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Old 01-30-2010, 01:09 PM   #1
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Bathroom Floor Heat options


Hi All,

I have an older home (1939) that has a Hot water boiler and cast iron baseboard units for heat. The Boiler is a Weil McLain from the mid 90's . Works just fine.

In my master bathroom we are currently redoing it and I was thinking it would be great to have the floor heated. This is a second floor bathroom. Currently there is a 48" cast iron baseboard heater in there with a supply and return of 1/2" copper that connects in the basement to the main loop of 1 1/2" copper.

Question: Is it possible to get rid of the old baseboard unit and go with hot water heat in the floor vs going with an electric system. Are there any pros and cons to water vs electric? I know in the summer the boiler is off so this will be more for a winter feature, but besides that? What would need to be done with the boiler to work with the floor heat etc? I am sure the water temp is different in floor heat vs radiator/baseboards, do the boiler have to have some sort of temp regulating system/mixer to do floor heat with an older boiler?

Not looking to do the install myself, just weighing my options before I contact a HVAC place or tile guy.

Thanks in advance.
Bryan

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Old 01-30-2010, 03:49 PM   #2
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Bathroom Floor Heat options


It is certainly possible, but probably quite expensive, to retrofit an in floor heat system off an existing boiler. The problems revolve around termperature control, and whether you want to add another pump plus controls for the radiant loop.

For my money, I would put an electric wire system in, thermostatically controlled. Lower initial cost, thinner, easy to install under tile, and easily controlled with a thermostat. The operational cost for electricity is higher than natural gas, but for a small area like a bathroom it is not so expensive as to be a huge problem.

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