heat mat placement question

illinigirlApril 30, 2014

We included heat mat for a couple of our bathrooms in the initial bid. Today the project manager sent me the proposed layout- here it is:


As you can see, the water closet (toilet area) wasn't included. Why the heck not?! Can you imagine how unhappy it would be to walk at night on warm floors and then get a sudden shock in the toilet area of cold feet? I would forever be cursing this. I'm just saying, what if I didn't know this was the plan and didn't get an opportunity to change it (extra 200).

Anyways, my question is: Can we 'cheat' some of the other areas of the bathroom of heat mat and direct that saved square footage towards the water closet area? I was thinking of behind the bathroom entry door, under the window (near the shower), and several inches along the wall that runs next to the clothes closet.

In the end, if I have to pay the 200.00 I will, but if it's unnecessary, why not make the heat mat I've already paid for work for the space we have? The whole thing kinda ticks me off really. Their accountant supposedly made a 'money saving decision'. My guess is so we didn't get complete sticker shock on the upgrade which is already almost 1300 for that bath.

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If the thought of a cold floor near the toilet bothers you, I can't imagine removing it from the area in front of the shower. That would be the one place I would want it more than any other. I would remove it from the entrance area, if at all.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:20AM
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I don't get it. You included in the bid, radiant floor for the master bath, how does that equate to the toilet room not being included? If you paid $1300 for the bathroom, then you should get the entire bathroom. Did they send you the layout initially of the flooring heat that excluded the toilet room, and you signed off on that? Or did they just spring this on you now?

It ticks me off when we get nickeled and dimed for things that we would have no way of knowing were excluded. If they said master bath, then it should include the toilet room.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:46AM
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right nepool, that's why i'm ticked off.

rrah, I am definitely not taking out any in front of the shower. The project manager actually replied to me that he doesn't recommend taking out any from any locations (i'm thinking it's more labor for them to fiddle around with not laying it wall to wall).

The areas I was thinking could be cheated were right under the window (right underneath that window but not in front of the shower) and behind the door from the bedroom.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:51AM
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You should fight them on this. The assumption is that the flooring of a master bath includes (obviously) in the toilet area. Its a given. Makes no sense.

They are nickel and diming you for less than a $100 of materials.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:12AM
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just to clarify, in the bid we asked for "heat mat in the master bath". I re-read my contract and it does specify "100 sq feet". I have no idea how many sq feet our bathroom tile actually is. I *just* got the proposed layout this morning- I've never before known that the "100 sq feet" excludes the toilet area.

So I asked the Project Manager if we could finagle the 100 sq feet to include the toilet area, and making some other areas the buffer areas. (areas I've mentioned in earlier posts, plus the area behind the toilet- such that the heat mat only goes up to the toilet base itself). The area in front of the toilet amounts to 12 sq feet- a price of 127.00.

I did email him and expressed my frustration. I told him flat out it made zero sense to exclude the toilet area. Haven't heard back yet. I'm sure he's talking with the accountant on it, who is the one that made the call in the first place. They have been reasonable about everything so far- really they have. This one is on them though. They should have priced it out correctly up front, or they should be willing to work with what I have in the budget to get the areas covered that make sense.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:31AM
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Sophie Wheeler

You have well over 100 sq ft of heating mat just in the main bath area, without the toilet area. By my calculations, around 140 sq ft for the main bath. That may be off, because you're missing some dimensions that I could see, and I had to estimate.

Did they come back and ask for the additional for that 40 square feet? If not, then frankly, I wouldn't squawk at the $200 extra that they want to do the toilet area. You're already getting something above what the contract called for with them not asking for anything additional.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 1:16PM
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I measured my plan Holly and it is just about exactly 100 sq ft excluding the toilet area. That is the tiled area, not counting any area under the cabinets (which obviously won't have tile or heat mat underneath!) I spoke again to the PM and just told him to bill us for the extra to get the heat mat into the toilet area. It's not a lot of extra money. I'm just thinking what if they had gone ahead and done it without the toilet area how upset I would be. I'm glad I did get to approve the plan and make sure the toilet area got included.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 2:21PM
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Um... wow. You are more generous than I would have been. Yeah, I would have made them figure out how to get their 12 sq ft into the toilet area.

I will say, you don't want the entire toilet area covered though--keep it far away from your wax seal (generally just in front of the toilet will be fine/good coverage. It is just a couple coils that you need.

I'd take from "behind" the entry door. When the door is open, you'll never walk in that far 8" closest to that left little wall between door and closet door...

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 6:26PM
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Jack Kennedy

so.... the heated floor will make the wax seal on the toilet melt..... i had the same issue. You can have the heated mat go into the toilet room but I'm pretty sure that it has to be 12 - 18" away from the toilet drain.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 9:41PM
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If you can just get it all done. We have ours up to our toilets so when you are sitting down your feet are warm. We cheated a little in front of the door (from the bedroom to the bathroom). Well in the middle of a cold night, of course I step on that one spot that is not heated. No big deal, but now is the time to do it right.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 3:13PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I can tell you that our heated floor stops at the edge of the cabinet, not under the toe kick and when you stand at the sink, your toes really know the difference....

Hadn't thought about the wax ring issue before...I'll have to notice the next time I'm back there...presumably it stops at the front skirt.

I never know what I'm going to learn here!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 9:50AM
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The concern about the wax ring on the toilet is overblown. I have electric radiant in two baths, for about 10 years now. Installed it myself. Information given to me indicates that the maximum possible temperature is about 110 degrees and that temperature would be even over the entire floor if the mats are installed correctly. We find that 82 degrees is quite good. How could 82 damage the wax ring? Mine has a sensor embedded in the floor and the temperature regulation is remarkably even. Putting the mats up tangent against the front edge of the toilet flange should not cause a problem. And further back on the toilet flange/bowl is pointless.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 4:09PM
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I installed heating wires myself, it is a mixed bag.

But consider the price http://www.homedepot.com/p/SunTouch-Floor-Warming-20-sq-ft-120-Volt-Radiant-Heating-Wire-CO120020R/203085044

You have to set them up make loops, and these do not like to lay flat.... So $200 is it really a deal breaker.

Mats are even more expensive.

Here is a link that might be useful: heating wire.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 4:29PM
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I am supposed to buy our only heated mats today for the bathroom, and was planning to place heating in front of the shower, tub and cabs only. Anyone miss it much near the toilet? I tried to find a thread that addressed this... wanted to see what worked for you all.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 10:36AM
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Its winter and you go into the bathroom during the night bare foot to use the toilet. In my opinion, Yes, you will miss the heat under your feet.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 5:57PM
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You will absolutely notice where it isn't placed. You'll want it in front of the toilet too.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 6:21PM
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Invest in a pair of slippers for late night use of the toilet; the floor heat would not be quick enough for a trip to the toilet anyway and slippers prevent stubbed toes. The place floor heat helps most is in front of the shower but a bath mat would serve just as well and prevent slips.

If you want to improve your bathroom think about preventing falls. I have a friend whose daughter slipped in the shower and suffered brain damage. Grab bars and non-slip flooring are far more important than heated floors.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 9:57PM
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I disagree about the slippers. Sure you can put them on if you want. I wear slippers all the time in the house. But just to go into the bathroom in the middle of the night? No.

Heated floors really aren't meant to be turned on and off all the time. You set a timer and adjust the temp. Its like your furnace. You don't turn it on and off during the winter, you just program the thermometer.

Do it right and cover the whole floor. My next house I want complete whole house underfloor heating.

Before heating our bathroom floors my DD and I would crank up the furnace before taking a shower (often at different times not in the morning). We were heating up the whole house just to make the bathroom more comfortable. Since the heated floors we have never had the need to do this. Its not just for bare feet, it adds warmth to the room.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 8:03AM
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I'm curious about residual heat of the floor after it's turned off....what I mean is, say you have it programmed to turn on from 6-7am. How long after 7am does it stay warm? Or does it cool down pretty rapidly?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 8:30AM
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If anyone can answer illini's last question, it would be helpful to me too. Our heated bathroom floor is more of a luxury than a necessity, given our location near the Gulf Coast. That is the only reason I considered excluding the water closet.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 12:29PM
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When our floors are "on" they are always on just like your furnace.

Our bathroom floors, island granite, and forced air furnace are all on thermostats. Programmed to be warmer when needed. All four thermostats are programmed similarly. The floors are set to 80 degrees about 5 am, then at 9 am it goes down to 73 degrees. They stay like that until the next morning. Again the floors don't go off until we turn them off probably some time this month. We are having a cold spring or they would have been turned off this month. We live in Western New York. Chances are we will turn them on again in September.

We do the same for our granite island and our furnace.

EDITED to add: Our bathrooms do not get up to 80 degrees! Its just the temp we found to make the floors comfortable during the time most of us are taking showers. I also bump up or over ride the temp back to 80 if I decide to shower later in the day. Our bathrooms also have vents with forced air heat.

We decided on our programming schedule by trial and error.

This post was edited by debrak2008 on Thu, Jun 5, 14 at 16:24

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 4:10PM
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musicgal, fwiw I asked my tiler and he said they would stay warm for maybe an hour to an hour and a half if you were to shut them off. He was using a system called "easy heat".

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 4:32PM
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Thanks, illini.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 5:01PM
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