Six Ways To Warm Up A Chilly Winter Bathroom

To me, there’s nothing worse than walking into a cold bathroom on a cold morning, especially right after crawling out of a warm bed. Frigid tile floors, a cold toilet seat, and icy water when you turn on the shower can all conspire to make for a rather unpleasant start to a cold winter’s day. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are plenty of ways, big and small, to help quickly heat up a bathroom first thing in the morning… Sometimes even before you set foot on that chilly tile floor.

Towel Warmer

Installing a towel warmer is the single easiest and most effective way to ensure your bathroom is nice and toasty warm when you wake up in the morning. They use a minimum of electricity and essentially act as safe, affordable, 24-hour space heaters that can noticeably raise the temperature of the whole bathroom. Towel warmers circulate heated liquid inside the metal bars, warming them as well as the surrounding air. Electric towel warmers are self contained and can be installed in almost any space. Some models can even be plugged into a nearby outlet rather than wired in. But hydronic towel warmers are designed to replace existing radiator and can’t be installed without an existing radiator system. Either way, leave your warmer running overnight or set it to turn on before your alarm to turn your cold bathroom into a cozy one.

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Heated Bathroom Floors

An image of a transitional bathroom with flooring made of broad rectangular planks of light gray stone
Heating elements can be installed under most types of flooring, but need to be installed first (by ZeroEnergy Design)

If it’s the chilly tile that really gets you on a cold winter morning? Heated floors are the way to go. These days, heated flooring is typically achieved by installing a fine mesh underlayment beneath a tile floor. An electrical current flows through the mesh, efficiently converting to heat which warms the tile. Like towel warmers, they add some ambient heat to the room. More importantly, they guarantee the floors will be warm to the touch on even the chilliest winter days. Unfortunately, you’ll need to install heated floors as part of a larger remodel, since the heating element needs to be laid underneath the tile. That said, they offer a great return on the investment and don’t cost much to use, so if you’re on the fence, don’t skimp on this feature!

Other Types Of Ambient Bathroom Heating

An image of a cool-toned bathroom brightened by the light from the shuttered windows and the gold-toned wood fireplace surround
A bathroom fireplace might seem impossibly luxurious, opting for a ventless fireplace will simplify the process (by Madeline Tolle)

Towel bars and heated floors are the most common types of whole-room heating you can get for you bathroom, but they aren’t the only options. And I’m not talking space heaters. Installing a heat lamp is another great way to help warm up a cold bathroom on a chilly morning. If you have a lighting fixture installed in the ceiling of your bathroom already, it’s simple to upgrade to one with a built-in heater. For a showier finish (but a more involved setup and upkeep), you can also opt to install a bathroom fireplace. Now, if you don’t already have a fireplace in your bathroom (and you probably don’t), you almost certainly don’t want to install one. But clean-burning biofuel fireplaces don’t need chimneys or any kind of ventilation, making it possible to get the ambient heat and beauty of a fireplace without the expensive installation.

Heated Toilet Seats/Bidets

Starck 3 Sensowash Heated Toilet Seat From Duravit
Starck 3 Sensowash Heated Toilet Seat From Duravit

Perhaps the worst thing about really cold weather is having to sit on a cold toilet seat first thing in the morning or – worse – in the middle of the night. But there’s good news. Many high tech, luxury toilet seats come with built-in temperature controls. That’s right: heated toilet seats All you have to do is swap out the existing seat and hook the new one up to your water line and a nearby outlet. As a bonus, many heated toilet seats include warm water bidets and warm air driers for an even more luxurious experience.

Point Of Use Water Heater

If your bathroom far away from your water heater, chances are it takes your water a little longer than you’d like to heat up, especially on a really cold day. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to fix this problem. All you have to do is install a point of use water heater. You can install these small electric boxes (completely hidden) in the back of your bathroom vanity, and they’ll provide instant hot water as soon as you turn on the tap. Smaller ones are great for faucets; larger ones can heat enough water for a shower, which means not only immediate hot water, but infinite hot water.

Steam Shower

Perhaps the most involved option on this list, steam showers are fast becoming a must-have spa feature in high-end bathroom remodels. To get one, you install a bread box-sized steam generator within 25 feet of your shower and connect it to the shower with a small metal pipe. When turned on, the steam generator fills with water, boils the water, and pumps the steam into the shower, creating a fabulously warm, velvety spa atmosphere in about a minute. An average one will use about 2 gallons of water in a 20 minute period (as opposed to about 50 gallons for an average shower head over the same period of time), making them much more efficient. The only drawback is that you’ll need to design a shower around it (the space needs to be water resistant and steam-tight) or install a separate premade steam shower unit.

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No one likes being cold, let alone cold and wet first thing in the morning. So while any kind of bathroom heating is technically a luxury, it’s one that’s well worth the investment. When weather is cold, most of these features will see use every day. Even in the summer, a warm towel, instant hot water, and a nice steam shower will leave you feeling pampered.

One thought on “Six Ways To Warm Up A Chilly Winter Bathroom

  1. says:

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    tad bit sceptical in regards to obtaining a steam shower unit for our house
    having said that the content here sorted my mind out, incredible

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