Sole-pleasing bathroom floors


The average human foot has 75,000 nerve endings which, per family member, adds up to 150,000 good mid-winter reasons to put electric, controllable radiant heat under a ceramic tile or stone bathroom floor.

            Autumn is a great time to make the installation.  

            While that “tile chill” feels great when the weather is warm, cold feet on a cold hard floor in winter is the opposite of cozy.  As a unique home improvement, it is relatively easy to install sole-pleasing warmth in the room where most people have the highest likelihood of being barefoot on a bare floor.

            Electric radiant heat works well under tile or stone and is considered a supplemental heat, different from the primary hydronic, or water tube, floor heating which would be installed throughout a home.

            It was briefly fashionable some years ago to put carpet in bathrooms, but homeowners rapidly discovered that an absorbent material in an area prone to water, chemicals, hair, mold, mildew, etc., is difficult to clean and maintain.

            A hard bathroom floor surface makes more sense, and a heated hard surface provides not only additional comfort but actually fights mold and mildew.

            Upgrading to a heated bathroom floor involves both electrical and flooring work.  Floor heat material can be put in for $10 per square foot and up, and considering the ongoing, daily proximity of water and wiring, the install, especially the electrical, should be done by professionals.

            The project involves removing the existing floor covering, prepping and installing proper subfloor, laying the custom-fit heating element, which looks like one of those foam under-rug anti-slip mats but with wiring like an electric blanket, liquid leveler, some wall wiring, a wall-mounted  digital thermostat, and choosing new bathroom ceramic, tile, slate or stone flooring.

            The job doesn’t take appreciably longer than just redoing the floor, and with 150,000 reasons to keep our feet happy, this is a crowd pleasing, sole satisfying improvement.


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