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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Floor Heat

The utility room and kitchen will receive tile and floor heat. The master bedroom and bathroom will receive laminate flooring and floor heat. A separate controller will be installed for each type of flooring. This is to prevent the laminate flooring from overheating.

Installing a floor heating mat is easy...just follow the manufacturer’s instructions. I mentioned in an earlier post that I did not have the thinset mortar required to embed the floor heat mat as per the manufacturer's instructions. To ship the mortar from the U.S. would have been insanely expensive. Installation of the mats required some extra work to get the desired result. Here’s what I did. I’m sure this is not an approved method and I don’t recommend doing it this way, but it worked for my situation. If you’re curious…read on!

Floor heater mat. The orange mesh can be cut to form just about any shape.

The marker line is ready for routing.

First, roll out the mat to determine where the floor needs to be heated. The orange mat can be easily cut with scissors to create any odd shape that is needed. Do not cut the blue heater wire! 

Second, draw a pencil line to match the heater wire location. Don’t stretch the heater wire. Mark the wire as it naturally sits on the floor. The subfloor is 28mm plywood. 

Third, darken the pencil line with a marking pen to allow for easy visibility. Be prepared for a lot of sawdust! Remove the mat and get ready for some fun.

The mini router makes the job less difficult

1/8th inch straight bit

Follow the marker line. It doesn't have to be perfect.

 Fourth, use a router to create a groove in the plywood for the heater wire. Try to follow the marker line with the router, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. I used an 1/8th inch straight bit.

The heater wire naturally lays in the routed groove. Using this method, less tape is needed to hold the wire down until the flooring is installed. The tape is supplied with the floor mat. WarmFloors makes this floor mat, but I have used other brands with success.

On the right- marker line is ready for routing. On the left- routed line is ready for heater wire.

That’s all there is to it. Cut the blue heater wire free from the orange mesh. Tape the wire into the groove and install the laminate or tile flooring. Be sure to use adhesive that is heat resistant when installing the tile. I checked the floor heat mat before installation to make sure I could use 100V. The floor mat was operated for 8 hours and it maintained a comfortable 89 degrees. The laminate floor should only be heated to about 80 degrees.      George

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