Any way to heata room hydronically with no baseboards?

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Old 01-09-09, 10:43 PM
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Any way to heat a room hydronically with no baseboards?

We are adding a bedroom onto our house and turning the current bedroom into a bathroom.

Unfortunately I am severely handcuffed by placement of anything since there's about 14 linear feet of hydronic basebaord in there. The key element is that we want to add a corner tub (like the ones in the photos) in the room but it's right where ALL of the baseboard is.

Is there any way to heat this 13x12 room WITHOUT hydronic baseboard but by staying in the same hydronic loop/zone?

Thanks in advance!! We will be very disapointed if there isn't a way! -Tony


 

Last edited by tony17112acst; 01-09-09 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 01-10-09, 12:33 AM
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Sure... it could be as simple as a fancy heated towel rack or something like Pex-Al-Pex and plates behind the walls, under the floor or under the ceiling. Key thing is that you have to calculate what kind of BTU capacity you had (or need) with using baseboards at their normal operating temps and then match that.

The solutions can range from very simple to very complex, but warm floors rock!

What kind of boiler do you have? Conventional, modcon, etc?

How is it piped/zoned?

Do you use an outdoor rest controller?

What can you comfortably afford? Under $1K, $1 - 2K, more...
 
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Old 01-10-09, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by tony17112acst View Post
We are adding a bedroom onto our house and turning the current bedroom into a bathroom.

Unfortunately I am severely handcuffed by placement of anything since there's about 14 linear feet of hydronic basebaord in there. The key element is that we want to add a corner tub (like the ones in the photos) in the room but it's right where ALL of the baseboard is.

Is there any way to heat this 13x12 room WITHOUT hydronic baseboard but by staying in the same hydronic loop/zone?

Thanks in advance!! We will be very disapointed if there isn't a way! -Tony

We installed these http://www.howhydronics.com/~onlinef...chure(120).pdf during a bathroom remodel several years ago and were very pleased with their performance.
 
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Old 01-10-09, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by 125870 View Post
We installed these http://www.howhydronics.com/~onlinef...chure(120).pdf during a bathroom remodel several years ago and were very pleased with their performance.
The same company, by the way, makes an in-floor model which functions on the same principle, http://www.slantfin.com/documents/196.pdf

In addition, there is another manufacturer who makes similar in-floor models which are narrow enough to be dropped into the standard spacing between floor joists. Can't recall their name just now...

[edit]

Ahh - see the floor kit installation link on this page: Beacon/Morris Residential, Commercial, Heat, Hot Water, Steam, Gas, Kickspace Heaters, Hydronic, Oil.
 
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Old 01-10-09, 07:48 AM
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Thanks! I think the kickspace heater will be perfect! The in-floor heater would be good too but it's 5 feet long and it wouldn't go in the direction of my joists.

I have 14 feet of slant fin baseboard which is about 500 BTUs per linear foot. I'll have to create 7000 BTUs for the bathroom (wow).

That should do it, thank you. -Tony
 
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Old 01-10-09, 08:31 AM
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The kickspace heaters can also be ordered to use as a wall mount if you have an interior wall to work with. You do not want to recess wall mount on an outside wall.
 
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Old 01-10-09, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by tony17112acst View Post
Thanks! I think the kickspace heater will be perfect! The in-floor heater would be good too but it's 5 feet long and it wouldn't go in the direction of my joists.

I have 14 feet of slant fin baseboard which is about 500 BTUs per linear foot. I'll have to create 7000 BTUs for the bathroom (wow).

That should do it, thank you. -Tony
Look again - the second link I provided is for floor-mounted units narrow enough to fit between standard 16 inch on-center floor joists.
 
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Old 01-10-09, 09:25 AM
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Keep in mind too that while the amount of BTUs you had for a BEDROOM may not, and probably will not be enough for a comfortably heated BATHROOM. An extra 20% in BTUs in a bathroom is real nice when yer wet and naked on a cold day! Consider electric supplemental...
 
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Old 01-10-09, 11:53 AM
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Thanks for the tip on a warmer room!

Also, Yes, I do know that they go between joists, but I'm saying that for them to look decent in this room, the only two places I could install them would be ACROSS joists; so the joists are going the wrong way.

I'm very excited about being able to get this corner tub in. It just so happens that the baseboard heaters in the room right now are exactly within the corner where the tub would be (7 feet on eash side of the corner).

I could save a bunch of money by just building the tub deck right over the heaters and by putting small vent openings on each side of the tub platform, then putting long vent openings on the deck of the tub platform. So the cool air would get sucked in and the hot air would be floating up behinf the tub. Please see the photo I quickly drew for this post.

No plumbing required! But I see the main issue is that yes, the thing WOULD heat the room, but the BTU's per hour would have to match the current per hour output because it was sized as the 3rd room of 3 in this zone. So if the heat exchange is too slow, the other two bedrooms would be way too hot (the thermostat for this zone is in this room). Then I thought, what if I put a small duct fan in there which only goes on when it's 100 degrees (a thermostat you can get at Lowes for attic ventilators). Then if the heat exchange was too low or high, I could just adjust the temp setting on the attic vent thermostat until I get the right temp in there.

It would save a lot of plumbing, but may be just as much work.

Anyone think this would work/fail? -Tony







....OR I could just install the two lower vents in the photo and have the fan force air from one vent, over the heaters, and out the other vent. Nice eh?
 

Last edited by tony17112acst; 01-10-09 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 01-10-09, 06:56 PM
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take a look at this product Towel Warmer Index - Runtal Radiators for a towel warmer wall mounted heating element
 

Last edited by sminker; 01-10-09 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 01-10-09, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by tony17112acst View Post
Anyone think this would work/fail? -Tony
Ummm... fail. Miserably. Right around the time the baseboard starts to get dusty, rusty, cruddy and the output starts to drop off.

Or right around the time you need to access it for some reason (Pinhole leak? Old leaking bleeder valve?)

Or right around the time you get it built and discover that forced air flow over natural draft convectors doesn't work that well.

Or when you find out that the air coming out of the vents by the tub is at best cool, not warm. (But the sides of the tub are warm, though...).

Or when you find out that the duct fans are noisy (and they will be) when you and/or your significant other are trying to have a nice, quiet bath.

Kickspace heaters could be ok, but they are basically forced air. Not what one wants, when as Trooper said, one is naked and wet. Warm, RADIANT heat is what you're after.

Who's suggestions for radiant floors and walls would do the job quite nicely. You could even run tubing around the underside of the tub deck. Very nice touch.

Towel warmer-type heating is also great. You have to size them correctly and mix down the water temperature so they're not hazard-hot, but that's easy. And you get nice warm towels!

If you're going to drop a lot of coin on a fancy built-in, make the heating nice, too.
 
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Old 01-11-09, 03:57 AM
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115V and a steamed up bathroom and that module under the tube....use the exsisting hot water to heat
 
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Old 01-11-09, 07:48 AM
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I am the priginal poster:

I agree that cleaning/accessing the heaters behind the tub would be near impossible, so that's right out!

Keep in mind that this room is currently a 13x13, so I don't know how much steam there will be versus our 5x9 bathroom.

I'm probably going to be forced to use 1 kickspace heater and then either two 3-foot baseboards or a 2nd kickspace heater. I hate to use the extra electric!

I don't have a good place for a towel rack. The only place for it, happens to be right next to the thermostat! I'll put the floorplan image in below.

The work/labor needed for heated floors would be enormous from the little I have seen about it so far.

 
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Old 01-11-09, 08:12 AM
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Don't forget to add some kind of access panel for the plumbing and the motor on the whirlpool tub. Make sure the carpenter knows you will want this. It can be tricky if you want it to look good.

For heating the bathroom, I would look into installing a kickspace heater in the base of the stairs aiming towards the vanity and corner.
A Beacon Morris Twin Flo III models # 42, 84, or 120 should all do the job. I think the 84 would be the best, but the 42 may also do the job once a proper heat loss of the room was completed.

Here is the link to download the specs.

Beacon/Morris Kickspace Heaters, Commercial, Residential, Heat, Hot Water, Steam, Gas, Hydronic, Oil.
 
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Old 01-11-09, 08:31 AM
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The only place for it, happens to be right next to the thermostat
Tony, this thermostat is going to be ONLY for the bathroom? It's on it's own zone? OR - it's the existing thermostat from when the bath was a bed ? If that's the case, I think you want to move that t'stat to a location better suited for sensing an 'average' temperature in that zone.

Consider electric supplemental... short run of electric baseboard somewhere in the room... thermostat with a timer... use only when room is in use.

Wet... naked... cold tile... brrrrrrrrrr...
 
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Old 01-11-09, 09:18 AM
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One towel rack on the wall over the small tub. Another taller, skinnier one to the right of the double sinks.

Like Trooper said, you're gonna have to move the 'stat out of the bath unless it's on it's own zone.

Forgive for critiquing the design, but can't resist.

1) how do you get into these rooms? Parachute? There's no entry door.

2) Not enough space to sides of toilet. You want toilet centered in a 36" wide space, minimum.

3) 2-foot deep/wide closet insufficient for a walk-in. Clothes on hangers are 18+" wide. Typical shelving is 10-12". Person walking in needs 2 ft. Typical walk-ins are at least 48" wide.
 
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Old 01-11-09, 01:37 PM
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Original poster:

Wow, lotta info coming in at once! I LOVE critique (no need to aplogize). Thanks for the unrelated suggestions, but most are due to you all not having knowledge of the project. Yes, there is an entry door at the bottom of the image from tha hall. Also look close at the image and you'll see 6' sliding doors to the EXISTING closet making the WALKIN closet over 4' deep (not 2'). Also the toilet in the 1/2 bath is current and would stay unchanged. If you read the comments on the image to the left, all these things are addressed. The thermostat was in the hallway but I put it on the bedroom side of the wall since we have no kids and the other 2 bedrooms are never used. The ceiling fan in the bedroom turned on "low" allows the heat to be whatever we want in the bedroom but the heat in the other 2 bedrooms would be much, much lower. So moving the thermostat saves us money from not needing to heat the other two bedrooms.

Plumbinggods: excellent suggestion. I have to figure out a way to create access to the tub. Also, I think the 84 model should do it! I hope 1 heat source can heat the room faily evenly (It doesn't have to be perfect).

I have 14 feet of baseboard to replace. At 500 BTU's/hour per foot, that makes 7000 BTU's I must create for the room.

-Tony
 
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Old 01-11-09, 01:55 PM
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Actually xiphias,

The minimum space for any fixture is 30" according to IPC code.
Now I am a big guy and hate when people do that, but it is allowed by code.

Tony,

Actually, most baseboard is designed at around 580 - 600+/- BTUh per foot based on 180* water temperature. So your math should come to 8400 btu's which is equivalent to the 84 model, but I think your old baseboard may have been a little oversized.

I do not think you will have any problems with evenly heating the room pointing it in that direction.
 
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Old 01-11-09, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Who View Post
What kind of boiler do you have? Conventional, modcon, etc?

How is it piped/zoned?

Do you use an outdoor rest controller?

What can you comfortably afford? Under $1K, $1 - 2K, more...
Have you mentioned how it's piped?

I'm not exactly sure what something like warmboard (warmboard dot com) costs, but that and a TACO RMB would be an ideal way. The TACO radiant mixing block has all the key stuff in one package to add radiant pumping and control in a simple manner and costs well under $1k.

Personally, I wouldn't want a kick space heater in the bath.
 
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Old 01-11-09, 02:14 PM
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My thought is to put it under the double vanity for the best looking application. Also, if we need a boots, there's a fireplace in there!

Who: It is piped with 1/2 inch copper, and the zone consists of 3 bedrooms. I do not want to spend more than $500 for this room. And I have no outdoor rest controller. I will look into that warmboard. ...and why wouldn't you want a kickspace heater in the bathroom?

-Tony
 
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Old 01-11-09, 03:25 PM
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Tony,
Under the vanity is not a bad spot either, I just thought it might be easier to pipe from under the tub to or from, or both, to the bedroom.
I don't think the looks will be a big issue. All you see is a small grate and you could paint it to match the decor of the room.

I think this will be the less complicated and least expensive way to heat that room. Most kickspace heaters can be mounted in a wall as a wall mount or in the floor under a cabinet, etc
The heaters usually come with a 2 speed fan that is activated when the heat from the heating zone passes through and is sensed by the temp sensor. If the fan is too high, go to low speed. You should also be able to completely turn it off if needed.
 
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Old 01-11-09, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by plumbingods View Post
The minimum space for any fixture is 30" according to IPC code.
Now I am a big guy and hate when people do that, but it is allowed by code.
I know. That's why I said 36".
 
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Old 01-11-09, 04:48 PM
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and why wouldn't you want a kickspace heater in the bathroom?
I know you axed Who... but I wouldn't either...

When I'm soaking in the whirlpool, all I want to hear is the water bubbling... not some fan going 'WHHOOOOSHHHHH' ... and when I get out, and I'm wet and nekkid, last thing I want is a blast of air running around the room ... cuz it's gonna feel cold even if it's warm air ... unless I'm REALLY drunk.

I can see the door... but how do you get into the BEDROOM? THROUGH the bathroom? That's just silly... sorry.
 
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Old 01-11-09, 07:26 PM
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Basically what NJT said... that motor will be going off and on and having to work in a humid environment. Fins, motors, convective currents... I'd try and keep any heating behind the walls or floors.

What about thermofins between the joists? You could also add some in the tub surround perhaps... and if you get anywhere near the toiler water feed tubing (avoid the flange or go waxless) try to pass some BTUs across there and maybe warm the throne a bit.

With thermofins and pex-al-pex you can go same temp as your existing system. Not sure how the 1/2" will play...
 
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Old 01-11-09, 09:10 PM
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I guess radiant heat would be my first choice too, but it's hard to fit in here. My only idea would be in the image below. It would be a ***** to plumb in however. As you can see the joists run from top to bottom. An in-floor 3 & 5 footer will give me 5000 BTUs/hour. I'd only need a 4 foot baseboard to get he remaining 2000 BTU's. I think you've convince me fellas!

NJ Trooper: Yes, we'd love to have the bedroom first but it'd cost over $20,000 more for the builders to create a loooong hallway ...only for us to loop back into the bathroom. We decided that having and extra $20,000 would be worth walking thru a beautiful bathroom (unlike you). When you think of it, you go to the bathroom to brush teeth, etc. before you go to bed anyway. We rarely worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do.


 
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Old 01-12-09, 12:22 AM
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Have you seen thermofin? I think it could work...

Tell Trooper the toiler is behind a door so all is cool... Beer 4U2
 
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Old 01-12-09, 07:43 AM
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I love in-floor for this application, but for install cost and ease of plumbing, I'd still suggest looking hard the towel rad approach. Easy to pipe off the existing system, they hold and warm towels, too.

One on the wall where the "baseboard" is proposed above, one tall skinny to the right of the double sink, and maybe one on the exterior wall over the big tub.
 
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Old 01-12-09, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper View Post
I know you axed Who... but I wouldn't either...

When I'm soaking in the whirlpool, all I want to hear is the water bubbling... not some fan going 'WHHOOOOSHHHHH' ... and when I get out, and I'm wet and nekkid, last thing I want is a blast of air running around the room ... cuz it's gonna feel cold even if it's warm air ... unless I'm REALLY drunk.
NJ, have you ever used one of these?

We installed them during a bathroom remodel several years ago and were very happy with them. The relatively long/small diameter squirell-cage fans *are* very quiet, especially on low speed. And, if mounted under the vanity (as ours were), the only place you feel the "draft" from the fans is on your feet when standing directly in fromt of the grille.

Basically, these devices are nothing more than a small hot water radiator with a fan mounted behind them to help move air over the coils.
 
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Old 01-12-09, 10:46 AM
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I agree completely with 125870 on this one, sorry guys.
 
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Old 01-12-09, 11:21 AM
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I would love to use the kickspce heater just for the fact that it'd be easier to plumb in. I don't like using the electricity, but I think it's only 45 watts.

Our place will have a more old Mediterranean look to it (with all the roman tiling and even a corinthian pillarf or two. When I looked at the towel rack heaters, It just didn't look like it'd fit in with the decor. I'll take one more look at them. Don't they get plumbed into the walls ...which would be twice the work as baseboard? -Tony
 
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Old 01-12-09, 11:42 AM
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Whatever. Your call. $10k bathroom with a $250 comfort (heating) system that, IMHO, is a low-end solution. I wouldn't do it.
 
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Old 01-12-09, 05:00 PM
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No, never used 'em ... but have been in several homes with them installed in kitchens, and one where they had one installed in a foyer, under the bottom stair step.

They work fine in those apps... me, personally, just my opinion would not care for one in a bathroom ... if yer happy with it, great! I don't think I would be, and simply can't recommend it based on that alone...

nuff said.
 
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Old 01-12-09, 08:15 PM
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OK, the wife just told me to put in the kickspace heater, LOL.

Never mind.

-Tony
 
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Old 01-13-09, 01:24 AM
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Leave it to SWMBO! LOL

Many change their tune after having warm floors. Good luck with the project.
 
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Old 01-19-10, 10:50 PM
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One-Year-Later Update

One-Year-Later Update:

Well, we decided on the kickspace heater and everything turned out great.

Answers to Concerns Mentioned Above:

1.) The fan on "low" more than heats the room;
2.) The fan is ultra quiet;
3.) You cannot detect any draft created by the fan;
4.) The room is between two other heated areas, so we leave the fan "off" and results in only 1 degree cooler than the other two rooms.

You can see the unit just below the towel next to the shower. Here are two photos; everything you see I did myself:



 
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