A Winter Treat: Radiant Bathroom Floors
Posted By Adrianne Anderson @ Oct 16th 2023 10:00am In: Just For Fun

While radiant bathroom floors have the appearance of a normal  surface, the real magic starts  below the surface. Radiant heating warms up the floor directly from below the floor’s surface.  Compared to traditional radiators which need to reach 167 degrees Fahrenheit to heat a room, radiant flooring only needs to get to around 84 degrees. The heat travels up through other objects in the room and warms the entire space.

Eliminating slippage and cold spots on radiant bathroom floors are just some of the many benefits.  Reducing moisture and mold growth and as well as being energy efficient are meaningful by products of having a radiant bathroom floor. Unlike other HVAC options, radiant under flooring is meant to be concealed, creating a sleeker line in the bathroom.

In-floor bathroom basics

There are basically two types of radiant flooring. The first is hydronic heating, also known as hot-water radiant systems, which runs hot water from the boiler through pipes under the bathroom floor. This option will require regular maintenance and work best  in new homes rather than installing them in existing bathrooms. In an existing home, you will need to remove and replace your existing floors.  For that reason, it’s best to install a heating system when you’re already in the process of renovating or installing new floors.

The second option is electric heating which relies on wires embedded in mats under the floor to conduct heat to the room. For either option, ceramic or stone tiles are the best flooring choice as they conduct and retain heat very well.

You can expect a hydronic system to cost anywhere from $6 to $20 per square foot, while an electric system will cost between $15 to $20 per square foot. Of course, the costs will depend on your location.

While these upfront costs may seem high, the cost savings over time may make radiant heating a good investment. Even If you ran either type of system all day long, the operating cost would only be $1 to $5 per day. Compare this to about $20 per day for a traditional air heating system. Not only is there increased value for your home when you go to sell, but you also have the enjoyment of living comfortably as long as you own the house.   

Programmable heating thermostats  are a great way to maximize your energy savings.   This allows you to set up the floor heating system to only turn on when you need it. 

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are the most popular materials selected for heated bathroom flooring.  Electric floor heating was designed to work with nearly all flooring materials, and advancements in laminate make the material more waterproof, which makes another option for radiant floor heat. 

As with any home renovation project it is best to consult with an experienced contractor for details on costs, installation, and process.

Thinking about installing radiant flooring in one or more of your bathrooms? Contact us for more ideas on how to cozy up to warmer bathrooms.

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