Electric Radiant Heated Bathroom Floors

By Mark J. Donovan

July 1, 2013 4 min read

Keep your bathroom comfy and cozy this coming winter by installing an electric radiant heated bathroom floor system. Installing an electric radiant heated bathroom floor is a bit of a luxury, but it is relatively inexpensive compared with running tubes and installing a hydronic floor heating system. Moreover, there's not the worry and risk of getting a broken tube and having water damage to your home, as is often the case with a hydronic system.

A typical wire-mesh mat electric radiant heated bathroom floor system will cost you about $10 per square foot to install. In regard to operating costs, on average expect to spend about 25 to 50 cents a day to heat a bathroom floor anywhere from 80 to 100 square feet in size.

Electric radiant floor heating is relatively easy to install. Electric radiant floor heating systems are comprised of mesh and wire mats, which are installed underneath tiled or stone floors, and an adjustable thermostat that is located in the bathroom. With some types of electric radiant floor heating systems, the wire-mesh mat is trimmable so you can tailor it to the particular dimensions of the room.

Electric radiant floor heating systems also can be installed underneath carpet, wood and vinyl floors; however, they are not as efficient in these applications. The main reason for this is that, unlike tile or stone, carpet, wood and vinyl flooring do not transfer heat as well. Instead, they act more like insulators.

Electric radiant floor heating systems are designed to provide a low heat that mainly keeps the floor feeling comfortably warm. Typically, they heat a floor to approximately 90 to 95 F. This said, electric radiant heated bathroom floors also help to create overall warmth in the bathroom. However, they should be considered a supplemental heating system.

Besides the bathroom, electric radiant floor heating is also ideal for kitchens and room additions where tile or stone is the flooring type. Often when building a room addition, a larger furnace needs to be installed in the home. With the use of electric radiant floor heating systems, sometimes the need to install a larger furnace in the home can be avoided.

*Advantages of Electric Radiant Floor Heating Systems

Besides the ease of installation, electric radiant floor heating has a number of additional advantages. Electric radiant floor heating systems are absolutely silent. There is no creaking of pipes or whooshing of air, as is the case with hot water and air heating systems, respectively.

Tile and stone, as well as a concrete slab flooring substrate, have a large thermal mass. Thus, they retain heat for a long time after the electric radiant heating system has been turned off.

Electric radiant floor heating systems can cut down energy costs on the main heating system, such as an oil or gas HVAC system.

*Disadvantages of Electric Radiant Floor Heating Systems

You can't install them after you've installed your new tiled floor. Thus, you need to plan ahead. A retrofit job is not an option.

Electricity is expensive. So even though you may save some money on your main heating system's operating costs, your overall energy costs may creep up a bit.

If an electrical wire breaks in the wire-mesh mat and the electric radiant floor heating system becomes inoperable, repair is very expensive. That said, the likelihood of a broken or corroded wire is fairly slim because it is in a very static and dry position underneath the tiled floor.

Mark J. Donovan's website is http://www.HomeAdditionPlus.com.

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