Heated Floor Mat vs. Hydronic Towel Rack

GreenDog194March 28, 2012

We are debating whether it would be better to put in electric coils below the tile in our ground floor bathroom, or heat the room with a heated towel rack tied to our boiler and radiant heat system.

There are two bathrooms on the lower level. The bathrooms down there are not that big, nice but not over the top fancy. They would get used daily. They have no windows. Towels seem to get musty down there now. There are Runtal panel radiators in the other rooms. No other heat source in the bathrooms.

The concern I have about the electric mat under the tiles is how do they get that down without creating more height. Do the contractors need to chip down the concrete? I hate tripping into the bathroom over a threshold.

I have not fully investigated the radiant heat towel racks. Some of the Runtal ones seem quite pricey. But perhaps it is about the same as the materials and install for the warm electric mat coil system.

I would love to learn from your experiences and recommendations!

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Towel bars will dry the towels faster, but any heat will help. Heat in the floor will keep your toes warmer, but electric will cost you more than your hydronic in the long run assuming you heat with gas or a heat pump. Installation cost is hard to guess. Depending on what the wall looks like, it could be difficult or easy.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 7:44PM
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Some electric mats add no more than 1/4 to 1/2 inch in height, not too big a deal. We just installed it in a bathroom renovation completed a few months ago. Frankly we don't use it. It's a nice feature to have when selling though.

If we had a hydronic system I would have added the hydronic towel rack as well.

One thing I would recommend would be to properly install a full Schluter membrane beneath all the tiled walls and floor, particularly since you mentioned it's musty down there. Be sure to ventilate properly!

Also visit this site:



Here is a link that might be useful: Schluter Systems

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 12:58AM
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I think the heated towel rack will ultimately be the cheaper option, and best of all, it's easy to take with you if you ever decide to move! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Heated Towel Racks on TowelRACKED.com

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 6:00PM
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