I'm looking for input on the following option for our old home. We have a 100 year old, 2200 sq. ft home in Minnesota. We've insulated attic with 3.5" of Icynene and replaced all the windows (double hung and picture) with new double glazed windows. Now we want to replace the 60+ year old boiler and standard hot water heater with a 90%+ efficient boiler and boiler-mate water heater (probably the TriangleTube Solo 110). Since we're re-doing the heating, we thought it'd be a good idea to zone the house by floor. One contractor's suggestion was if we wanted to do the zoning and they'll need to cut the headers to the first floor radiators anyway, that we could pull out those radiators and put in radiant floor heating instead. Then the 2nd zone for the upper floor would just use the existing radiators.
We are planning a major remodeling of about 1/4 of the first floor (kitchen, bathroom, mudroom), including moving walls, etc. (in a few years). It seems to me that not having to work around radiator placement would be a bonus then as well.
Having grown up in old homes with radiant heating, I have an affection for the radiators themselves but I think having even warm throughout the whole floor would be nice, particularly with 1 young kid and one infant.