Radiant heat for bathroom floor?

gone_southMay 20, 2012

We are building a new house and am at the point that I have to pick tile for the master bathroom floor. I'm now thinking about adding the electric coil underfloor warming system under that tile, as it would be nice to have warm toes when in the bathroom. The bathroom has a walk-in closet (also tiled) off of it, and I'm thinking it might also be nice to have the warm floor in that area (could put a pair of jeans on the floor to warm-up while I shower, get the nice feeling of putting on warm clothes straight from the dryer). We'll have a traditional HVAC in the house, this is just an additional heat source to make the bathroom and dressing area more appealing. The foundation is a crawl space. I've only stayed in places with underfloor heat a couple times, so don't have a lot of experience with the systems. Is this a good idea to add to the bath, and if so, does it make sense for the closet too?

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The bathroom floor, yes, it's done quite often. In the closet, it depends.

"No" in the closet if you think you'll ever have boxes stored on the floor. RFH systems like to give up their heat. Anything insulative on top of them, and the life of the system can be shortened. That's why the wires are never run under cabinets/vanities, etc.

Now that might sound overly cautious, and I admit that it is. I instead recommend you get a nice towel warmer, to warm both your towels and your clothes. What I'm going to recommend is pricey compared to the not-to-effective bar-type towel warmers, but I'll still recommend at least looking at a Runtal Omnipanel. It can act as a very effective towel warmer, a very effective clothes warmer/dryer, and it actually puts out enough BTUs to be used as a room warmer too.

Different sizes for different requirements.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 3:05PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I agree with mongoct. Yes in bath...it is wonderful. No in closet...not necessary and the floor shouldn't be used as a clothes heater.

Also be sure that you have it installed with 2 connections for the controller. This way if one fails, you have a spare without having to rip up the floor.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 7:58PM
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Radiant heat is the best thing we did in our bathroom (and kitchen, and breakfast nook, and sunroom....). Definitely worth the time and money.

It will be rather shocking on the toes to go from a warm bathroom floor to a cold closet floor, however. I'd recommend you reconsider and put carpet in the closet.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 8:17PM
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floor heat is not hot enough to warm your clothes in the way that was mentioned in the first post.

it is ok to warm a closet floor too. There is no danger.

when you go see floor heat companies' web sites, you will see that they often place the heat cables in the middle section of the floor and not around the perimeter:: this is one way to plan it out well, so that you are not spending more and not putting heat into furniture (or boxes). BUT, the amount of heat energy is so minimal that it makes no big difference if some of the furniture base is resting on heated sections of floor. However, this statement might be untrue in one case or another, and if so, then the heat will build up a bit more than expected and perhaps cause some form of problem (like, just imagining, e.g. a stronger glue smell coming from cheap furniture). So, the companies are not going to overstate the case and advise you to install heat cables underneath fitted furniture that has closed-box bases.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 10:38AM
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I appreciate all these helpful comments and am now exploring a towel warmer. May have to wait until the vanity is installed before I can picture where that might fit effectively, but it's a great suggestion.

I've called our builder and told him to put radiant heat in the bathroom floor. I'm still considering options for the closet...it may just get a throw rug or a coil at entry and the main standing area. The cat and dogs are going to be so happy about the radiant floor!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 12:11PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I love my heated towel bar!

We have radiant heat in the bath floor and when I leave a tub mat down, it does get warm...not hot but warm which means it is blocking the heat and absorbing it.

I have carpet in my closet and it's fine for me.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 11:09PM
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