doing it ourselves between pop pop, Rupert, my brother-in-law and myself, juggling kids and work while we were at it) we called in the pros to install the tubing and the new boiler (we already had a boiler because of the baseboard heaters but ours was really old and we needed a new one).

Then it was time to roll out the carpet! Literally. Unlike many other radiant heated floors, Warmboard works with plush carpet and you just lay out the padding and carpet right on top of the panels (Using a low-r value padding).

In our living room the rust carpet had to go but I wanted to keep this room cozy. It is a very large room 18’ x 30’ and 20’ ceilings at the peak so any other flooring would feel pretty much like a gymnasium. The carpet keeps it soft and quiet and it has created a warm and inviting space you really don’t want to leave. It is SO nice to have a space for the kids to really tumble around in and play together on the floor but still be a grown up space that I also want to spend time in, inevitably also tumbling around on the floor. Despite any previous ick feelings on wall to wall carpet, I couldn’t be happier with it in this space. I chose a high quality carpet so it wasn’t a money saving venture, but an investment in our home and quality of life. The carpet is by Masland – Vero Beach collection, in “pillar”.

It took us a year and a half to get here but we are finally settling in, even if I have already changed up this corner 3 times and landed on a different layout entirely. That is the fun part, right?

The temperatures at night have been now dipping down into the 30s here and there so we have JUST started to reap the benefits of the heated floors. I wake up most mornings these days to warm tiles underfoot and the living room with the carpet could not get any cozier. I had many questions about whether or not this will be our only heating source and the answer is yes! I will keep you posted on how the winter goes, go ahead and say a little prayer for us. 😉

Artwork is called Two Sisters by Elliot Stokes from Minted // Stool from Lulu and Georgia // Coffee table is from Urban Outfitters // Chairs are vintage Albini // Carpet by Masland – Vero Beach – Color: Pillar



  • Teri

    Could you please source/name brand your boiler? We need to update our heated floor!

  • Totally agree, wall to wall carpet in kids spaces are awesome, even though it’s not the prettiest- I always just layer a rug right over the top of my carpet too!

  • I’m considering putting warmboard into a 1900s brick 2-story I’m rehabbing for myself and I’m wondering if you can let post about how you all fared in truly cold conditions and what maintenance or finish-work issues you ran into with pipes full of water under all your floors.


  • Audrey

    I love your shallow shelves, can you please share the depth of them?

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