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Installing Radiant Floor Heating

Advantages And Steps To Install It On Your Own

If you’re considering putting radiant floor heating in your home, you should consider yourself wise.

Radiant floor heating has great advantages over the forced-air ventilation heating systems in most homes today. More and more people are having radiant under floor floor heating installed as renovations or with homes that are being newly constructed. What are these great advantages?

Advantages of Installing Radiant Floor Heating At Home

  • Lower heating bills, yet with greater comfort as your feet and objects in the room are the first things to receive the heat. Then the heat radiates up through your body and off of the objects. You get greater comfort, greater efficiency.
     
  • Even distribution of heat. No more hot pockets and cold pockets.
     
  • Greater aesthetic appeal. No more unsightly heating vents. Your furniture goes wherever you like, too, as there are no vents to be blocked.
     
  • Clean air that isn’t all dried out. No circulating of dust, mites, pollen, and whatever else to cause breathing problems and allergic reactions. And, no drying out of your sinuses to cause nose bleeds.

Doesn’t this all sound wonderful? Now, the question becomes how to get radiant floor heating installed in your home. The truth is that it can be a complex job that requires professionals. But what if you would rather save the money that you would need to pay them?

Can you do the installation yourself? Yes - if you elect to install the simpler radiant underfloor heating system. This system is made up of mats that get laid down beneath the surface of the floor. The mats have electrical coils in them. These coils will become heated up and send the heat up through your floor. Let’s look at the steps you take to do a DIY installation of this radiant floor heating system. (You’ll see that some minimal professional help is still required.)

Steps To Installing Radiant Floor Heating At Home

  1. Discuss your electrical requirements with an electrical contractor and make sure that you have everything you’ll need. What you need includes a dedicated circuit and a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) for safety.
     
  2. Use scissors to cut the mats in the desired and needed shapes. You can customize the cutouts to go around furniture, in cabinets, and so on. Remember to only cut the mats’ mesh. Absolutely never cut the electrical cables.
     
  3. Test the cables to make sure they work. Just follow the instructions and use the tester that will come with the mat kit.
     
  4. Put down a 1/8th inch coat of flooring adhesive or thinset cement over the top of the mesh. If it would make things easier for you, superglue or staple-gun the mesh to your sub-floor before you apply the adhesive or cement. Remember--never put staples through any cables.
     
  5. Tile your floor. Embed the tiles into another coating of adhesive or cement.installing radiant floor heating
     
  6. Wire the system into a thermostat that you have an electrician install into a standard 2x 4 inch or 4x4 inch wall box.

Yes, you’re now ready to go! Keep in mind that there are more elaborate radiant floor warming solutions that can be installed, but they should not be DIY projects. The most popular radiant floor heating systems are those that use under-floor pipes that carry heated water as the heating medium.

For installing that kind of system you would need contractors, electricians, and plumbers all to help you out. But to get started right away at the lowest cost, buy an electrical cable mat system and follow the simple steps outlined above.