Some questions about hydronic toe kick heat
We're rethinking our plan to install electric radiant floor heating due to the cost ($2400-ish) and are now considering hydronic toe kick heaters. (Hydronic radiant floor heating wasn't an option because we don't have sufficient access to the floor from underneath, and a surface installation would raise the floor too much). I would love to see some pictures of toe kick heat vents in kitchens, whether electric or hydronic, to get a feel for how it will be to have the grills in my kitchen. Anybody have any to share?
I talked with the folks at Turbonics and was told that three units will be sufficient to heat our kitchen. I'm hesitant to install them in our perimeter cabinets because all but the sink, cooktop, and microwave drawer cabinets will have furniture bases, and these three exceptions will have decorative feet. I hate to detract from something we did as a design feature with an ugly grill. :o/
Our island is roughly 5x8, so I'm thinking maybe we could install units on 3 sides under the island. The three sides face the cooktop, main sink, and seating (with snack area behind) respectively. The fourth side faces the dining room and is highly visible, plus there is radiator heat in the dining room, so it's the obvious place not to put a vent. My concerns with this option, though, are that it will be noisy to have three units so close together, and that it will force us to tweak the design of the island a bit. Still, it will save us $1500 and allow us to utilize the hot water that already heats the rest of our house.
One other thing - we will likely be reinstalling one old radiator near our back door and we have three large south-facing windows. Right now with the demo we are down to one radiator, and have had sub-zero temps for the last couple of weeks. The kitchen has remained very comfortable, so I'm hoping the new heat system will just be a supplementary thing.
So, if you have this type of heating, my questions are these:
1. Which brand did you go with?
2. Do you have a wall (or cabinet) mounted switch, or is it controlled from the unit itself?
3. How noisy are they? (The Turbonics people said we'd never have to go higher than "low" with three units.)
4. How noticeable are the grills? I would love to see photos!
5. Do you use yours as your primary heat source?
6. Would you install this type of heating again?
Here are a few pics for reference: