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Radiant Heating for Bathroom Showers: Walls vs. Floors

Written by Warmup PLC on December 19th, 2022 | Choosing a System

We’ve all been there, taking longer in the shower because we dread the biting cold that awaits us outside our steamy sanctuary. What if your porcelain palace had heated shower walls and radiant floors? Would the frigid reality of the world outside the water be so grim? 

Radiant technology provides even, consistent heat throughout a space, to make cold bathroom floors a thing of the past and the transition from shower to towel much more tolerable. Is radiant heat right for your bathroom? Read more to find out.

Why Radiant Heating is The Best Solution for Bathroom Comfort

With forced hot air or baseboard heaters, you only emit heat from one small location in your bathroom. A singular heat source creates inconsistent temperatures in the room, and produces warmer areas near the heater and colder areas away from it.

The temperatures can become even more erratic if you have forced hot air heat. As the warm air blows into the room, it rises, and as it cools, it falls back to the floor.

Radiant heat evenly heats the entire floor, leaves no cold spots, and provides a consistent flow of rising warm air.

Bathrooms are one of, if not the most common, rooms where people are barefoot. Whether getting out of the shower or hobbling into the bathroom in the middle of the night, you have undoubtedly felt the sting of a cold winter floor on bare feet. You can keep your toes toasty warm, day and night, with radiant flooring.

Floor vs. Wall Heating: Which is Better?

Heated shower walls are built using hydronic radiant heating systems. The system behind the wall operates precisely the same as a hydronic underfloor radiant heating system and is easily installed, just as any standard plumbing would be. Hydronic-style radiant heating uses a boiler to heat water before pushing it through the wall’s installed water lines. 

Radiant heat can effectively disperse heat evenly throughout a wall; however, it is less efficient at heating a room than radiant floor heating. 

The water lines in the radiant heat shower walls provide even, consistent heat throughout the wall, but the further you get from the wall, the colder the temperature will be. With radiant floor heat, no matter where you go, you will still feel the same, even temperature.

In addition, as heated shower walls create heat, it rises. Therefore, any heat produced above your head is wasted energy on heat you will not feel. Radiant flooring, on the other hand, provides warmth from the ground up, making you the beneficiary of all that comfy, cozy heat.

Can Towel Bars Keep Bathrooms Warm?

Heated towel bars are incredible. Imagine this; it’s a cold winter day, and it’s been snowing. You get home after a long day of work, “better shovel the driveway before you go inside and get too comfortable,” you think to yourself. It’s a crisp, clear evening; you can see your breath. You finally get inside, shivering. You decide to take a nice, hot shower to warm up and wash the day away.

The water is piping hot; it’s so steamy you can barely see in front of you. You turn the water off. Oh no! It’s so cold! You grab the towel off your Warmup electric towel warmer and wrap yourself up. Oh my! It’s so warm! It’s like you’re wearing a robe and sitting next to the fire! It’s like a bearhug with an electric blanket!

Doesn’t that sound nice?Electric towel warmers like Warmup’s single-bar and multi-bar models can provide you with fresh-out-of-the-dryer warm towels after every shower, without heating the entire bathroom.

How Difficult is Radiant Heating Installation?

With products like Warmup’s StickyMat, installing radiant heat in your home couldn’t be easier. Simply unroll the mat and use its pressure-sensitive adhesive to stick it straight to the plywood subfloor. Measuring in at a mere ⅛”, the StickyMat system won’t even raise your floor height.

Installing heated shower walls is much more complicated than installing hydronic radiant heating in your floors. The process is significantly more involved than Warmup’s StickyMat, and will require a licensed plumber or installer to tackle.

Taking the Next Steps Towards a Comfortable Bathroom

Do you want to step out of the shower onto a toasty warm tile floor? Want to snuggle yourself into a cozy, warm blanket after a soak in the tub? Check out Warmup’s line of radiant heating products, or give us a call today

With more than 25 years in the underfloor heating industry, Warmup has sold over 2 million heating systems worldwide. Driven by research and dedicated to exceptional service, Warmup focuses on bringing energy-efficient heat into people’s lives. Find out today why Warmup is the world’s best-selling floor heating brand!


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