Guide to Radiant Heated Bathroom Floors

September 18, 2017

No matter how much you like the cold, at the end of the day, everyone likes to return to a warm and cozy home. There are several options for keeping your home properly heated, from traditional fireplaces to smart-home baseboards. One advanced technique, in particular, is underfloor, or radiant, heating. A nice bonus of this system is that you can install it solely in certain rooms, either for purposes of design or to switch entirely to this system in increments. One room we definitely suggest it for is the bathroom. Here’s what you need to know about radiant heated bathroom floors:

How Do Under-Tile Floor Mats Work?

The mats come in mesh rolls of varying widths which make them well suited to heating rectangular-shaped areas common to bathrooms. They consist of the pre-installed heating cable inserted in a serpentine pattern through the mesh. The serpentine pattern of the heating cable ensures that each bathroom tile that comes in contact with your foot will be warm with no need to worry about stepping on a rogue spot of cold. This is the basis of radiant heating.

What About Installation?

Installation is easy for a builder during construction. Adhesive backing allows the mat to be laid flat and remain flat, lining the backer boards beneath the tiles. As for the cables, they are usually only 1/8th inch thick so they will not raise the tiles. An armored cold wire lead connects to a 120v thermostat. You can also install a programmable thermostat to boost energy savings.

Pros and Cons of Heated Under-Tile Floor Mats

There are many pros and cons to this type of heated floor. Radiant, or underfloor, heating is wonderful for those cold winter mornings, especially in the bathroom, when you just do not want to jump out of a warm shower onto a cold floor. Of course, the floor can be cold at any time of year, so having a heated floor mat under your tile is a great comfort all year round.

Pros of Heated Floor Mats

The pros of a heated floor are numerous. For one, if you are just building your new home, it can be installed while the house is under construction, with no change in the lines of your new flooring–and no delay in your home’s construction dates.

Additionally, when you are thinking of custom homes, this is one of the finishing touches that can really bring your new construction together. This is one amenity that will have your friends and family envious.

Another bonus is that a radiant heated floor, comprised of under tile floor mats, is a relatively inexpensive addition. The floor can retain heat up to 95 degrees, really keeping you warm in cold months. The floor can save you money, too, as it eliminates any need for a space heater.

Cons of Heated Floor Mats

There are, of course, always a few cons when dealing with extras that can be added to a custom home. It is an added expense, and if you already near, or at, your budget, it might be one you will have to consider leaving out or cutting somewhere else in order to add.

If you are not building a new home, and are thinking of upgrading your current home, there is a bit more work to install the flooring and thermostat. It requires a bathroom remodel and overhaul of the flooring and is not quite as seamless as installing it in a home during the construction phase.

The under tile system heats only the floor, not the room, so that’s something to keep in mind as well. And finally, these under tile floor mats are for tile and may not conduct heat as well underneath other surfaces.

4 Big Benefits of Radiant-Heated Bathroom Floors

Regardless of how you feel about the basic pros and cons of heated floor mats, there are certainly some big benefits that come with radiant heated bathroom floors. These are just a few:

1. More Comfortable for Bare Feet

One of the reasons this system is particularly effective in the bathroom is the location itself. The bathroom is the one room where most people walk barefoot. Having the heat begin from the ground and rise up keeps us from having to walk on cold floors.

In fact, heated bathroom floors are one way to make a cold bathroom warmer. In general, your bathroom will become a much more comfortable space, especially with the extra room from keeping all the inner workings underground.

2. Reduces Allergens and Dust in the Air

Systems that require ventilation have the drawback of whipping up a lot of particles. These can be hazardous to anyone with a breathing condition. In a bathroom, it also contributes to making you dirty after you just got clean.

3. Radiant Heating is Efficient

Initial installation may be a bit expensive, but in time it will pay for itself. Radiant heating saves money due to its effectiveness. Other systems require more time and energy than underfloor heating to warm up a room.

When the heat rises from the ground up, it is distributed evenly throughout the entire room—the more quickly this happens, the less you expend on electric bills. This is one of the reasons the US Department of Energy Savers indicates that radiant heating tends to be more efficient than baseboard heating and usually more efficient than forced-air heating.

4. Heated Bathroom Floors Are Versatile

Another one of the benefits of radiant heating is that it is versatile. Underfloor heating can run with electric, gas, oil, wood, or solar sources. Not only that, but these sources can also be combined for the most cost-efficient system. Also, there are different forms of floor heating, like heat-inducing mats, that tend to be simple to install and cost-efficient.

There is a lot to be gained by heating your bathroom floors! The greatest thing, of course, is making your washroom a place of relaxation and cleanliness. There are two prominent radiant heating systems to pick from: electric or water-based. Both are good options and will help your bathroom feel like an in-home spa! If you’re ready to make your dream home a reality, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090 today!