Your home improvement questions, answered by professionals from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), an association of remodeling professionals committed to providing consumers with high standards of quality, honesty, integrity, and responsibility.
Q: I love the idea of radiant heat in my bathroom floor. How do I go about adding it?
Radiant heating is a lovely feature in a bathroom, particularly on a cold morning or when you get out of a nice warm shower or tub and step onto a tile floor. The simplest way to have this feature in most homes is to have an electric radiant mat installed under a tile floor.
The mat is tied into the house electricity and is controlled by a thermostat. The temperature can be set at a constant level or designed to vary according to the time of day. For example, it could start heating the floor in the early morning, go off in the midmorning and come back on in time for an evening bath. If your existing floor is wood or vinyl, for example, you might consider having a new floor installed with tile. If your existing floor is already tile, you will have to remove it and replace it with a new tile floor with the radiant electric mat installed along with the tile. There are other means of providing radiant heating for a bathroom such as in a home with radiant heating from a boiler where hot water is run in tubes in the flooring system, or sometimes, under it.
Keith Alward, Certified Remodeler
Keith Alward is a San Francisco Bay-area general contractor; in business for 33 years, he provides general remodeling services along with an occasional new residence and small commercial remodels and TI projects. His company, Alward Construction, has won more than 50 awards, including nine National Associate of the Remodeling Industry National Contractor of the Year awards. The company's work has been featured twice in The New York Times, three times on HGTV, and numerous times in various national and local publications. His company had the pleasure of restoring two Frank Lloyd Wright residences. Alward Construction presently has 35 employees and is expected to gross $5 million in 2011. You can visit the company's website at alwardconstruction.com.