If you hate stepping out of the shower and onto a cold bathroom floor, then you might be thinking of having an under-floor heating system installed. These systems are usually radiant heating systems that feature a boiler or hot water tank, along with pipes that carry the hot water under the floor. Heat dissipates from the hot water pipes through the floor, making it feel warm.
While an under-floor heating system can make your bathroom feel luxurious, there are both pros and cons of this bathroom upgrade, and you need to consider them all before making the leap and having radiant floor heating installed.
Pro: Radiant floor heating is efficient.
If you need a way to keep your bathroom warm, this is an efficient choice. Little heat is wasted since it all radiates through the floor surface and into the air. You can find very efficient boilers to use in such a system, too. Space heaters and window heating units that people sometimes use for bathrooms demand a lot more energy.
Pro: Radiant floor heating is safe.
In the bathroom, there are a lot of items that can catch fire -- like towels and toilet paper. An electric heater, such as a baseboard heater, may not be a safe choice in the bathroom for this reason. Plus, you have to worry about electrical shocks if the heater were to get wet! With radiant floor heating, all of the equipment is housed under the floor or outside the bathroom, so you don't have to worry about these safety hazards.
Con: Leaks can cause a lot of damage.
Leaky under-floor pipes can cause a lot of water damage, and since the pipes are not exposed, small leaks can perpetuate for a long time without you really noticing them. Having to excavate the floor and replace moldy, rotten floor tiles is not anyone's favorite way to spend a weekend.
Con: Radiant floor heating systems are tough to install.
If you are having your bathroom remodeled anyways, this may not be a huge burden. However, if you just want to install a quick heating system, radiant floor heating may not be the best choice since your contractor will have to fully remove and replace the floor in order to put the pipes in place.
If you are interested in a radiant floor heating system, talk to a heating contractor in your area to see how feasible this type of heating system is for your unique situation. To learn more, contact a company like Bill Rhiner's Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.