Bathroom Floor Design

If you are building a new bathroom for your home or even simply remodelling an old one, one question that is inevitably going to result is that of the bathroom floor design. Most people are going to choose a design that is both hygienic and easy to maintain in a good condition, so it is fortunate that there are several affordable options which fulfil both criteria quite admirably.

The most popular kind of bathroom flooring is of course bathroom tiles. The most common forms of bathroom tiles are ceramic tiles which make the floor both even and firm beneath the feet, with the added advantage of being very easy to clean and also maintaining a glossy and fresh appearance for many years after their actual installation.

Installing ceramic tiles into your bathroom will involve a considerable degree of effort – since the floor has to be grouted and the tiles set – but the end result is guaranteed to impress and satisfy. The next most popular form of bathroom tiles are laminated tiles. As with ceramic tiles, laminated tiles create an even floor that is easy to maintain and keep clean and is also generally water tight. They are relatively cheap to buy and unlike the ceramic type, also very easy to install since the majority of available laminated tiles come with adhesive backing to begin with, making the installation process fast and simple. There are other kinds of bathroom floor design – such as marble and wood – but tiles are by far the most popular option in use today.


Choosing electric underfloor heating

Electric underfloor heating is becoming very popular as energy rates rise. The reason is simple: heat rises, too. Underfloor heating is much more efficient than the forced-air heating more commonly used in today’s homes. Rather than a radiator or electric baseboard which heats the air, and the air then heats the objects in the home (from furniture to humans), an underfloor system heats the floor, which radiantly heats the objects and the air.  This produces a smoother, gentler heat than that of the forced-air variety.
The laws of physics tell us that heat always flows toward cold.  If you are seated on an object that is colder than your body, you will lose your heat to that object until the two of you reach equilibrium. With electric underfloor heating, the floor and the furniture are heated slowly and gently, and when you sit in the furniture you don’t lose any heat.  Most people report feeling warmer in a room heated radiantly than in a room heated to the same temperature via more conventional methods.  In fact, people who use radiant heating often lower their thermostats a few degrees and feel just as warm as those using conventional heating methods at higher temperatures.
Electric underfloor heating is very easy to install during either new construction or a remodel.  Because the flexible mats with thin electrical wires in them are so light and portable, nearly any homeowner can undertake this project with fantastic results.  Programmable thermostats increase energy savings, turning the system off when you’re not home and turning it on shortly before you arrive.
Underfloor heating is enjoying a quiet revolution, and if you’re considering new construction or a remodel, it should be an option you seriously consider for a heating system.


Underfloor Heating for Bathrooms

When looking for a heating system for the bathroom, underfloor heating is ideal. The room will be warm without being hot, and when you get out of either the bath or shower the floor will be warm to the touch. Any towels or mats that you put down to stand on will be warm and any spills will quickly dry up.

The bathroom is an ideal place to use underfloor heating; it is suitable for use under tiled or laminate flooring as well as wooden floors, all of which can be found in bathrooms. Underfloor heating is perfectly safe in bathrooms even when using electric underfloor heating systems. As long as the heating system has been properly fitted, even if there is a flood in the bathroom e.g., if someone were to leave a tap running, there would still be no risk and the heating unit would remain perfectly safe.

One important aspect of choosing underfloor heating is the fact that there is no need to have a radiator in what is often a small room in the home. This means that the positioning of the necessary bathroom furniture is easier and more adaptable. It is also a perfect space saving feature.

Whether you choose to use electric or wet underfloor heating this is an ideal way to heat your bathroom. It is interesting to note that the original underfloor heating was invented by the Romans who used it to heat their baths before it was used to heat the rest of the house.


Underfloor Heating Insulation Boards for Concrete Floors

Where a structure has solid concrete floors it may be necessary to also install thermal underfloor heating insulation boards in conjunction with either water or electric underfloor heating.  Solid floors can lose heat under the floor as well as round the edges and the use of thermal insulation boards can help to prevent the unnecessary loss of heat.  The use of these boards can add to the cost savings that consumers can make if they opt for underfloor heating systems. 

The insulation boards can be fitted either above or below the concrete.  Above the slab means that the rooms will warm up and cool down fairly quickly in accordance with the heating system that is being used.  If the boards are installed below the concrete it will improve the thermal functioning of the building, allowing the solid floor to absorb heat and release it slowly.
When used with underfloor heating systems the boards should be set below the concrete, so that the water pipes or heating cables can be set into the concrete.  If the insulation boards are placed above the heating it prevents the heat from getting through.   

The boards can be made from several different materials including extruded polystyrene, rigid urethane and rigid phenolic.   They come in a range of thicknesses and can also be used on original tiles and other types of floors if required.  All of these can be used below the concrete slabs or screed floors and are easily installed, coming complete with easy to follow manufacturer’s instructions. 


Accessorise and Glamorise for a Stylish Bathroom

There are a number of bathroom accessories and shower accessories that can have a drastic effect on your bathroom’s style making it a more glamorous place. Some bathrooms, due to their smaller-than-average room size, require more creative thinking to make them fashionable. But all it takes is one idea to get the creative juices flowing and with the number of potential themes the possibilities are limitless.

One thing to do before you undertake this process is to set a budget limit and time limit for the completion of the project. This will help you stay on track and make sure you complete the project so that it doesn’t become an ongoing, endless endeavour.

You can alter the entire atmosphere of your bathroom with just a few changes. In line with your new theme, coordinate your bathroom furniture, shower curtain, towels, bathroom rugs and other bathroom and shower accessories. If they all complement each other and your theme you will get that new glamorous look you crave.

Another way to help improve your bathroom’s style is changing your shower cubicle to a new shower enclosure. There are many shapes, sizes and styles of shower enclosures that add a more modern look to your bathroom with the bonus feature that they are easier to clean.

Other ways to accessorise your bathroom include adding a live, thriving plant or changing out your light covers or fixtures. Adding lamps or lights around the bathroom mirror can help throw more light around the room and brighten things up.


Under tile heating for your cold floors

Tile flooring is very popular now, but if you live in a northern clime, you may have already experienced the shock of stepping onto a lovely tile floor in your bare feet and feeling like you’ve stepped onto an ice rink.  If you are considering tile floors in your home, for either new construction or a remodel, consider under tile heating to make that floor much more comfortable.  Under tile heating is a cost-efficient, energy-efficient method of not only heating the space, but making the room much more aesthetically pleasing, as there is no radiator or ugly wall heater to break up the beauty of the space.

Generally, under tile heating is installed by cleaning and levelling the sub floor, and then either rolling out a flexible mat with electrical wires embedded within it, or by first installing a thin layer of insulation, like cork, and then rolling out the mat.  The lead wire for the mat is connected to a thermostat, often one that can be programmed to turn on and off at specific times during the day. 

 If considering heating a room or area via this method, remember that radiant heating beneath any material, including tile, does take some time to reach the room as a whole.  Under tile heating is a soft, gentle heat, and most people absolutely love it once installed.  However, it’s not instant heat, and that’s where the programmable thermostat can play a large part in not only your energy usage, but your comfort.

 If considering tile flooring, take a serious look at underfloor heating.  Step on a warm tile and a cold tile, and the decision will almost be made for you.


Electrical Underfloor Heating

An alternative to installing a bathroom radiator is the installation of underfloor heating. Nowadays, most people have laminate, wooden or tiled bathroom floors and electric underfloor heating is ideal for use under these flooring substances. In actual fact, underfloor heating is becoming an increasingly popular choice as it creates a very comfortable heat which circles the room from the floor up as opposed to conventional radiators which provides heat which rises but then cools as it drops, which can create a draft. In a bathroom you obviously want to feel cosy as you relax in your bath or step out of your shower. Underfloor heating provides a more constant, even heat.

One such underfloor heating system is the Deviheat underfloor heating system, which is ideal for use as a bathroom heating source since it is 100% waterproof. The electrical cables are attached to a mat which is then stuck onto the floor. There are two variations for use beneath concrete and timber floors since these two materials conduct heat at differing rates. It does not matter what size or shape your floor is since these mats can actually be cut to fit.

Underfloor heating is also a rather economical choice since each square metre uses the same electricity as a standard household light bulb. The heat is also regulated by a thermostat which will switch off when the optimum temperature has been achieved.

It is worth noting that this system should only be fitted by a qualified electrician for safety reasons.


Fitting Electric Underfloor Heating

Electric underfloor heating can be fairly easily installed and there is a choice of different systems to suit everyone. They can be used safely in kitchens and bathrooms as the cable is protected with a waterproof layer. If a room is a standard shape, it may be best to use mats which have electric cables already spaced out correctly. For unusually shaped rooms, you can obtain free-flowing cable to lay out yourself. Twin conductor cables only have to be connected at one end, rather than starting and finishing in the same place. To ensure the efficiency of your underfloor heating kit you will need some kind of insulation underneath it.

Electric cables should never be touching or overlapped, and must always be at least 50mm away from walls or fixed structures. Where an electric underfloor heating kit comes fixed to mats, you can cut the backing away but never cut the cable itself. The temperature of each circuit or zone is controlled by an underfloor heating thermostat. These range from simple manual versions to fully programmable digital ones. They use air sensors, floor sensors or a combination of the two. If you have a floor probe it should be positioned in a space between cable loops.

Once your DIY underfloor heating cables are fixed into position, they are usually covered in a layer of cement or latex screed before the floor covering is laid. If you have under tile heating, flexible tile adhesive should be spread over the cables.


Revitalising Bathroom Accessories

Looking at your tired, lifeless bathroom can be a dispiriting experience, second only to looking at your bank balance and realising that a complete refurbishment is simply out of the question.

But try not to despair, because with a little imagination and flair even the dullest bathroom can be transformed into a place brimming with zest.

How about taking inspiration from a far-flung tropical island? Paint the walls in deep blues and greens. Throw in some ferns and cactuses. Take a hint from the Mediterranean and splash around yellow coupled with a white vinyl emulsion.

When choosing your colours, try to match them to your existing bathroom accessories. Do you really want to pay out for more towels and bathmats?
A good way to begin accessorising is to look at your shower curtain. Fabric looks great and can be inexpensively lined with vinyl or plastic. Choose a pattern that will still look good after a couple of months. One covered in pictures of film stars may look great at the time, but may begin to pall after the initial thrill and it will be extremely difficult to theme an entire bathroom around.

Towels always cheer up a bathroom. Make sure they match the bathroom suite or shower curtain and bathmat. Solid contrasting colours add as much spice as different coloured tiles and at a fraction of the cost.

Similarly, giving the medicine cabinet a vibrant new look is an inexpensive way to bring some cheer into your lifeless bathroom.


How Easy is it to Fit Underfloor Heating?

This is the million-dollar question, just how easy is it to fit underfloor heating and can you do it yourself? Quite simply, it really depends on your own skills and knowledge. Electric underfloor heating is the easiest system to fit, especially now that the use of heat matting has been introduced. The matting is very thin, which makes it a good choice for an existing room, as you can take the carpet up, add insulation and heat matting to the top and then re-lay a floor of laminate over the top. The finished floor level will not be too different from the rest of the house; you may have a small lip between the rooms, but nothing more prominent.

Underfloor heating is more appropriate for new builds, as the upheaval in an existing room would be phenomenal. The whole floor would have to come up and pipe work has to be set into the floor, so this really isn’t the best option for existing spaces or for the DIY enthusiast. In the case of a wet underfloor heating system you are looking at skills in plumbing and electrics, while for heat mats or cables, only electrical skills are required. If you can employ an electrician and help with some of the foundation work yourself, installing an electric underfloor heating system may actually be quite straightforward. It then becomes simply a question of whether you have the skills required to lay the floor covering.