Growing up in the South, I had never heard of such things like radiant flooring, heated towel racks, or steam rooms for bathrooms. But as a current resident of the North, I've learned that a life without warm towels and heat lamps is a life I don't want to be a part of. If you cringe every time your feet hit the cold bathroom floor, or you think that taking a long, scalding hot shower every day might lessen the dread of pulling back the shower curtain to a frigid draft, I'm here for you, and I want to help. With these tips, you won't need to run up your gas or electric bill, waste water, or suffer the bathroom blues anymore.
Add lots of rugs
Nothing is more chilling than bare feet on ice cold tile. This can be especially true if you live on the ground floor. If you don't have the luxury of installing new floors, your best bet is to layer rugs. Not only will rugs keep the chill away, they'll visually warm up the look of a room.
See more rugs in bathrooms → The Decor Trick That Overhauled How I Feel About My Bathroom
Purchase heated towel rods or racks
You can't stay in a hot tub or shower forever unfortunately. But you can mitigate the transition with toasty warm towels. This version is an affordable bathroom upgrade at $140 and can be either plugged in or hard-wired. If you're looking for something even more renter-friendly, try a freestanding one like this $99 version.
Keep towel hooks near shower or tub
If investing in a towel warmer isn't in the cards, you can also just consider moving your towel rods or hooks closer to the shower or bath, and away from places that might get drafty – like windows or doors. Your towel will naturally warm up from the shower steam, and you won't have to do that awkward tip-toe shimmy across the cold tiles to get your towel from across the room. Even better, get yourself a really nice bathrobe to slip into post rinse.
Install new heated flooring
If you are already considering a bathroom remodel or re-tiling your floors, and live in a climate that stays cold for months out the year, it might be time to consider heated flooring. The initial cost might feel a bit excessive, but think of the comfort it will provide even in the roughest of winter storms. Check out This Old House to see how you can install your own. You can also consider an electric baseboard heater, which is less invasive and affordable.
Be sure to weatherstrip bathroom windows to keep drafts out and in heat in. Check out our post on winterizing windows to learn more.
Change out the light bulbs
Unless you spend a lot of time in the lightbulb aisle of the hardware store you may not know about heat light bulbs. They're not going to heat a whole room but can have a noticeable effect in small areas, making them perfect for the bathroom.
Consider a Space Heater
An easy way to stay warm while you run through your morning bathroom routine is to use a space heater. This ceramic one by Honeywell is a step up in the style department and only $30.
Get a better shower head
Part of the problem could be that dinky shower head. Installing something a little more all-encompassing could lead to a warmer shower experience. Try a rainfall shower head that can be installed with your current plumbing.
Incorporate warm decor
Stark surfaces are the last thing you want during the coldest months of the year. Visually warm your space up with cozy textures and color through baskets, accessories, art work and towels.
Ditch the white walls
In a similar fashion, give the illusion of a cozier space by painting the walls a warmer hue if you can.