How to: Installing Heated Bathroom Floors | Terrys Plumbing

How to: Installing Heated Bathroom Floors

Walking on a cold bathroom floor is a harsh way to start the morning. While most people avoid cold feet by covering bathroom floors with enormous mats, radiant heating is a great way to keep the floor warm while increasing your home’s energy efficiency. Here is a quick guide on how to install heated bathroom flooring in your home without breaking your budget.

Tools & Materials

  •   Under tile heating mats
  •   Thermostat with floor sensor
  •   Digital Multimeter
  •   Floor Tile
  •   Grout
  •   Grout Float
  •   Pliers
  •   Permanent Marker
  •   Measuring Tape
  •   Cork Underlayment
  •   Glue/Adhesive
  •   Scissors

How to Install Heated Floors

Underfloor radiant heating systems are a great way to make bathrooms more comfortable and are also designed to be incredibly easy to install. Follow the steps below to make your installation of underfloor heating a quick and simple project.

  1. Measure the Bathroom Floor – To determine how much of the bathroom floor will be heated measure and create a diagram of the bathroom to ensure you have enough material. Be sure to take permanent fixtures like vanities, toilets, showers, or tubs into consideration–the key is to determine how many square feet of flooring needs to be heated. As with most things, getting accurate measurements in this step can save you a ton of time later.
  2. Test the Under Tile Heating Mats – Before installation, check that the floor heating system is in good condition. Using a digital ohmmeter, measure the resistance of the heating wires. The resistance should be within 15% of the resistance listed in the manual for that model.
  3. Inspect and Clean the Bathroom Subfloor – For a good installation, the subfloor needs to be clean and free of debris. Using pliers, remove any nails or sharp objects that can damage the underfloor heating system. If the subfloor is concrete, use adhesive to place a cork or synthetic cork underlayment to the subfloor before installing the heating system. Without the cork, the underfloor heating system will be heating the foundation as well as the bathroom, which will just waste energy.
  4. Install the Under Tile Heating Mats – Installing the heating mats is actually the easiest part. Unroll the mat across the subfloor using adhesive to hold the mat in place. Cut the mesh as needed to fit into the space, but be sure not to cut the heating element. Cutting the heating element will damage the system. To fit the mat around tricky obstructions like tubs and toilets, cut the wire away from the mesh and freeform the heating element to fit. Following the diagram you created before makes this step a breeze.
  5. Position the Sensor – Now that the system is completely laid out and in place, attach the sensor for the thermostat. The temperature sensor is what lets the thermostat know if it should send more or less power to the heating elements so be sure to place the sensor in a good location. Ensure that the sensor goes between the heating elements and does not overlap them. Weave the sensor into the mesh or use adhesive to keep it from moving around.
  6. Test the System Once More – The underfloor heating system should now be completely installed. Check that everything is working properly before installing the tile. The ohmmeter should still read that the system’s resistance is within range. If not, fix the problem now while everything is still easily accessible.
  7. Connect the Thermostat – The system is now ready to be connected to the thermostat, preferably by a licensed electrician. Since underfloor heating systems may require significant amperage during warm-up it’s recommended that the underfloor heating system be put on a dedicated circuit. After connecting the underfloor heating system, temperature sensor, and line voltage to the thermostat, the tile flooring can be installed.
  8. Install Tile – Before purchasing tile check with the tile manufacturer to make sure that the tiles are compatible with underfloor heating systems. For more information on tile installation check out one of our older blogs here.

Call Super Terry!

It does not take much to accidentally cut an electrical wire and ruin the entire setup. When hooking up the lead wires to the thermostat, or installing your system don’t hesitate to call in the professionals. Super Terry has your back and can give your bathroom a facelift in no time. Contact us today for more information.