Remodeling Your Bathroom? Think About Adding Radiant Heat

Bathroom remodeling sure has come a long way in the past 20 years.  The days of a simple bathroom with a tub, sink and toilet are long gone.  Bathrooms have become a tranquil oasis for the owners, and the bathroom remodeling experts at Craftsman Contracting in Fairfield County, CT. are really excited about it!

Custom showers with feature walls, such as pictured here,

Custom Shower
Custom Shower with Waterfall Stripe

His & Hers sinks shown here:

Double Sink Vanity
His & Her’s Double Sink Vanity

and free standing slipper tubs as this one

Freestanding Double Slipper Tub
Freestanding Double Slipper Tub

are growing in popularity and are redesigning how we think of bathrooms.  But one of our favorite features to emerge in the last few years has been in-floor heating.

In-floor heating, or radiant heat, is available in two different types.  Electric and hydronic.  As its name implies, electric radiant heat runs off your homes electricity.  The most common, perhaps due to the ease of installation, electric in-floor heating consists of electrical cables embedded in the floor below the tile.  Heat is generated by the electrical current flowing through the cables.  Hydronic heating operates with water pipes, usually plastic pex piping, circulating hot water from a boiler.  While the operating costs are less than electric, hydronic in-floor heating has a higher initial cost.  Due to the need of a boiler with a separate zone, hydronic heating tends to be less popular for bathroom renovations.

When remodeling your bathroom, be sure the contractor is familiar with the various types of in-floor heating, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and has experience installing them in the past.  While each bathroom renovation project is unique, we at Craftsman Contracting prefer using a product called Ditra Heat from Schluter.  Ditra Heat is two separate components.  First is an uncoupling membrane.  This mat, which is set directly on to your bathroom floors plywood, provides an excellent surface to set your tile onto.  Minimizing cracks and providing waterproofing, the Ditra Heat mat is an excellent substrate for your bathroom floor tile.  The second component is the heating cable.  Different from many products which come as a mat with the cable pre-attached, Schluter’s Ditra Heat installs the heating cables separately from the mat.  This allows greater flexibility in bathroom layout and custom bathroom design.  So, once the Ditra Heat mat has been properly set onto the floor, you are ready to install the heating cable.  The heating cable snaps into the mat perfectly, locking it in and allowing you to shape the cable layout in any way you want.

Radiant Floor Heating
Radiant Heat Cable Installed

Once you have installed the cable, you are ready to tile.  But first, it is necessary to test the cables for any damage.  This is not only best practice, but also required in order to maintain the factory warranty.  Make sure your bathroom remodeling contractor documents his test results.  Even better is if pictures are taken.  In this next photo, you can see a multi-meter being used to make sure there are no faults in the wire.

Bathroom Radiant Heat
Radiant Heat Cable Test

Next, you will need to run a thermostat wire from the floor to the thermostat.  We always install an additional thermostat wire so that if anything should ever go wrong with one, the backup thermostat wire can easily be swapped out without doing any damage.

Once all tests required by the cable manufacturer have been performed and the results are recorded, you may begin setting tile.  Follow manufacturers’ recommendations prior turning the heat on.  Typically, 28 days are required to allow the thin-set and grout to cure before the in-floor heating can be turned on.

The only thing left to do is enjoy your toasty warm floors every time you walk into your bathroom!

Are You Planning To Remodel Your Bathroom?

We’ll treat your project as if it were our very own, ensuring the highest level of quality in everything we do.  Whether you’d like to give your bathroom a quick makeover, or turn your dated bath into a spa-like retreat.  We at Craftsman Contracting pride ourselves on the attention to detail and quality of our workmanship that we invest into each and every bathroom project we work on.

A bathroom renovation project relies on careful planning, excellent communication between client and contractor, precision & accuracy, and the contractors ability to understand and execute the plan without excuses.  At Craftsman Contracting, we believe that is exactly what we have to offer.

If you’d like to schedule a consultation to discuss your bathroom remodel, then give us a call at (203) 642-3343 or fill out our contact form and we’ll get right back to you.