“We hate the tile floor in the bathroom it is so cold. I can’t stand it” said a customer after they moved into a new home. Have you had this same feeling? Anxiety over walking across the floor to the shower or lying awake at night because you’ve “got to go” but don’t want to shock your system?
Any locale which features cold nights delivers cold bathroom floors. The only way around it is with radiant floor heating. I don’t design a bathroom without it.
Qualified Remodeler conducted a reader survey and found that floor heat was the #1 forgotten bathroom feature.
When asked about using radiant floor heating, Dallas based architect and author of Life of an Architect blog Bob Borson replied, “we use them all the time with very positive results.”
Efficiency: According to most sources radiant floor heating is the most efficient style of heating.
- even distribution of heat
- low heat loss vs forced air which blows air into center of room which then rises
- healthier than forced air – perfect for people with allergies
- heat when needed – zone to match lifestyle
- forced air or radiators require higher heat to achieve comfortable living
- monthly use costs are much lower than other systems
Now let’s take the old sledgehammer to the typical arguments.
But my ceilings are low? Again, things have changed. The first time I looked into it for our house I was told to expect to add 2-3″ to existing floor height for the original water filled tube/cable system. Nowadays most people are going with electric mats which can be made to order and are 1/8″ thick.
What if I don’t like tile? Radiant floor heating can be installed under stone, laminate, engineered wood and certain wood floors*.
*Check species of wood not all are created equal. Also strip flooring is better than plank wood floors.
Isn’t that expensive? Old wives tale. No, not at all. The price has come way down in recent years. For a 12′ x 12′ bath maybe $2500. For an average bathroom gut & remodel this is a small fraction of the overall cost.
Nuheat is the premier manufacturer of easy to install electronic floor heating systems. Both their mat and cable system can be installed under tile, stone, laminate, and engineered wood floors. Plus I love that they can customize a mat for your exact location. Who want’s to heat under the cabinets?
However if you want real luxury, impress your friends with this one: a heated shower floor. Nuheat recently introduced the industry’s first pre-built Shower Mat. I saw this at the KBIS show in Vegas —the ultimate bathroom luxury. Read what A Concord Carpenter Robert Robillard says about the heat mats.
According to Christy Fabros of NuHeat, one of their contractors contacted them to report, regardless of budget they recommend NuHeat radiant heating.
JB, home remodeling king and author of Building Moxie: The Do Together Daily out of Baltimore uses electric radiant heat mats in his own house. “I did a little research around the mats, but ultimately went with Suntouch’s Warm Wire. It allowed me the freedom to control exactly where I wanted to put it … in multiple rooms and with proper clearances. I would recommend it — it has a guarantee and a (material) cost of around $800 for about 65 sf.”
Of course radiant floor heating is efficient and useful for almost any area of the home. How about the mudroom floor where the dog sleeps? But bathrooms are at the top of the list. Tile is the best flooring option for a bathroom because of moisture and durability. Radiant heated floors in the bathroom are simply a requirement for livability and comfort. Request radiant floors on your next bathroom remodel so it does become your #1 bathroom regret.
Check out new radiant floor product update in 11/16/2011 post.