Homeowners Professionals

Why is my bathroom so cold?

Do you wake up in the morning and dread going into the bathroom? The thought of your feet hitting the ice-cold floor and having to sit on a chilly toilet seat might be enough to prevent you from getting out of bed. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

Why your bathroom feels like the coldest room in the house

Despite having a towel rail or radiator in the bathroom, it can sometimes feel colder than the rest of the house. If you’re trying to understand why your bathroom feels cold, you may be able to find an explanation below.

Cold materials

Bathrooms don’t exactly feel cosy like a living room or bedroom does. This is because they generally don’t have as many soft furnishings that really give the room a soft feel, like curtains, carpet, throws, etc. In fact, the materials used in a bathroom are much harder and colder, such as porcelain tiles. These materials are waterproof, making them more suitable for a bathroom than carpet or wallpaper, but it can contribute to that cold feeling you associate with this space.

The use of the room

It’s likely that you feel warm when you’re in bed, or your living space feels cosy because of the dimmer lighting and the pyjamas you’re wearing. The bathroom is probably the room we wear the least amount of clothes in, using it to bath or shower. For this reason, we’d probably all find it slightly more comfortable if the bathroom was a few degrees warmer than another room of the house. The lack of clothing could make the room feel colder than it actually is.

Extra ventilation

Bathrooms can be the perfect breeding ground for bacteria that can cause mould. All that warmth and steam when you have a shower can promote this growth, and so this is why bathrooms tend to have more ventilation than other rooms. You may open a window after a shower or leave the extractor fan on for a while to get rid of as much humidity as you can. This will cool the room down significantly, particularly in winter.

How to heat a cold bathroom

Below, we’ve identified some of the ways in which you can increase the temperature and cosiness of your bathroom.

Use a towel radiator

Towel rails and towel radiators have been popular for a long while - who doesn’t love getting out of the shower and being greeted by a pre-warmed towel?

The issue is, many people are installing towel rails instead of towel radiators. A rail will produce enough heat to warm up a towel but it’s likely that it won’t heat a room much. This is why you may want to consider getting a towel radiator. These are usually bigger and will be able to heat the room up to a set temperature more efficiently.

Also, once you’ve finished in the bathroom, try to avoid hanging your towel on the radiator to dry. Doing this will only block the heat from getting into the room, so put your towel on the back of a door or in an airing cupboard.

Install underfloor heating

Installing underfloor heating is a big job that could require lots of work, however if you’re having your bathroom renovated, it’s an extra that you should consider. With underfloor heating, you could do away with a radiator altogether. The floor would produce enough heat to warm up the room to the perfect temperature, while keeping your tiles warm for your feet, too. The system can be controlled using a thermostat to get the climate just right.

Recaulk the windows

Draughty windows can be a big contributor to heat loss in your home and they don’t just result in a cold bathroom, but also wasted money and energy. The energy that your gas condensing boiler has used to heat the room is literally disappearing out of the window.

If you haven’t already, you should consider double glazing. The additional pane of glass acts to keep more heat in and the air that’s trapped between the two panes provides extra insulation.

For homes with double glazing already installed, you may be losing heat from around the edge of the window frame. In this instance, you could remove the old caulk and apply a new layer. Caulk comes in a range of colours so you could pick one that blends in with the colour of your window frame. Not only could it make your bathroom look smarter, but it could seal any gaps in the frame to keep the much-needed heat inside.

Install thermal window fittings

To make your bathroom windows even more efficient, you may consider installing thermal window fittings, such as curtains or blinds. The thermal technology keeps the heat in the room so that the energy created by your radiator will remain there for a longer period of time.

Just remember to open the blinds or curtains on a sunny day, as the sun will help to add warmth to the room. Once the sun has gone down, close the window dressings to retain the heat.

Turn your extractor fan on after your shower

When you’re in the shower or the bath, you should keep your extractor fan turned off. When it’s on, it will pull all the warm air and steam out of the room. While you’ll of course want to get rid of the steam, you may want the fan to do this after you’ve got out of the tub. Turn it on when you’re leaving the bathroom to remove the excess moisture that could cause mould. 

Make use of a rug

Adding a rug to your bathroom is one of the cheapest ways to make it a cosy and pleasant room to be in. According to the National Energy Foundation, around 10 per cent of the heat in your home is lost through your floors if they’re not insulated. For those that have wooden flooring, heat loss may be noticeable and you may even be able to feel a draught.

Tiles are the obvious choice of flooring in a bathroom because of their water resistance, but they’re naturally cold and might not be helping to keep the heat in your bathroom. By adding a rug, you could help to keep in some of the heat that’s been generated by the radiator and you’d no longer need to fear stepping on the tiles with no socks on.  

How to insulate a cold bathroom

If you’re able to, you should insulate your bathroom by putting insulation inside the wall cavity. Obviously this job will be messy and would include removing your whole bathroom suite. If you’re doing a complete bathroom renovation, we’d highly recommend that this kind of insulation is installed. Insulation can fit between the studs in the wall cavity and plasterboard can be fitteddrilled on top so that the wall can be tiled.

Alternatively, you could take a look in the loft to determine how much insulation there is above the bathroom. You could try adding extra insulation to ensure that the heat doesn’t exit via the roof. 

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