Skylight vs. solatube vs. heated floor

cottonpennyJanuary 27, 2012

We are trying to stay on budget for our new build.

I'm worried about lighting our most used bathrooms - the master bathroom and the kids' bathroom, both on the upper floor. The master bathroom currently has one window over a vanity. The kids' bathroom is currently spec'd with a skylight.

We can add a skylight to the master bath but that's an extra $700. We could add a solatube for about $400. I think we could replace the kids' bath skylight with a solatube and add a solatube to the master bath for about the same price we are at now. We could move the skylight to the master bath and add a solatube to the kids' bath for an extra $400.


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Forgot to mention, we could do a heated floor for about the same price as the skylight, if that would be better!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 8:51PM
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Just a thought: you can add a solatube (or, with more work + expense, a skylight) later on. But adding a heated floor later would be much more difficult and expensive, because you'd have to rip up the floor to do that.

If you want all those items, but they aren't in the budget right now, put in the heated floor and several inexpensive but decent looking lights. Then once you've recovered from the building expenses, you can add in the solatubes/skylights and different fixtures.

Everytime there's a thread about "your best bathroom decision," heated floors almost always comes out on top.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 9:10PM
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I agree with kasmi on this one. Install the floor now, wait for the solatube until the budget allows.

I installed a radiant heat floor nearly 7 years ago in my small bathroom. It is one thing that I have never regretted spending the money on- it's such a luxury and really warms up the space.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 1:22AM
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I just found this conversation and I thought you might be interested to know that there is a contest going on right now where you can win a Solatube Daylighting Device and a Glass Distraction just by answering a trivia question. The contest goes on for another few months, but the winner of round two will be picked next week! So go answer the questions! The next question will be posted today!

Here is a link that might be useful: Win a Solatube Daylighting Device

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 12:31PM
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depends on your climate. Where I live I don't think I'd put the money in a heated floor (phx area). If I lived up north or back east, I'd think it money well spent.

I have a skylight in the kitchen and 1 in mstr bath - love them both.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 9:25PM
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One thing to consider with your existing skylight -- if you flare out the sides, you will get more light in the room. We did that with ours and it was a great change.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 3:31AM
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I had a kitchen with an open and adjoining large eating area. There were two large skylights in the eating area, and the kitchen section was extremely dark. We put two solatubes in the kitchen area and the light they let in was MUCH brighter than the two skylights! The solatube guy said it would be, and I didn't believe him, but it was so, so true.

We got the option with the light inside the solatube for night, but we just rarely used it. I'd skip it if I use them again.

For light, put in the solatubes. You get more light and they're cheaper.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 11:30PM
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