Wood Floors and Electric Radiant Heat

By Robert Robillard on Floor Heat

Wood Floors and Electric Radiant Heat

Installing Warmup Loose Wire Heating System (NADWS) 10-Steps

Step 1: Determine heated area

Measure the room that will be receiving radiant heat. Make a sketch or drawing to send to Warmup for a quote. Locate your thermostat location and note its location on your sketch (see Step 2).

Step 2: Locate Thermostat

Warmup electric radiant heat mat systems are designed to be used with a UL Certified programmable thermostat. Locate your thermostat approximately 5 feet off floor and always on an inside wall. Try to avoid placing it near heat sources, excessive sunlight from windows, or skylights.

The Warmup proprietary 3iE Energy-Monitoring and 4iE Smart WiFi Thermostats include the safety of upper-limit temperature monitoring. This means that when selecting “wood floors” in the programming, the heat settings will never rise past 82F and ensure smooth and gradual heating of the floors.

Step 3: Run a 20-amp, GFCI protected circuit

Run a dedicated 20-amp GFCI circuit to your thermostat location. Prior to closing up any walls, I install a wire pull string from the thermostat 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 cold lead and floor sensor wire up the wall to the thermostat location.

Step 4: Install wood sleepers

Using wood strips ¼” to ¾” thick and 2” wide, install strips at 12” to 16” intervals when using Warmup Loose Wire Heating System (NADWS). Leave a 2” gap at alternate ends of strips for heating wires to cross from one section to the next. [See diagram]

Wood Floors and Electric Radiant Heat

Step 5: Install fixing strips

Using hot glue, nails or screws, secure the strips to the floor with a minimum of 3” away from the walls and permanent fixtures.

Step 6: Install heating system

Starting at the closest point on the floor to the thermostat, tape the joint to the subfloor. Lace the heating cable on the fixing strip and run it back and forth in parallel to the wood sleepers until all the sections are filled in.

Wood Floors and Electric Radiant Heat

Step 7: Install temperature floor sensor probe

Place the probe wire containing the capped sensor evenly between two runs of heating cables at least 12” from the wall into the heated area. At no time should the probe wire cross the heating cable.

Wood Floors and Electric Radiant Heat

Step 8: Embed heating system using leveling compound

When the heating system is completely installed, apply a mixture of modified latex thinset compound over the entire heating system. Use a scrap board to spread and level the thinset to the top of the sleepers. Leveling compounds/thin-set/adhesive MUST contain latex compounds and capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 140°F (60°C) when used with underfloor electric heat systems.

Step 9: Install hardwood flooring

When leveling compound has cured, install the hardwood flooring by attaching it to the wood sleepers only. Use caution not to damage wires with your fasteners.

Wood Floors Electric Radiant Heat

Step 10: Program Thermostat

Program the thermostat to a maximum of 81°F (26.5°C) to avoid drying out the wood or causing warping. The thermostat must be regulated by a floor probe positioned between the heating cables. Note the Warmup 4iE Smart Wifi Thermostat does this automatically when selecting Wood Floors in the menu.

Installing Electric Radiant Heat Under Wood Floors


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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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