Replacing bathroom radiator with floor heat
September 5, 2017 9:43 AM   Subscribe

We're remodeling our medium-sized bathroom. We definitely want to add radiant floor heating under the tiles, but we're trying to figure out if we should also ditch our steam radiator. According to the calculator, the room is small enough to be entirely heated by radiant heat (about 7.5'x9'). Looking for first-hand experience - did you replace your bathroom radiator with floor heat, and how do you feel about it?
posted by beyond_pink to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Our bathroom had radiant heat installed by the prior owner, so I don't know what it was like before (they did a gut remodel). It's great! We LOVE it. It is SO nice to step onto a warm floor in the winter. (Our cats will sleep on it on cold days.) I think our bathroom is slightly larger than yours, although it's a long rectangle, and it's definitely warm enough throughout. There's no heat immediately around the toilet, which is by the window, and while the floor there is colder I've never noticed that the rest of me felt too cold. I live in New England so it gets cold here in the winter. I definitely recommend it.
posted by john_snow at 9:57 AM on September 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

How are you going to be doing radiant heat? With a secondary boiler, or off of your domestic hot water? Your existing steam boiler will not support hot-water based radiant heat.
posted by rockindata at 10:23 AM on September 5, 2017

Response by poster: @rockindata it will be electric
posted by beyond_pink at 10:47 AM on September 5, 2017

Best answer: I did it and I love it but I miss being able to warm and dry the towels, specially during winter. I'm thinking of installing one of those towel driers that look like a ladder
posted by mumimor at 11:28 AM on September 5, 2017

Best answer: I had radiant floors in the two bathrooms of my previous house and loved it a great deal. There are cold spots near the toilet but overall the set up is perfect. I would also strongly suggest you the switch set up to be able to be on a timer. We had our floor in the master bath set to go on just before our alarm clocks in the morning so the floor was warm when you got ready to shower.

Also, if you have a cat, cats will loooove it.
posted by teleri025 at 11:52 AM on September 5, 2017

We replaced our plain tile floor in a 9'x4.5' bathroom. It was previously completely unheated. (We live in SoCal, but still it gets down into the 40s for weeks in a row in the winter, which will make it chilly in a bathroom.)

We love it, echoing the advice to put it on a timer, as it takes a long time to come up to temp. For the most part it just makes the room pleasant, not toasty. We also got a towel warmer, which is controlled separately. So for about 6 months out of the year we use the towel warmer and only about 2-3 months do we use the floor heater.

The heater adds height to your floor, so be aware when putting your toilet, sink, etc back that things might be a little off if you don't account for it.

There can be cool spots. One thing we did find out the hard way is that if it's too close to the wax seal on a toilet, it can melt it. So go for a rubber sealed toilet gasket and/or make sure the heater is backed off far enough from the drain plumbing.
posted by typetive at 12:38 PM on September 5, 2017

Best answer: When we purchased our house, our main bathroom had heated floors and the radiator removed. We have noticed cold spots in the bedrooms surrounding the bathroom. We don't leave our floors on all of the time, as it is more expensive to heat, so that likely impacts the comfort in other areas. We are actually going to re-install our radiator, but keep the floors because, yes, it is amazing to step on the warm floors. Also, we live in MN, which means very cold temps.
posted by LinneaJC at 12:44 PM on September 5, 2017

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