Installing Heated Floors - Overview
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Installing Different Types of Radiant Floor Heating Systems
For detailed installation instructions, please refer to your installation manual. The overview is intended only to provide a general overview of the installation process and assist customers in the decision process. The guidelines below gives installers an idea of the process behind the installation of heated floors. This page covers basic information regarding ComfortTile heat cable and mats, RetroHeat film floor heating elements and HeatShield floor heating insulation panels. To maintain a valid warranty, carefully follow the instructions in the installation manual and have a licensed electrician connect all the wiring of the floor heating system.
Electric floor heating systems are easy to customize and install. While the heating element and flooring (i.e., tile, hardwood) can be installed by most ambitious do-it-yourself homeowners, it is important that a licensed, qualified electrician connect the wiring for the system.
ComfortTile floor heating cable can be purchased on spools or pre-spaced on mats. The cable is just ⅛-inch in diameter and can be installed directly in the thin set under tile floors. The mats feature pre-spaced cable on a durable fiberglass mesh with adhesive backing so it can be rolled out for quick and easy installation.
To make turns when laying out the floor heating mats, simply cut the mesh backing and turn the mat accordingly, as shown in the photo below. (Never cut the heat cable.)
When installing heat cable off the spool, the cable is secured to the floor using thin metal strips (cable straps) that are nailed or screwed to the floor (see photo below). These straps have small tabs in them where the heat cable is placed. Simply bend the tab over the cable to secure it.
To make turns when laying out the floor heating mats, simply cut the mesh backing and turn the mat accordingly, as shown in the photos above (or click on the image to the left). NOTE: Never cut the heat cable itself. Only cut the mesh backing.
If you have access to the floor joists from below, then you can install the RetroHeat floor heating element. The system features a thin "film" heating element that is shipped in rolls. When installing RetroHeat, the heating panels can be cut to the required length on site and then stapled up between the floor joists. The heating panels are available for joists in 12, 16, and 24-inch widths. (NOTE: Measurements are taken from the center of one joist to the other, not the distance between each joist.)
After stapling the heating panels between the floor joists (under the floor), the electrical connections are then made. (Be sure to follow the directions in the installation manual and periodically test the system.) After your electrician makes the electrical connections, install common batt insulation over the heating element. The insulation directs the warmth upwards through the floor and enhances the energy efficiency by minimizing heat loss.
HeatShield floor heating insulation panels are ideal for heating under laminate and engineered wood flooring. Installing the system is surprisingly easy. The lightweight floor heating panels feature insulated aluminum panels that easily connect to one another across the length of the floor. The panels contain channels for the heating cable, ensuring accurate spacing and allowing you to use ComfortTile heating cables without the use of mortar and thinset.
The floor insulation panels can also be sized on site. With no need for a mortar layer, HeatShield Panels can cut your installation time in half. Floor heating installers who have used HeatShield Panels reported that they were able to lay down 300 square feet of floor heating in under two hours, putting traditional radiant floor heating installation methods to shame.
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Warmzone takes pride in offering customers the most comprehensive collection of radiant heat information available online. Visit our Radiant Heat Documentation page to view and download installation manuals, technical guides, brochures, product sheets, installation diagrams and more. If you cannot find the information you are looking for, please call one of our radiant heat experts. We are happy to help you, and there is no sales pressure or obligation.
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To maintain a valid warranty, be sure to have a qualified, licensed electrician connect the wiring and related electrical components.