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How to Install In-Floor Heating in the Home

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

One way to warm up the home all winter long is by installing in-floor heating mats. This heater creates a warm, inviting living space. And unlike regular heaters, floor heaters regulates the indoor temperature evenly. The good news is, you don’t have to hire a professional to install in-floor heaters. You can do this at home using the right tools.

You will need:

A tile spacer
Glue gun
Thin-set mortar
Hot glue

Step 1: Exposing the Subfloor

Start your project by clearing out the old carpeting and removing obstructions on the floor. Expose the subflooring by removing the glue that sticks the carpet on the floor. Remove the excess glue using  a solvent and scraper from the cement floor. Finally, apply an even layer of adhesive to the concrete subfloor to lay down the crack-suppression membrane.

Step 2: Applying the Crack-Suppression Membrane

After applying the adhesives on the subfloor in sections, unroll the membrane on the floor gently and evenly. Press the adhesive using a floor roller to remove air bubbles. The crack-suppression membrane helps keep the floor even and prevent cracks as the cement contracts and expands.

Step 3: Applying the Plastic Grids

After applying the adhesive to the crack-suppression membrane, you need to install the power grids. The power grids will hold the radiant heat wires to the subfloor. Read the manufacturer’s manual to learn how to install the power grids properly. The space between the grids must be uniform to avoid hot and cold spots.

Step 4: Installing the Radiant Heat Cables

After installing the power grids, you will attach the radiant-heat cables into the grids. Again, keep the cables spaced out evenly to avoid hot and cold spots on the floor. Read the manufacturer’s manual to learn how to install the radiant heat cables properly.

Step 5: Adding the Mortar

With a power drill with a paddle bit, mix the mortar according to instructions. Get a straight edge trowel and apply an even layer of mortar over the electric cables. Hold the trowel at a consistent angle to create even layers of mortar. Uniform thickness of mortar is critical at this point. Once done, leave the mortar to dry completely.

Step 6: Testing the Radiant Heat Floor

At this point, you can test if the heat floor wiring is working properly. You can do this on your own assuming that you have extensive knowledge on installing electrical wiring. If you have no experience installing electrical wiring, hire a licensed electrician to do it for you. Never do the wiring on your own. The electrician could also install a control panel on the wall to regulate the heat.

Step 7: Finishing Up the Floor

Once the in-floor heater is in place and ready to go, start finishing up the floor by choosing the right layout. Ideally, you want to use as many full tiles as possible. Spread the mortar on the floor using a trowel. Create deep grooves in the mortar and press each tile. Gently wiggle the tile as you press it down to seal it in. Check the level of the floor using a level and adjust accordingly. After adding all the tiles, leave the mortar to dry. Finally, apply the grout and sealant to finish up!

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