One of the most common impediments to creating a good home design and floor plan is heating equipment. For some, that concern is the single most important factor leading to the decision to install radiant heat in new home construction. For those of us with pre-existing homes with hardwood floors, there is little we can do but accept the terms of our homes and do our best to make efficiency improvements where possible.
There are, however, remodeling opportunities that open up the design possibilities without the limitations created by heating equipment. My own new master bathroom serves as an excellent model. Generally speaking, design of any space with a baseboard heater limits placement of such equipment as the bath tub, shower, and vanity; even the toilet. Many of us have had the conversation before when trying to imagine the new space: “…we can put the shower here, but then we have to put the baseboard heater over there. But that’s where I want to put the vanity.”
On and on the dance goes. One solution to this problem is getting your heating off the floor and onto the wall. At Greenovations (www.seacoastgreenovations.com) we sell hydronic and electric towel radiators. Another building supply I know sells wall hung convective radiators. Many people mount their towel radiators right on a wall over the bath tub. Others, to save space, might hang it behind the toilet. In my bathroom we have a narrow corner created by a linen closet. This is a perfect fit for the Runtal towel radiator (www.runtalnorthamerica.com) I brought home yesterday. While baseboard heaters will create a lot of limitations in a bathroom remodel design, a towel radiator will open up a lot of possibilities and create a better use of the space, especially when space is limited. One wall area can easily serve two functions.
Best of all, a towel radiator is a luxury few people will give up once they have lived with one. Though its primary function is to heat a space, the comfort of a warm towel in the winter is what most people love about them.