After saving for several years, I was finally ready to renovate my kitchen. My plan was to completely gut the room down to the studs in the walls. I wanted to update the electrical wiring, add insulation to the walls, put up new light fixtures, and lay down hardwood flooring. I’d done a ton of research into refrigerators, ovens, microwaves and dishwashers. I had saved up enough money to purchase all new appliances, kitchen cabinets and a granite countertop. Once I’d torn everything out, I got thinking about the possibility of radiant flooring. I heat my home with a boiler system linked to baseboards. The system is wonderfully energy efficient, clean and quiet, but the baseboard heaters detract a bit from space and aesthetics. A radiant flooring system is installed beneath the floor, taking up no room and never drawing attention to itself. The heat is spread very evenly across the floor, eliminating temperature stratification, drafts, and cold spots. I liked the idea of walking barefoot on a warm floor in the wintertime. Because of already having the boiler, I didn’t think the installation of the piping for the radiant system would be all that expensive. I got an estimate from a local HVAC contractor and went ahead with the project. Unfortunately, we ran into all sorts of unexpected problems with the installation. There were rotted floor joists that needed to be replaced, plumbing pipes in the way, and delays with the equipment arriving. My budget for the kitchen remodel kept getting bigger and bigger. By the the time the radiant system and my hardwood floor were in place, I wasn’t sure I could even afford to purchase a microwave or dishwasher.