Pros and Cons of a Radiant Heated Bathroom Floor

You have probably heard a lot about bathrooms in high end homes installing heated floors, and you are thinking while you are renovating you might as well go all out right? Well, perhaps and you might even be thinking to yourself what, exactly, is a radiant heated floor? That is a great question! A radiant heated floor is one with a system installed under the floor where heat is delivered directly to the panels and heat then radiates up through the floor, which is why it is called a radiant heated floor.

So now that we know what this kind of floor is let’s figure out if it is right for you.

Pro: They provide smooth and even heat

Due to the fact that heat is provided to a series of tubes or panels under your floor it heats up gradually and evenly over the entire floor. This the opposite of a forced air system where air is rapidly shot into the room but as soon as the temperature in one area of the room reaches the desired temperature the heating system shuts off. This leaves uneven patches of heat throughout a room. This kind of heat is smooth, even and constant.

Pro: They are recommended for bathrooms

How about that? You are renovating your bathroom and this kind of flooring is perfect for bathrooms. It is a match made in home improvement heaven. It’s great for bathrooms because this kind of system works well with tile and laminate flooring which are the materials typically used in a bathroom.

Pro: They have different kinds of heating for these floors

There are two kinds of radiant heated flooring: hydronic systems or electric radiant. The hydronic systems use tubes beneath your floor which carry hot water through them to create the heat. The initial investment for this type is usually higher, but it saves you in operation costs over time. Electric radiant floors use conducting plastic mats under your floor to transfer current and heat your floors. Electric radiant floors work just as well as hydronic but they are usually too expensive, operationally, to install and run in more than one small room.

Con: Some (read: All) Assembly Required

This is, unfortunately, not a product which is ready to use out of the box. Both types of systems require someone, particularly a contractor, who has experience with installing them. Hydronic systems as much more complicated than electric radiant ones but either way if you decide to install one of these floors you definitely benefit from hiring someone to tackle it for you.

Con: Potential Floor Damage

If something goes wrong with either kind of system it might damage you flooring or, worse yet, it may require your floor to be ripped up to repair the issue. There might not be anything go wrong with your new floor but just keep in mind that should something go wrong fixing it is a large job where you will most likely need another contractor.

Con: Cost

These systems are expensive! If you are looking at an electric radiation system you should budget about $2,000 or more, however if you like the idea of a hydronic system allow for at least $10,000 but probably closer to $15,000. There is also the cost of installation and a contingency should something go wrong, but do not forget about hiring the contract to install this system: that price is for materials alone.

Overall, a heated floor in your bathroom makes a great addition and it will provide a cozy feeling to your feet first thing in the morning and it will also prove to be a great selling feature should you choose to sell your home in the future. It is time consuming and expensive to install, but it will definitely save you operational costs in the long term by allowing you to turn down other heating sources when the floors are turned on.

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