Adding Electric Radiant Floor Heat On A Bathroom Remodel
Recently we took one of our bathroom remodeling projects and used it as an article and video feeder project for our website AConcordCarpenter. The plan behind this project was to detail the steps behind and discuss and show the installation of cool and innovative products.
Electric radiant heat and its benefits are one of the best alternatives to inconsistent and inefficient conventional bathroom heat sources. It was not even a question of us not installing a WarmlyYours electric radiant heat system. The only question was which product did we want to showcase?
We decided to showcase and install a custom fit electric radiant heat mat.
Electric radiant floor heat is typically only installed in the walking areas and areas that are not covered by appliances, cabinets or fixtures in the room.
Custom fit mats are designed specifically for the room they will be installed in. The heating cable is fixed to a mesh blanket that is designed and cut to fit the dimensions of the room to be heated.
Choosing An Electric Radiant Heat System:
Once you have designed your bathroom and understand the floor plan it’s time to plan for floor heat. There are several quality companies out there to choose from and you need to decide which one has the best overall package.
Choose a floor heat company that will work with you on your design. I use WarmlyYours because they have a 24/7 customer line and over the years I’ve developed a relationship with their sales staff and technical people.Relationships are important in my line of business and relationships with folks who you can trust will deliver what they promise and are there when you need them is paramount.
When making your decision consider the following :
- Look for a company that provide assistance with custom designs and offers customer service.
- Look for a company that offers 24/7 installation and technical support. You want a live person who knows their stuff.
- Choose a heating system that is a quality product that has an optimal wattage of 12-15 watts per square foot.
- Find out what the turn around on a drawing and price quote is?
- How far out is your product once ordered?
- what is the warranty and what exactly will the company do and pay for if their system fails? [will they pay for the floor to be replaced?]
Locate Your thermostat Location:
No one these days should be installing an electric radiant heat system without a programmable thermostat. When electric radiant heat is combined with a programmable thermostat the system is heats efficiently and is cost effective by only heating the floor when you want it heated.
Thermostat Install Tips:
Thermostats should generally be located about 5 ft off floor and on an inside wall. Try to avoid placing it near heat sources, excessive sunlight from windows or skylights or heat generating appliances that could affect its temperature.
Make sure your electrician runs a 20 amp dedicated GFCI protected circuit to this location.
I also require my electrician to install a wire pull string from the thermostat electrical box, down the wall cavity and through a notched section of the 2×4 wall shoe plate. After the wallboard is installed the string will be used to pull the floor mat heat leads and floor sensor through the notch and up the wall to the thermostat location.
Measure Your Heating Area:
Measure your room several times – this is the step to pay real close attention to and get right. When I measure my bathroom remodels for floor heat I measure exactly to the walls, vanity, tub or toilet an then deduct three inches from that measurement.
The deduction allows for the installation of 3/4″ baseboard trim and for “oops” moments. I will tell you that having the extra room to slide the mats an inch this way or that way has saved my ass a few times!
Once I have my measurements I make a drawing, add the measurements and send it over to Matt Caruso, Sales Manager, at WarmlyYours.
The BEST part of having Matt involved is that he and his technical team have collectively forgotten more about electric radiant floor heat than I will ever know.
As a remodeling contractor that can’t afford to tear up a new tile floor on a project three months after installing it I know that having experts eyeballs on my project has real monetary and reputation saving value.
Dry Fitting The Heating Mat:
Custom mats ship in 7 to 14 days depending on how busy the manufacturing is. Once received I always bring the mat into the room where it will be installed for a dry fit. This is the time to make adjustments and to remedy problems.
Installing The Electric Radiant Heat Mat:
The beauty of installing a WarmlyYours custom fit mat is in its simplicity. all you do is laminate it to the sub-floor or cement board underlayment [CBU]with thin set mortar.
- Re-secure any old sub-floor with screws to eliminate squeaks.
- Install a CBU per manufacturers recommendations or install a mud floor job.
- Vacuum and clean the CBU floor with a damp rag.
- Install the custom heat mat by laminating it to the CBU with thin set mortar and a 1/4 inch notched trowel
- Ensure that the mat has 100 percent contact with the thin set by using a rubber float or your hands to press it down.
- Coat over the top of the mat with thin set mortar, using a smooth trowel.
- Install floor tiles after the thin set mortar has dried.
Note - You will need to notch the CBU to allow for the heat mat to lay flat. The reason for this is there is a larger connection where the heating coil and the sold power lead meet.