If you’re looking to update your bathroom, you’ve probably considered some of the standard fixes such as replacing the vanity or refinishing the tub. But have you checked out a luxury fix that doesn’t have to come with a luxury price tag? Radiant flooring is a to-die-for item that once you’ve had it, you’ll wonder how you’ve lived without it.
Radiant flooring is not a new idea—it’s actually a few thousand years old; we’ve just borrowed it from the Romans and added a modern twist to it. The Romans warmed their toes by installing pipes under the floors of their homes and bathhouses and then forcing warm water into the pipes. Today’s homeowners have a choice of two types of radiant heat for their hard floor surfaces: hydronic and electric.
People who are installing radiant heat throughout their whole house will often choose hydronic. Basically, tubing is installed under the flooring of your house; a boiler heats the water, which then circulates the warmed water through the tubing. Because you are installing heating for your whole house, this method will put a dent in the family budget. An estimate for a 2,000 sq. ft. house is in the $8,000 to $14,000 range, and this does not include air conditioning.
Electric radiant heating, on the other hand, is a perfect choice for those installing radiant heat in a smaller area, like a bedroom and bathroom—and it is far more budget friendly than hydronic heating. This method uses an electric blanket-like pad installed under your floor. Panels in the pad contain wire coils that are controlled with a thermostat and timer. You should be able to install this in an average-sized bathroom for about $400 to $700.
Just as other bathroom upgrades like replacing the vanity or refinishing the tub make your home attractive to potential buyers, radiant heat is appealing for many reasons. First, it evenly heats a room, eliminating cold spots. It also warms you differently than a traditional heating system. Your body actually absorbs the heat through your feet as well as other objects in the room—it doesn’t just heat the air. As a result of this, some people even find they are able to adjust their thermostat down a few degrees.
And for those allergy-prone people who suffer through the fall and winter seasons, radiant heat is a perfect solution because it does not stir up dust, mold or other irritants like forced-air systems do. Because radiant heat stays lower to the floor than forced air, it is more “useable” than other traditional types of heating systems.
So if you’re upgrading your bathroom and you’ve already painted the walls, replaced the vanity and completed a bathtub refinishing project, maybe radiant flooring should be the next item on your to-do list. Your toes will thank you for it!