how to keep a bathroom warm in winter

How to Keep a Bathroom Warm in Winter

Winter is the time where we all like to wrap up warm and do our best to avoid the chill and huddling around a radiator can seem like an appealing option.

However, your bathroom can often be the hardest place in the house to keep warm due to the need for ventilation and the changes in temperature and humidity following a bath or shower. You want to keep the room warm but how?

Plumbworld is here to help you make sure your bathroom is kept warm throughout winter so you aren’t greeted by a crisp room when you need to use it. Some tricks are simple and cheap while others may be more expensive and involve new heating.

Read on to find out how you can keep your bathroom warm and toasty throughout winter…

Keeping a bathroom warm in winter - the choices

bathroom in winter

There are usually two main strategies for keeping your bathroom warm over winter, one of which is more expensive.

The first is to invest time and money in insulating your bathroom to be more efficient with the heat that already exists there. This is an excellent choice and investment as it will keep the bills down when things start to get cool. It’s something that everyone should do.

The second choice is to increase the amount of heat there is in the bathroom, allowing things to warm up that little bit quicker. This will include buying more or new heating sources, such as underfloor heating, radiators, and heated towel rails.

Replace silicone sealant on windows

seal bathroom windows

Windows are the coldest part of your bathroom, naturally, but it’s not just limited to have a window open that causes a drop in temperature. The weakest areas can be the frames.

Over time, silicone sealant around the window edges can begin to deteriorate and crack, leaving gaps for cold air to enter or for heat to be lost. Resealing window edges with sealant is not only a very simple DIY job, but it can do wonders in helping to insulate your bathroom and retain heat. Plus, it costs very little from your local DIY supplier.

Install weather stripping

Weatherstripping is the heavy-duty alternative to silicone sealant and, like sealant, can be found at most DIY suppliers - so you can easily do it yourself.

Weatherstripping looks like a long coil of plastic and rubber sealant stripping that can be cut down to fit any window or door. The process of sealing window edges with stripping is very similar to sealant and can be more efficient at keeping cold air, and even water, from getting through any gaps around your windows.

Bleeding your bathroom radiator or towel rail

The simplest solutions are often the best ones, and few will have as big an impact as bleeding your bathroom radiator or heated towel rail

Bathroom radiators, just like those in the rest of your home, need to be bled to work as efficiently as possible. If your radiator or towel rail is taking a long time to warm up, not as warm as it should be or is only heating up at certain sections, it will need bleeding.

Read more: How to Bleed a Radiator

This is a simple DIY job and only needs the bleed valve to be turned slightly using the radiator bleeding key. This can only be done with bathroom radiators and heated towel rails that are plumbed into your central heating.

Install proper ventilation

When you think of bathroom ventilation, it’s likely that your main thought is to crack open a window. Don’t worry, many think the same way.

While this is a quick and efficient way of drawing air out of the bathroom following a shower or bath, heat can be lost incredibly quickly. This makes it difficult and slow to reheat the room during winter months. 

Installing an extractor fan in your bathroom can prevent the need for opening a window completely and it will help retain heat as well as remove any bad smells from your bathroom. Here are just some benefits of installing an extractor fan:

  • Reduce condensation: Everyone can attest to the amount of steam a shower produces. An extractor fan minimises this.
  • Prevent mould: The condensation your shower creates can lead to a worse problem: mould. Proper ventilation can help stop it from forming.
  • Extend the life of your bathroom: Condensation and mould are both destructive forces in your bathroom. They can damage your bathroom fittings beyond repair. An extractor fan is a great line of defence against this.
  • Keep odours away: Finally, all that damp, stale air can lead to unpleasant smells in your bathroom. A fan helps keep your air nice and fresh.

Consider your heating options

Choosing the correct heating solutions for your bathroom is one of the best ways to ensure it stays warm, but not too warm throughout the whole year. The 3 main heating options for a bathroom are heated towel rails, radiators, and underfloor heating.

Now, changing your current heating options may not be affordable for you but if it is then this could make a huge difference, especially if your bathroom is prone to excessive damp and moisture.

Yes, underfloor heating may be a costly solution but if you have the time and money then it might just be one of those decisions you never forget! Underfloor heating unlike radiators and heated towel rails takes up no extra space in your bathroom, making it especially useful in small spaces.

Now if you're on a budget, or you have a smaller bathroom then a heated towel rail might just be the perfect solution. With the ability to not only keep your towels warm and dry but heat your bathroom too, a heated towel rail is a wonderful all-rounder.

For larger than-average bathrooms, underfloor heating might be too costly and a heated towel rail is unlikely to cope with heating such a large space. That's where a radiator or multiple radiators come into play.

Calculating BTU

To ensure you get the right heating solution for your bathroom is ideal to calculate the BTU (British Thermal Units) necessary to heat the room. This can be calculated easily with our handy heating calculator.

Consider your lighting

bathroom lighting

That’s right, lighting can make your bathroom appear warmer or even add temperature

Besides changing your bathroom colour scheme, which isn’t something many of us will do for a few months of the year, you can create the illusion of warmth. Combining warm colours, like red, yellow and orange, with warm lighting can create some visual heat.

The same can be said for lighting that has a warmer glow. Many LEDs come in a range of colours - from intense white to warmer yellows - so consider this when buying. You can also get bulbs that are developed to warm up smaller areas. They won’t provide the sunny day experience, but you can still warm up a small area - like a bathroom.  

Add rugs and bath mats

bathroom mats and rugs

No one likes to step out of a hot shower or bath onto cold bathroom tiles, just like you don’t like to go from a warm bed and step onto the cold floor.

Aside from installing new floors or underfloor heating, your best bet is to buy rugs or bath mats for your floor. Not only will they keep the chill away when you step into the bathroom barefoot, but they’ll also visually warm up the look of a room.

Read more: Underfloor Heating Complete Guide

Make sure your new rugs are soft, warm, and can also absorb the water from your feet. You could even try layering them, a plush rug on top of a mat to remove damp if you’re using the bathroom after someone else has had a bath or shower.

Add some plants

bathroom plants

Finally, and this is one you may not have considered, add some plants into your bathroom if you have the space for them. Well, maybe not quite as many as the lady in the image above!

Plants can make your bathroom warmer because of how plants release moisture into the air. This increases the humidity in the space, which helps to make the room appear warmer. Remember, when it comes to warmth in a bathroom, humidity is good. Just make sure you don’t overdo it and install an extractor fan to avoid the risk of damp and mould. 

If you're looking for further information on heating, you might find the following posts useful - A Guide to Bathroom Heating - Guide to Buying Heated Towel Rails For Your Bathroom - Why You Need a Heated Towel Rail In Your Bathroom Today.

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