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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Heated Floors and Marble a Luxury? Maybe not.

We were cross country skiing in Burgenland, a forgotten corner of Austria.  It was wet and cold and we were staying in an old Castle

Our room had heated floors.  Wonder upon wonders.  Certainly not what we expected

Unbeknown to me, Gene made a mental note that if and when we would build a house it would have heated floors

And so it does

Our house has mostly marble floors.  I know, you say that they must be expensive.  Yes, and so is an in-floor-heating system.  However, it is a one time investment and it pays off handsomely

By now all of you know that I live in the country and in a very small town

I appointed myself as the general contractor of our new house

In 1994, the Internet was not what it is today.  Everything had to be found and researched the hard way

After begging and pleading with several companies to please make the 2 hour trip from the big city to lay our marble floors, we realized that we would probably have to tackle the job ourselves.

Gene gave a decisive NO.  I reminded him that in addition to the cost of marble,   each square foot would cost an additional $10 to lay.  This cost without extra cuts and extra designs.  Total cost over $25,000.

My advise for Gene, "get a pair of knee pads, please" and I will be your aide d' camp.

And so, we began

I don't know what gave us the courage to begin with a difficult pattern and a difficult area

Our entire lower floor (except the library) is covered  in Desert Peach and trimmed with Rojo

We were still living in the "Big City".  We worked on our house on weekends

 As we gained more experience we became bolder with our designs

Cutting curves into marble was not easy, I left that task to Gene

 The stairs in the hallway are not marble I painted them to look like marble

The house itself was built by a fantastic crew of young men headed up by Jeff Tucker, a local young builder

For 4 month, every weekend we laid our floors

Envirotherm of Salt Lake City designed our "Buderus" heating system.  Because we have so many large windows, heating coils were concentrated in certain areas.  Seven separate heating zones can be regulated.  Hot water for household needs is part of the system

It may be minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit outside,  we are cozy and warm on the inside, as we were many years ago in an old castle in Burgenland


Tooday I'm linking to  http://romantichome.blogspot.com/


  1. Oh Gina....what a luxury....I know about heated floors....we have a heating system under our wood floors up in Montana...it is marvelous...it keeps the whole condo warm and cozy!



  2. I think it is a smart decision when you live in a colder climate. I envy them tonight....it is in the high 20's and I live in a pier and beam house!!

  3. Hi Jo, It is the perfect solution for colder climates, such as you would have in Montana. You have the best of both worlds.

  4. Dear Theresa, Uh, ouch, high 20's is not good when you're not used to it or not prepared for it. I know that a lot of people are installing heating elements in their bathroom floors. A great idea even in more moderate climates.

  5. Oh, my goodness, Gina, you are such an inspiration I almost am speechless. Everything about your home is a lesson in craftsmanship and beauty. When I see what you've accomplished, I have to reassess some of the projects that we've balked at doing. Our home is very humble compared to yours but I think we might tackle that bathroom tile now! p.s. I seriously adore the chair in the first photo. I've seen it before here and it always make me happy. xo - g

  6. Dear Georgianna, Wish we lived a little closer so that we could come over and help you tile your bathroom. Bathrooms are a bit more difficult, so many more cuts to make. But don't let that discourage you.

    Have a great weekend. I have been enjoying your beautiful photographs in pink.

  7. I am in awe of both you and your husband, what a wonderful and comfortable home you created!

    Have you noticed that I have quite a few blog posts about Burgenland?
    I love the country around Vienna, but Burgenland has a special part in my heart. Where did you stay back then?

  8. Dear Merisi, Like you I truly love the Burgenland. I wish that I could remember where we stayed. As usual, we go without reservations and stop wherever it is convenient.

  9. What beautiful floors you've created! Amazing! And I can only imagine how heavenly it must be to walk across them!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  10. Dear Amanda, Wish everyone could have marble floors. There easy to take care of, they keep the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Thank you for your visit and comment.

  11. I wanted to comment after seeing the gorgeous chair in the top picture. Now I've read it all and WOW! Fabulous job!