Sometimes the most enduring benefits of kitchen and bath remodels are the ones with little or no visual drama: the warm air coming from the kick-space heater at the base of a set of new cabinets, or the tile mats that silently generate radiant heat under the floor.
Heating tends to be forgotten amid the many other design decisions that go along with a remodel or addition. it’s not until the master bath has been finished that you realize how much colder the new tile floor feels than your old linoleum, or how chilly the kitchen feels after removing that run of baseboard heat to make room for extra cabinets. in many cases, it makes sense to extend an existing forced-air or hydronic (hot water) heating system to condition a newly remodeled space.
Depending on the added square footage of the new room, the space for new ductwork, or the budget of the project, however, using your existing heating system may not be the most attractive option. the good news is that there are many stand-alone heating options designed to fit a wide variety of situations, and they don’t have to blow the budget for the whole job.
Of the available options, electric heat generally involves the lowest up-front costs and simplest installations. You don’t need a boiler and circulation pump, and there are no supply and return ducts to worry about hiding.
Spend just a few hundred dollars (though often much less) to purchase the device, plus whatever the electrician charges to install the wiring, and you’re up and running. Modern units go beyond baseboard heaters, too. in-floor, wall-mounted, and even dual-purpose towel warmers and heated mirrors make it easy to integrate electric heat into the design of a room.