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Pros and Cons of a Heated Bathroom Floor

Pros and Cons of a Heated Bathroom Floor

Bathrooms with heated flooring can create a luxurious comfortable retreat with in the walls of your own home. There are two basic types of heated flooring, called radiant floor heating. The first type is electric, which uses electric wires to create heat. Electric is easier to install but more expensive to run, making it more suitable to smaller spaces. The second type is a hydronic system that uses tubes to run hot water throughout the floor space. Hydronic systems are more expensive to install initially but less expensive to run thereafter, making them more suitable for large spaces.

Before you install radiant floor heating, weigh the pros and cons to determine if it is the right choice for you.

Pro: Slow Even Heat

In traditional forced air heating, warm air is forced up towards the ceiling, making the room temperature difficult to regulate. Radiant floor heating systems warm the entire floor evenly. That heat slowly works its way up in the room, making people feel warmer for longer, particularly in the bathroom where people often have bare feet.

Pro: Works Well with Bathroom Flooring

Linoleum, laminate, and tile are all materials that conduct heat well. The use of these materials in the bathroom, in combination with a bathroom’s relatively small floor space, makes it an ideal room to install radiant heat.

Pro: Economical to Run

While the cost to install radiant floor heating can be quite high, if you are installing it only in the bathroom that cost will be significantly less than if you were installing throughout your entire house. Once installed, the energy usage is much less than a traditional furnace. Additionally, homeowners tend to keep the thermostat lower in a room with radiant heat.

Con: Installation can be Inconvenient and Expensive

Installing radiant heat in a home will require tearing up the existing floor, making it a major renovation project. The cost of completely removing and replacing a floor is high. The easiest way to install radiant floor heating is when building a new home. However, these costs too may be high as some systems require installing pipes in concrete.

Con: Potential Floor Damage

Because radiant heat comes directly through the floor, there is always the potential for floor damage. Hardwood floors are susceptible to expanding and shrinking, leaving gaps between boards. Carpet is not a good thermal conductor and much of the heat may not reach the intended room. If there are problems with the system, such as a leak in a pipe, finding the problem area can be difficult and may require tearing up flooring to reach it.

Con: Installation Price

It is expensive to install a radiant heating system. A hydronic system in particular can be quite pricey and also requires access to a water heater.


Before installing a radiant heating system, the pros and cons must be carefully weighed. Heated flooring in your bathroom maybe a good choice for you if you are prepared for the inconvenience of the renovation and the initial installation cost are not prohibitive for you.

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The Bath & Kitchen Showplace
Bath & Kitchen Showplace offers everything you need for your bathroom and kitchen remodeling projects. We offer more than 50 years of experience to help our customers in the Austin, Dallas and Arlington areas find the best plumbing and fixture products for every budget. Please browse our site and let us know how we can help you.