Why does everyone love heated floors?

paul_maFebruary 3, 2012

I know heated tile floors are popular now. But I really need to be convinced!

I live in MA, and keep the house at a toasty 68 or so. In my prior house the baths had tile floors an *I* never felt troubled by the temp of the unheated floors. (In my current house the bath has vinyl floors and is badly in need of a redo, which is why I'm asking.) Doesn't everyone have throw rugs/bath mats on the floor? Don't those mitigate whatever cold there is.

(I am sharing this house with my daughter, and she isn't as cold tolerant as I am, so if I do this it will probably be for her.)

How are these heaters used? Do you just turn them on when you are in the room and feel the need? Or are they left on, on timers, to warm up for those times when you expect the bath to be used? (Nobody in my house keeps to a regular schedule.)

Also, I don't think I have seen mention how much extra thickness the heating wires/pad add to the floor. I have very low ceilings (7'6") and so can't spare much.

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Do you have an electric blanket? A cat? A dog? A sig other? Something to warm up those sheets on a cool night? You know that feeling or being in a cool room and then sliding between warm sheets? THAT is the feeling that warm floors give you! It's a tiny bit of luxury that doesn't have much operating cost, and you get that "aaaaahhhh" feeling, rather than the cringe of feet on cold tile.

In a related vein....Are you diabetic? Have other issues that involve neuropathy? I ask this because I really think that anyone that lives in MA and doesn't find tile floors cold in the winter might have some nerve damage to the feet. It's something to talk to your doctor about anyway.

As far as your technical questions, they add almost no height to a tile installation. Maybe 1/16th of an inch? You put them on a thermostat to activate several hours before you will be up and using the bathroom. They aren't instant response. Because of the thermal mass of the thinset and tile, there's a lag time in the floors reaching temperature---or losing temperature as well. I leave mine on 24/7 on days where the temp goes below 50, but I do a lot of work out of my home. It might cost me $20 extra a month for that. If you use a timed thermostat for just a.m. and p.m., then it could cost you less than half of that, depending on what you pay per KWH.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 3:58AM
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People respond to creature comforts differently. That may be an obvious statement, but, just calling it out that maybe you have less sensitivity on your feet than others. For me personally, there are both physical and psychological benefits. Physically, travertine is very cold (I live in Seattle and it doesn't get very warm here), and I love the feeling of the warmth on my feet. Psychologically, I want to go into my bathroom knowing that my feet, and the room, are going to be toasty. I even put heated floors in my showers which I like because the heat dries the tile out more quickly. Of all the improvements I made to my bathroom heated floors are my favorite, with the curbless shower being a close second.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 10:52AM
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It was a given that we'd put a heat mat under the tile in our MB--that bathroom is over the (unheated) garage. Prior to renovating, stepping onto that floor in the winter (esp during the night), was like stepping onto a block of ice. Our hall bathroom is over the utility room, so is naturally fairly warm to begin with. DH would have forgone floor heat in that bathroom, but I knew he would wish it had it once he felt how nice it was in the MB (he uses the hall bathroom). He loves the floor heat (and doesn't mind an "I told you so" about that!).

We used Hu-Heat mats--they are extremely thin, fabric-like mats with the wires embedded in them.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 11:04AM
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paul_ma since you know how to web search, please go read the sites put up by the electric heating mat distributors. Come back when you have other questions.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 4:00PM
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Do you have hot water heat -- either radiators or baseboards? If so, you can run the heated floors off this system and keep them on all the time (thermostatically controlled). The tubing does take up a little space, but not much -- maybe 1/2".

The heated floors really are much more comfortable than non-heated.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 7:18PM
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Fori is not pleased

I never really felt the need either and while I've never lived in MA, I've lived in an uninsulated drafty house in MI.

It just doesn't bother some people.
I think in earlier generations (before heated floors), the people with cold-sensitive feet wore slippers.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 9:22PM
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Thanks everyone.

Green - I guess different strokes ...:

"Do you have an electric blanket? A cat? A dog?"

A cat, but she doesn't sleep with me.

"A sig other? Something to warm up those sheets on a cool night?"

Not for a long time.

"You know that feeling or being in a cool room and then sliding between warm sheets?"

Actually I like the feeling of slipping in to *cool* (not cold) sheets. (Call me contrary - I also prefer low thread count sheets that have a little texture to them, over those slippery high thread count sheets.)

I have forced air heat, so its electric or nothing. And I am evenmore disinclined to go this way if I have to leave it on all the time control it by timer.

This is a second floor bath - there is no cold slab or garage under it.

I think I have heard enough to decide to forgo this feature.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 10:32PM
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Ohhh, I wanted heated floors but DH had seen too many jobs gone bad and didn't want the possible hassle. Plus, we live in Tx! I do have a small rug in front of the tub. I prefer the look of an uncluttered floor so I choose not to have more than that.
Now what I DO have in the master bath that is heated is my toilet! LOVE it! Happiness is a toasty toilet seat on a cold morning :) It's on a timer...what a shock to sit down after midnight or before 9 in the morning LOL

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 2:15AM
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We put a heated floor in our bahroom whewn we remodeled in 2005. It comes on automatically when the gas heat comes on in our house-thermostat is set at 72 right now (North East winter). Our cat loves sleeping on the floor. Also a nice treat for the feet when one gets up to use toilet during the night. Our contractor put it in and it's basically been no problem at all.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 2:44PM
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