The luxury of a heated tile floor

Here’s comes another cold snap.  The low tonight is supposed to be –3F, that’s warmer than last week’s –15F, but it’s still so cold.

Last year we completed the Master Bath remodel. (here, here, here and here)

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Master Bath 2a

One of the improvements we chose to make when replacing the grody carpet with tile was to do heated floors.  Initially, after researching our options, we had decided that heated floors were out of our budget. But then we found Warmwire at our local Tile and Stone Warehouse.  It’s about 1/3 of the cost of the warming pads sold at Lowe’s, and the clerk there was also a contractor, and he explained the product and the installation with such knowledge and excitement, we were sold on the spot.

The cost for the Warmwire, strapping and thermostat all came in under $700. Ryan had already put down the concrete board and on a Saturday morning, we went to work. 

The real trick with the Warmwire is you cannot cut it.  You purchase the amount you need for your square footage and then lay it all out: difficult for the mathematically challenged (that’s Ryan and me). The actual installation was quite simple, but the first time we wound up with not enough wire at the end of the job, the second time too much, but then the Baby Bear time was just right!  The closer the wires are together, the quicker the floor heats up and the warmer it will be. The guy at the store recommended 2.5” to 4” spacing, depending on what you are going for. We varied the spacing in some spots: putting the wire closer together by the sinks, where we would be standing and spacing it farther apart over by the morning kitchen and by the linen closet.  

After installation, you tile right over it, encasing the wire in your mastic/adhesive. And because one break in your wire will destroy your project, we spot checked throughout the installation and the tiling process with a voltage tester, but never had any problems at all.  That wire is tough!

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Tough and Amazing. It feels great underfoot.  It runs on a thermostat and works like a dream.

We asked the guy if we should install it in the water closet and he said “YES! and in the middle of some cold night, you will be sitting on the toilet and you will think of me.”  And it’s happened!

It’s important to keep it the appropriate distance from the wax ring, but that’s close enough to warm the tiles under your feet.

Sometimes you’ll be standing in there and think to yourself that it’s not working.  At those times, if you go to the linen closet, put one foot in and one foot out, it’s painfully clear (painful to the cold foot) that the floor is HEATED!

I would recommend this in anyone’s remodel.  The Warmwire comes with a 25-year warranty, and if I had to do it again, I would have done it in the other bathrooms, too.

Linked to Remodelaholics.


  1. Thanks for the tip! Wayne and I are under contract for buying a new (old) house and if all goes through we will be redoing the bathrooms. This sounds like a great alternative!
    Dee Dee

  2. You and Ryan do such good work!

  3. "...and in the middle of some cold night, you will be sitting on the toilet and you will think of me."




  4. Oh NO! You know what's just happened, Bub? Now in the middle of some cold night, I will be sitting on the toilet and think of you!

    yup - that's how my mind works.



  5. Well, sh.. crap, I'm honoured. I think?

  6. Google Image the words Keep Calm and Bacon.