Instructions for installing underfloor heating under tile
The underfloor heating system consists of one continuous cable, with a thin heating element woven into the mat to install under tile. It’s best to install underfloor heating when doing a major renovation, changing your existing flooring, or adding a new floor covering.
Underfloor heating can be installed as an additional means of heating to solve the problem of cold tiles, or as a basic element of heating to save space in the place of its installation. It’s a great solution for insulating rooms like hallways, kitchens, or bathrooms. The benefits of installing underfloor heating under tile:
- Easy to install. If you have experience in tile laying, installing a warm floor under a tile will not cause difficulties. To connect the underfloor heating and work with the electrics, we advise you to seek the services of professionals. Installations of underfloor heating of any complexity you can order in our company by feedback form or by phone.
- It is safe. Once the heating system is installed, the possibility of its damage is practically excluded. The device is equipped with a safety switch-off system, the thermostat immediately cuts off the electricity in case of any problems with the power supply, such as a short circuit.
- It is inexpensive to operate. Underfloor heating consumption is 120-240 watts per square metre. Underfloor heating in a 1.5 square bathroom consumes around 180 Watts, which is equivalent to a television set or two light bulbs.
- It does not take up space. Instead of a large radiator, which occupies a lot of space, you can install a floor heating under the tile, which at a cost of almost the same.
- It’s universal. Unlike a boiler or furnace in your home, mat floor heating will not spoil the attractiveness of your space.
- It’s very, very convenient. When your feet are warm, your whole body feels comfortable.You can read and play games with your kids on the kitchen or bathroom floor.
How to install underfloor heating and tile with large porcelain tiles
Step 2: Choosing the power connection
For a heated area less than 7 square meters, you can get power from your existing electrical wiring without overloading it. If you connect the floor heating to a circuit that powers a hair dryer or iron, you need to run dedicated floor heating wiring.
In any case, for installation and wiring we recommend using a thermostat with an automatic overload cut-off function. For floor areas larger than 7 square meters, we recommend that you install a separate ground source wire as well.
Programmable thermostat that connects your hot mat only as needed, and turns off when you sleep or are away from home, will initially cost you more, but save the finances in the long run.
Step 3: Ordering a custom size mat
Test heating cable for manufacturing quality and shipping damage with a voltmeter. The difference in resistance readings on the passport of the device and registered on the meter should be within 10%. Otherwise, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. As a rule, digital voltmeters are inexpensive and easy to use.
A number of companies offer electric underfloor heating in mats with standard sizes. You can also make a special order of non-standard sizes and shapes by sending a detailed drawing of the bathroom, floor plan, location of furniture and other interior components.If in doubt about the size of the mats, the supplier is obliged to specify a smaller mat size than you need, because it is not recommended to cut the heating mat.
Photo 2: Installation of the cement board on the floor base
Installing the cement board over the existing floor is done on a layer of thin cured mortar. Then secure the cement-bonded particle board with screws. Use chalk to mark the scythe line on the floor to understand the layout of the mats.
Before installing the electric underfloor heating, use a voltmeter to check the resistance, and make sure that the mat has not been damaged during manufacturing or transportation.Preparing your floor for installation is no different than preparing the work for laying tile or other flooring. Install the cement-bonded particle board by securing it to the existing subfloor with mortar and screws. Make sure that the screw or nail heads do not protrude above the board surface. Sharp edges can damage the cable. Grout the gaps between the boards and seal the mortar to create a solid, unbroken surface.
Step 4: Test laying the mats to avoid imperfections
Test laying the electric mats. It is imperative that they cover the areas where you will be standing barefoot. You don’t have to cut the cable in the mats, so make sure they fit the area.
Make an indentation in the cement board using a chisel to prepare a groove for routing wires to the thermostat.
Before starting the actual installation, make a test layout.
Consider the following aspects:
- Install the heating mats as far as the toilet bowl sinks and cabinets in the room. But not under them, as this can lead to excessive heat build-up and overheating of the cable.
- The distance between the heating mats and the walls, the bathtub or the shower enclosure should be at least 10 cm.
- The distance between the heating mats and the toilet should be at least 10 cm.
- It is not recommended to leave large gaps between the mats.
- If your heating mat covers less than the area you need, lay it in areas where you spend more time.
The next step is to make a shallow trench in the floor, into which pipes will be laid to install the mowing line power and wires for the thermostat and heat sensor.
Step 5: Glue ribbons and heating mats in the right places
Fix the heating mat to the floor with double-sided adhesive tape. Cut the mat (not the cable) and then run it in reverse.
You need to secure the heating mat to the cement board with double-sided tape. Make turns cut the mat between the two cable loops, then flip the heating mat and run it in the opposite direction. Never cut the cable itself or allow it to bend. If the mat does not fit the width, or there are corners or protrusions, carefully cut the base around the cable, and glue it to the floor. Continue using the full-width mat again when space becomes available.
Photo 6: Glue the loose wires to the floor
Protect the individual dismantled wires on the floor with a special melt adhesive. Carefully cut out and remove the orange mesh to free the cable. This is done to avoid corners, obstructions, and areas where the full mat width does not fit. Do not allow the cable to cross over. When the entire heating mat is equipped and installed, press it into the foil and secure the loose wires with adhesive. Perform a resistance test (shown in photo 1), checking the cable for damage.
Lay the entire heating mat over the installation area to make sure it fits in your space, make final adjustments, and then secure the heating mat.Use hot glue to additionally secure the mat. Do not leave any uneven or loose surfaces; this will make it easier for you to trowel the grout under the tiles.
If you do not plan to tile immediately, the cable should be protected with, for example, sufficiently thick sheets of corrugated cardboard. This will prevent the heating mats from compromising the integrity of the structure when walking on the floor.
Step6: install the wiring
Run the wires from the floor heating and the thermostat through the tubes to where the thermostat is located. Place the thermostat itself in the middle of the loop from the heating mat cable. Attach the thermostat cable to the floor with adhesive, so that it is securely fastened.Do another resistance test with a voltmeter
Step 7: Install the tile
Apply the mortar with the flat side of a trowel, then comb it with the notched side. Carefully move the trowel slightly above the cable to avoid snagging the matting mesh or any part of the heating cable.
Try not to use small tiles for installation on the floor heating. It is desirable to choose such a size, that one tile captures several sections of the heating cable.
Install the tiles. To create an even surface, gently press on the tiles and adjust their position if necessary; The presence of mesh and heating cable in the cement layer allows more movement of the laid tiles. Grouting the tiles after they are fully installed.
Spread the mortar over 1.5 to 3 square meters of the mat surface. Use the flat side of the trowel to press the mortar into the heating mat. Then use the toothed side of a trowel to comb the mortar to create ridges. Lightly degrease the trowel.The cable cladding is strong enough, but you should avoid knocking excess cement off the trowel by hitting the floor surface, t.к. This can cause damage to the heating element. Place the tiles, press them into place if necessary, use a rubber mallet.
Next, perform two resistance tests to make sure you did not damage the cable when installing the tiles. (If the resistance test fails, see “Resistance test” on page 5. The manufacturer’s manual to find the problem.) As soon as the mortar dries, grout the joints.
INSTALLING ELECTRIC UNDERFLOOR HEATING MAT UNDERNEATH PORCELAIN TILES!! (Using insulation boards)
Step8: Final Steps
Connect the thermostat wires according to the included installation instructions. Turn on the power system for 10 or 15 minutes to test the performance of your underfloor heating. Then turn it off and leave it to harden for two to four weeks until the putty and grout have completely set and cured.
Underfloor heating installation is not difficult, especially if you have experience installing tile flooring. Detailed installation instructions are provided with the thermostat and heating mats.
An electric underfloor heating installation guide
The quality of the coating depends on the condition of the subfloor on which it will be laid. You should start by removing the old flooring. Everything needs to be removed, including the old screed.
After removing the old coating, all small debris and dust must be removed. After that, you need to inspect the floor area and if there are any cracks, they need to be patched up. When the floor surface is prepared, you can begin waterproofing and insulation.
Stage #1 installing insulation under the electric floor
On the prepared base it is necessary to lay insulation. It is preferable to use cork boards. They have sufficient density and do not sag under the weight of the screed, as it happens with polystyrene foam.
Using a low-density insulation will make it necessary to dismantle the finished floor due to the shock-absorption of the material.
Attachment of insulation to the surface is carried out by gluing to the bituminous mastic. Using this material not only secures the cork sheets, but also provides waterproofing.
The quality of adhesion also determines the service life of underfloor heating. After waiting 5-6 hours you can move to the pouring of the screed. The thickness of the screed should be not less than 3 cm.
When using the poured floor there is no need to align the rule, as it happens with self-mixed cement mortar. After work you need to leave the surface to dry out for about 3-4 days.
Step #2 laying heating mats
After the grout has hardened, you can start installing underfloor heating under the tiles. First, you need to chalk out the places where the mats will not be installed. This will help to orientate and not to overspend the material.
After installing the mats need to proceed to install the control unit and the temperature sensor. You need to connect the control unit in strict accordance with the scheme and color coding of wires that are provided by the manufacturer.
Down from the control unit is laid a special corrugation, where the temperature sensor will be placed. The end of the bellows, which will be placed between the heating mats, must be tightly plugged.
When the installation of electronics is finished, it is necessary to turn the system on and check its functionality. If there are no defects in the heating system, you can proceed to pour the last layer of screed. The required level of pouring should be marked on the wall to make it easier to navigate.
The minimum thickness of the screed is 4 cm. During pouring the self-leveling floor, you need to monitor the uniformity of fluid distribution. You can use a roller to move the excess mortar.
After pouring you need to wait a few days for complete drying. At this time, you need to monitor the temperature of the air in the apartment. If the air is dry and hot, then there is a risk of cracking the screed. To the laying of tiles can proceed only after the complete drying of the floor.
Step #3 cutting the floor tiles
To work with floor tiles, a handheld tile cutter is excellent. To work with it, you need to prepare the tiles in advance. Pre-soak the tile, if it is specified by the manufacturer.
If there are no such recommendations, it is sufficient to wipe the tiles with a damp rag. This is necessary to clean the surface on which the cutting element of the tool will move.
This is done as needed, in places where the masonry is close to the wall or corner. If water or heating pipes come out of the floor, then it will be necessary to make shaped holes in the tile.
A manual cutter is used for this. The holes made with it may have jagged edges. To eliminate the aesthetic defect it is necessary to treat the edges with sandpaper.
Step #4 laying tiles on the floor with heating
Begin the work on tiling the floor with tiles should begin with a marking, which is largely determined by the type of masonry. The most common variants of laying tiles are diagonal and straight.
What method to choose, depends on the interior design and geometric features of the room.
The tiles are placed on top of the adhesive mortar and aligned. Periodically it is necessary to check whether there is no slope. This is done by using a construction level.
The level should not be longer than 60 cm, as with a longer length the error of the readings increases.To maintain an equal distance between the tiles you need to use plastic crosses.
Their standard size is 2 mm. If the tiles are large, you can use a larger size. Crosses, adjusting the height of the removed, and those that border the four tiles are not removed after laying, and hidden when grouting joints.
For grouting, special compositions are used, painted to match the tone of the tiled surface. Grouting work can be done only after the adhesive has hardened.
Step #5 varnishing finished tile floor
To keep tile in pristine condition, you need to take care of lacquering. This is an uncomplicated procedure will prevent the need to replace the tiled surface.
Varnishing is especially relevant for matte tiles, which are often used for bathroom floors, as it does not slip.
When the first coat of lacquer is applied, it is necessary to open a window in ventilation mode and close the door to the room. After complete drying, which occurs after 6-8 hours (depending on the composition of the varnish), it is necessary to repeat the procedure.
What affects the choice of underfloor heating?
To navigate in the choice of a warm floor under the tiles, it is worth paying attention to such nuances:
- Functions. The power and, accordingly, the type of underfloor heating depends on whether the system will be the main, additional or alternative. If the floor heating is designed for additional heating, the choice is wider.
- Screed. It is necessary to determine whether there will be a concrete screed in the arrangement of the floor. Also fundamentally important can be a matter of its thickness, especially if we are talking about a room with a low ceiling.
- Type of living space. While in private homes, almost all solutions are acceptable, the owners of apartments in apartment buildings are often limited in the choice of heating systems.
- The cost of the system itself and its operation. Cheap equipment is not always the most economical. When choosing a heated floor, you should consider everything: the cost of materials, labor intensity of installation, consumption and cost of energy resources.
Under the tiles in any case it is better to put a warm floor, because the material is very cold to the touch and it is unpleasant to stand on it feet.
However, the type of system should be chosen wisely. It must fully perform its functions, rationally consume resources.
When choosing a system, you must also consider the peculiarities of its maintenance and repair. It is desirable that the equipment was easy access in case of breakage.
Installation of underfloor heating with heating mats. Diagrams of connection of the thermostat.
What is a heating mat and how it differs from the heating cable? In fact, it is the same cable, which is laid on a kapron mesh. The mesh has a sticky base, which is glued on a pre-prepared base.
The main criterion for choosing a mat as a floor heating, rather than a heating cable, is the condition of the filling screed. That is the level of elevation of the floor over the heating element.
If your conditions allow it to rise by 10-15mm, then you can successfully install the heating cable. If the floor elevation is minimal, literally a few millimeters, then your choice should look only towards the mat.
Here already much will depend on what manufacturer you choose Devi, Electrolux, Ensto, Rehau or some other.
To learn about current to date, various brands of underfloor heating and their components can be found here.
But before to carry out installation and connection, it is necessary to perform preparatory building work. Firstly prtrobat walls for routing power cable from the fuse box to junction box, which will mount the temperature controller.
If you install underfloor heating in a bathroom or toilet, according to the rules, the thermostat must stand in an adjacent room, where there is no moisture and damp. The height of the regulator should not be lower than 30 cm from the floor level.
After that, you screw through the wall down from the distributor, and drill a through hole into the bathroom. The cold end and the temperature sensor for connection to the thermostat will be laid through it.
Keep in mind that if you have made a sand screed very recently, it needs to give time to stand and set during 72 hours.
With the help of markers (chalk, pencil, colored tape) you mark out the zones where the heating mat will not be laid. These areas include where the bathtub, toilet, various lockers, washing machine, etc. will be located.д.
In addition, you must necessarily take into account the indentation from the walls (at least 5 cm) and heating pipes or radiators (20 cm). There will be no underfloor heating in these places either.
Before direct installation, determine serviceability and integrity of all elements and heating cable. To do this you need to measure its resistance with a multimeter. Read the ohms on the package or on the label. It is usually attached to the cold end.
Measured resistance should correspond, or at least not much different (up to 10%), from the data specified there.
However, remember that with the tester, you actually check the integrity of the heating conductor, but not the insulation resistance. Most electricians consider it the most important parameter, on the basis of which you can give a confident guarantee of performance of the floor heating.
It often happens that the multimeter shows everything is fine, but for some reason the breaker in the panelboard blows out. This is an indication of poor insulation and the presence of leakage current. To measure insulation resistance, use a megohmmeter, with at least 500 volts.
Isolation is tested between the 220V service leads and the grounding lead (if there is one) or the shielding braid. Readings for a new cable, as electricians say, should tend towards infinity or be as high as possible for the measuring device.
You should start mounting the mesh from the cable outlet to the thermostat box. Unwind the roll and spread it out on the surface. When doing this, it is necessary to bypass the areas previously marked with marker tape.
When installing, you can walk on the warm floor (on the wires) if you have soft-soled shoes. Some people even press the mesh to the screed base in this way, but do not overdo it.
When unrolling the roll, it is advisable to hide the end section of the cable inside, so it will not be twisted and will not interfere with other objects during installation.
In the place where it is necessary to make a turn of the heating element, cut the section.
Do not cut the heating cable itself.
Release it from the mesh. The tail that will be obtained by twisting, glue to the floor with aluminum Scotch tape. In addition to fixing, it also helps to distribute the heat on this part of the surface.
If you have a sectional-resistive mat, where there are independent sections connected from the power cable running along the edges, it is allowed to cut one of the outermost wires when turning.
But not the heating element! Don’t cut it.
After laying, it is necessary to connect these cut wires. For this you need a copper mounting wire PUGV with a cross section of 1.5 mm2.
Measure the necessary length and strip the ends. After that, slide the heat shrink through them. The core PUGV and matting and extreme strand of the power connect to each other pressed sleeve GSI.
Select the sleeve according to the cross section of the wire.
Then slide the heat shrink over the pressing point and heat it up, firmly insulating this area.
Then you do the same with the other end.
This is how to connect the solid wires of power supply on mats with independent sections.
If you are a few centimeters short of the wire mesh, you can do the following. For most mats, it is possible to cut the base-mesh and increase the total length of all sections by extending it through one loop without any pain for the mats.
And if there is too much left over, you can cut off the unwanted piece?
As a result, the temperature at the elements will be higher than calculated and the mat will overheat. Which will eventually lead to its failure.
What to do if there is an excess? The easiest way to get the extra centimeters of the grid in those areas where you had not originally planned to lay them (for example, under the cabinets).
Still, it is not recommended to lead sections under the bathtub or washing machine itself. This will significantly reduce the service life of both the underfloor heating and appliances. If there is a large surplus, they can be wound up on the wall.
The second option partially or completely remove the cable from the base of the grid and independently re-lay it with a smaller pitch than the factory. Or to make additional bends in a few places.
After laying all the sections, the supply wires at the very end of the mat should be plugged and insulated. It all depends on your cable.
For example, if you have a two-core, which has one cold end and an end sleeve, it connects the cores at the very end.
And if the single-core heating mat has two cold ends on each side, it is already necessary to bring both of these ends and connect them to the temperature controller.
The third option independent sections connected from the power wires laid on the edges of the grid. Here it is already necessary to insulate each end individually with a thermal pipe, without connecting them to each other.
Then you proceed to connect the cold end of the heating mat to the thermostat. For this purpose you will take a copper power cable KGVVng. You measure and lay it in the next room to the place where the thermostat is installed.
After that you connect it to the power wires. To do this, you strip the wires, put on a thermal shrink and connect the ends with a thermowell.
After crimping, you move the heat shrink and heat it with a construction dryer.
It is recommended that the cold end coupling sleeve be located in close proximity to the end coupling. That is, the place where the heating cable ends.
If there are any problems, and they most often occur precisely in the joints, you will only have to open up one tile and not have to dismantle a couple of square meters at different ends of the room.
The other side of the cable, which comes out of the mounting box, is stripped, and the stranded wires are crimped by crimp terminals. In this case, in order not to mix up the wires, it is better to mark them.
Installing an electric floor heating in the tile adhesive
Tile and porcelain tiles are very practical for use in the kitchen, bathroom, toilet and even in the bedroom. But their main disadvantage is that their surface is cold at any time of year. You can easily fix this by installing a floor heating system. The easiest and fastest way to install is electric under-tile floor heating, which we will talk about in this lesson.
The heating mat. Warm the floor in the bathroom with your own hands
Heat cold floors in your bathroom with a heating mat system installed under your tile. Use it as extra heat for the comfort of your feet or as the main source of heat in your bathroom. installation is as easy as installing tile.
Voltmeter (or tester) Stationery knife Hammer and chisel Trowel Liquid adhesive gun Cordless drill
Materials you will need: Cement board underlayment Primer Heating mat Thermostat Installation mortar (tile adhesive) Tile
Installation of Heating Mats: Overview This underfloor heating system consists of one thin, continuous cable heating element woven into the mat you place under your tile. These heated floors are best suited for major renovations or replacing existing bathroom flooring or for installation in a new space. Underfloor heating can be installed as supplemental heating to add comfort to your feet after a shower or bath, or as the main heating system for the bathroom. Heating mats are also great for insulating hallways and kitchen floors, t.к. In these rooms, most tile is used as flooring.
Advantages of underfloor heating?
Easy to install. Place and attach adhesive-backed heating mats directly to concrete pavement or leveling boards. If you have a problem with the electrical part, ask an electrician for help before starting the system directly and connecting it to the thermostat. It is safe. Once the underfloor heating system is installed, it is almost impossible to damage it. Thermostat with surge protection instantly shuts off power in case of a short circuit or other problem. It’s inexpensive. For a 2 square meter bathroom, the mat consumes an average of 100-120 watts per hour, which is about the equivalent of a small monitor or one light bulb. Does not take up unnecessary space. There is a radiator or radiator that takes up space? Remove it and get some extra valuable space by installing underfloor heating. It’s versatile. If your existing heating system doesn’t have enough capacity to heat your newly renovated or added space, an underfloor heating system can take care of that. This is really very handy. When your feet are warm, your entire body feels comfortable. If your bathroom space allows, you’ll be reading and playing games with your kids in this extra space after installing the underfloor heating system.
Backside? It can’t be installed under existing tile floors. In addition, as far as the cost of underfloor heating is concerned, the overall initial cost of materials is high. Finally, you will likely need to run new wiring from the main circuit panel to the bathroom for the heating mat
The choice of power supply. For underfloor heating systems smaller than 5 square meters, you can (in most cases) draw power from an existing socket with surge protection. (If the thermostat you purchased is already protected against power surges, as we have, you can use any outlet. In any case, the underfloor heating system must be protected against power surges) But a larger mat is difficult to install in the existing power system, t.к. A washing machine and hair dryer of up to 2kW are usually additionally used in the bathroom. which can overload and trip the circuit breaker. For our larger heating mat, we decided to install a dedicated circuit with its own wiring and circuit breaker. Mats are mainly for 220-240 volts, if the voltage drops, the mat itself will also lose power in its heat release.
A programmable thermostat that turns the floor on at the right time and then turns it off when you sleep or are away from home costs more, but will save energy and money in the long run.
Order heating mat in the required size. Check it against the mains.
Check the heating cable for manufacturing or shipping damage with a voltmeter. The resistance reading on the mat label and the resistance registered by the meter should be within 10 percent of each other. If not, see manufacturer’s instructions. Digital voltmeters like the ones shown are inexpensive and easy to use.
Installing the cement board onto the concrete substrate.
Install a cement board on top of the existing subfloor. Secure the cement board with cement board screws, cover the joints between the boards with fiberglass mesh, and grout them with a thin layer of mortar to create a solid floor. Draw a chalk line on the floor to mark the location of the mats, plumbing and any other furniture so that the mats are not under these objects and are not subject to overheating in these places.
Our company ONKlimat (LLC “SibirTeploKabel Group”) offers mats proven manufacturers of all possible sizes. Standard mat sizes are always available and can be ordered. You can also make a special order of non-standard sizes and shapes by sending a detailed drawing of the bathroom plan and the location of connecting points, as well as the location of plumbing and furniture. Heating mats are available in standard widths of 50 cm and lengths from 1 to 24 meters (area from 0.5 to 12 square meters).м.). If in doubt, it is better to order a smaller size mat than you need, because the cable of the mat can not be cut.
Before installing the mat, use a voltmeter to get a resistance reading to make sure it was not damaged during fabrication or delivery. Prepare your floor as if you were working with tile. Install cement board on the base, secured to the existing base with mortar and cement board screws. Make sure no screws or nails are protruding over the cement board. A sharp edge can damage the cable. Tape and mortar the seams between the boards to create a solid, unbroken surface. After the mortar dries, lay out the floor heating as you plan to install it in tile adhesive or screed.
Adjust the size of the heating mat to avoid errors in sizing. Install the heating mat in place, keeping a distance of about 10 cm from walls, plumbing, and tight-fitting furniture and 4-5 cm from each other. Prioritize areas where you will be barefoot most of the time. You should not cut the cable itself, as well as overlap it, so make sure that the floor heating is exactly the right size for you.
Prepare the wire chutes. Drill a groove in the cement board for the larger portion of the power wire to nestle against. Cut the bottom plate of the wall to provide a passageway for the power wire, thermostat wires, and conduit.
Before you begin the actual installation, make a mock-up of the test. Follow these basic guidelines: Install the mats in front of the toilet or sink, but not under them, t.к. leaving 10 cm of space between mats will cause overheating in these areas and damage the entire underfloor heating system. Install the mats 10 cm away from walls, bathtubs and showers. Lay the mat at least 10 cm from the toilet. Keep the heating cable at least 5 cm apart and certainly do not allow them to overlap. Do not leave more than 10 cm between mats, because.к. in this case your feet will feel cold spots. If your warm flooring turns out to be smaller, give priority to areas where you will stand barefoot most often. Following your preliminary scheme, mark the path of the thick power cable between the mat and the cavity of the wall and chisel a shallow trench in the floor. Cut out the bottom plate to accommodate the two conduits that will contain the power and temperature sensor wires. Important! When installing a temperature sensor, builders usually lay two sensors, t.к. It may be half the lifespan of the thermostat itself, and 10 times shorter than the lifespan of the underfloor heating. Therefore, make sure that at least one temperature sensor is installed in a conduit or plastic tube with a plug, for easy replacement and installation of a new temperature sensor.
How to Install a SunTouch Electric Floor Heating Mat
Laying and securing heating mats to the floor.
Place the heating mats according to the laying diagram. If your mats do not have a self-adhesive backing, attach them with double-sided tape. To change the direction of the mat, carefully cut the mesh and rotate the mat in the opposite direction. Never tamper with the cable itself!
Glue the remaining heating cable to the floor. Fix the individual removed cables to the floor with small drops of hot melt glue. Carefully cut and remove the mesh to free the cable. Do this to lay the heating cable in hard to reach places, corners, around furniture and plumbing. In doing so, do not cross the heating cables and keep the distance between the cables as on the mat so that the cable does not overheat or, conversely, does not reach the correct temperature at these spots. When the entire floor heating is installed, press it tightly against the tape and spread the glue over any loose ends or protrusions on the mat. Perform a resistance test to check for damage. Install the mat by lightly attaching it to the cement board with double-sided tape. To make the turns, cut the mat between the two loops in the cable, then flip the mat over and point it in the opposite direction. Never cut, notch, or twist the cable itself Where the full width mat does not fit, or where you encounter corners or irregular room shapes, carefully cut the mat around the cable and glue the cable to the floor. Continue to use a full size mat after going over the wrong areas. Install the entire mat fully considering all curves, recesses and irregular shapes to make sure it fits into the space of the room, make final adjustments, then press the heating mat firmly down so that it adheres tightly to the duct tape. Use thermal adhesive to further secure the mat. Don’t leave any humps or loose edges. You’ll snag them with a notched trowel when you apply the thin mortar. If you are not going to tile immediately, put thick corrugated cardboard on the mat to protect the cable.
Install the power cable and thermostat cable.
The power cable from the heating mat to the thermostat should be placed in a corrugated tube or pipe, which in turn should be placed in a grommet to avoid bulges in the wall and floor. Lay the temperature sensor cable in a corrugated or plastic tube with a plug to prevent masonry mortar or tile adhesive from getting inside. The temperature sensor itself should be placed exactly in the middle between the heating cores interwoven into the mesh. After laying the power cable, once again check the floor heating for resistance and no mechanical damage.
Installing tiles and working with mortar.
Apply the mortar, first pressing it firmly into the mesh and the floor with the flat side of a trowel, then “brush” it with the toothed side. Try to make sure that the entire floor is at the same depth in the tile adhesive. Be careful not to catch the mesh and not to cut the cable. Important! The entire heating cable should be in the tile adhesive and not protrude from it, i.e.к. These are places where the cable will overheat and shorten the life of the whole floor heating.
Lay the tiles based on the pre-planned markings. Stagger and tap the tiles firmly to create an even surface. Adjust previously laid tiles to stay on the same mowing line and positioned correctly; the thick layer of mortar used to cover the cable and mesh provides more movement than standard tile laying. Grout the tiles after the tile adhesive has dried. Choose tiles that are at least 6 inches square, so that each tile covers two or more sections of cable. Smaller tiles are more likely to lie flat when you tamp them down, creating an undulating surface. Make a mortar layer of no more than 1 square.м. floor. Use the flat side of a trowel to press the mortar firmly through the mat and into contact with the cement board. You can create an even layer by lightly running a trowel over the tops of the cable. Then use the serrated side to comb the trowel to create ridges; the trowel works well for most tiles. Again, be careful to press down on the layer of adhesive, so as not to damage the cable. The cable jacket is tough, but you still need to avoid any “sawing” action or trowel strikes. It takes a little trial and error to get a flat layer. Error. people do. Is tapping the edge of their trowel on the floor to dislodge any glue left on the trowel. this can damage the heating cable. Place the tiles, then tap them firmly with a rubber mallet. Do two resistance tests while installing the tiles to make sure you haven’t damaged the cable. (If the resistance test fails, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to find the problem.) After the mortar has dried, caulk the joints.
Final step. Power connections.
Connect the thermostat according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Our thermostat had separate pigtails to secure the wires from the power wire and cable coming from the main panel. Ask your electrician to make the final connections on the main panel. Turn on power to the system for 10 or 15 minutes to make sure the floor is working, then turn it off and leave it for two to four weeks while the mastic and mortar cure and harden.
The instructions included with the mat and the thermostat were pretty darn good, and we felt comfortable completing the thermostat and mat connections. We left it to our local electrician to install the new circuit breaker and final connections in the main circuit. We suggest you do the same. After completing the connection, turn on the system for a few minutes to make sure that the controls work and the resistance cable heats up. Don’t turn the system on full power until the thin layer and grout have had time to cure properly. Usually two to four weeks. Then get the family together and play a game of Scrabble on your cozy, warm bathroom floor, if your bathroom space allows you to do so 😉
Useful video. Installing a heating mat in the bathroom:
Installing underfloor heating mats under tiles
What is an electric underfloor heating
An electric underfloor heating is a highly reliable cable heating system which can be used both as a comfort floor heating system and as a primary heating system. The heating sections of floor heating systems are shielded single and double core cables with two layers of insulation, as well as reliable connection sleeves. In contrast to traditional heating systems where heat is transferred by convection currents, floor heating has a number of advantages:
- The heating part of the system is hidden in the floor structure, which allows you to increase the usable area and diversify the design of the premises, while the floor covering can be any: tile, marble, carpeting (except parquet).
- Does not dry out the air in the room because the heating cable is not in direct contact with the atmosphere.
- Double insulation and screened cable braiding allows the use of warm floors in rooms of any humidity.
Select your system first
Before you start installing underfloor heating we advise you to make sure you choose the system that will suit your space and the desired type of heating (comfort or basic).
Basic heating system in freestanding buildings, including those where there is no possibility to connect to the central heating system. The basic heating system uses a more powerful cable and a screed of at least 5 cm in thickness. The area of the floor heating must be at least 70% of the total area of the room to be heated. The recommended wattage of the system when using underfloor heating as the main heating system is 160-180 W/m2. For example, a floor heating with the power of 0,19 kW, the heating area is 1,2 m2; check the power: 190 W/1,2 m2 = 158 W/m2.
Additional (comfort) heating system. To be installed in conjunction with other types of radiators and to achieve thermal comfort. Most relevant in rooms with cold floors (bathrooms, toilets, kitchens, swimming pools) and on the first floors of buildings. Recommended power density of the system for comfort floor heating 120-140 W/m2. E.g. floor heating of 0.19W, heating area 1.5 m2; check the power: 190W/1.5 m2 = 126W/m2.
Check whether your present electrical installation allows the connection of additional wattage. Consider additional electrical devices that can be connected to the same network. Check also the permissible current of the safety devices (circuit breakers). We recommend that floor heating systems with a capacity of 2 kW and more are connected via special wiring and a separate circuit breaker. We also recommend the use of an RCD with a rated operating current not exceeding 30 mA. It is a small device mounted on the electrical panel which ensures the safety of the electrical insulation of your equipment. When underfloor heating is installed in wet areas (bathrooms, saunas, pools) the heating section screen must be connected to the earthing conductor of the supply network, which in turn must be connected to all available metal parts, such as: metal shower trays, metal shower cabin frames, etc.п.
- Determine a free area free of furniture and appliances.
- Set aside 5-10 cm from the walls and furniture.
- Choose a heating mat or section per available space.
- The area of the heating mat or the heating surface of the section must not be larger than the available area.
- It is allowed to install underfloor heating under the furniture, if the height of the feet is not less than 15 cm.
The heating cable is the basis of the underfloor heating system. It looks like a radio-frequency cable for transmission of television signals, but its purpose is not to transmit electrical signals or power over a distance, but to convert all of the 100% power of the electrical current flowing through it into heat. The release of this power per unit length of cable (specific heat release) is the most important technical parameter of heating cables.
Binding wire 2. Heat resistant PVC plastic sheeting 3. Three protective layers of PET 4. Heat resistant PVC plasticate 5. Protective screen of copper tapes 6. Copper shield wire 7. PET 8. PVC plasticate
Connection conductor 2. Return conductor 3. Heat resistant PVC plastic sheeting 4. Three protective layers of PET 5. Heat resistant PVC plastic sheeting 6. Protective copper band 7. Copper protective screen wire 8. PET 9. PVC plasticate
Floor base 2. Thermal insulation with foil 3. Heating section 4. Fixing tape 5. Cement and sand screed 6. Decorative coating
Heating sections consist of a piece of heating cable of a certain length and t.н. “The minimum spacing is 8 cm, i.e. the cold leads are sections of normal wires connected to the heating cable with a muff. Heating sections can be made of single-core or double-core cables. You should be able to see two wires on each side of the heating section (shield and load) and three wires on one side of the heating section (shield, load, load).
Where S is the area over which the floor heating is laid, L is the length of the cable section. Minimum laying spacing 8 cm
Underfloor heating based on heating sections
Prepare the wall for the installation of the temperature controller. 2. Drill grooves in the wall for the electrical wiring, the mounting ends of the heating section and the tube for the temperature sensor.
Generally speaking, electric underfloor heating consists of the following parts:
It is worth knowing that the heating element will work without a sensor and thermostat, but the work will be inefficient and short-lived. Inefficient, because you have to turn it on/off manually, and this leads to energy overruns. And short-lived, because overheating often occurs during manual operation, which has a negative effect on the service life of the heating element.
Components of electric underfloor heating
Types of heating elements
You may be offered several different heaters on the market:
Resistance heating cables. Have the lowest price, come in single-core and double-core, due to which the scheme of their connection changes. Their main disadvantage is the possibility of local overheating and failure (you can not put objects on the working resistive cable floor heating for a long time). Therefore, when installing the cables, do not place them under the places where furniture and appliances will be standing. Another disadvantage is the long process of installation.
Which of these types of electric flooring is better, it is impossible to say unequivocally. Each has advantages and disadvantages, peculiarities of installation. Based on these choose the best option for a particular flooring under the tiles is better to put cables or mats, and under the laminate or linoleum film heater.
Types of thermostats
There are three types of thermostats for electric floor heating:
- Mechanical. In appearance and operating principle resemble the thermostat on the iron. There is a scale on which you set the desired temperature. As soon as it drops by 1 ° C below the set, the heating is turned on, becomes a degree above it is turned off.
- Electro-mechanical. On functionality they do not differ, only have a small LCD screen and up/down buttons. The current floor temperature is shown on the screen and can be adjusted to the desired temperature with the buttons.
- Electronic programmable. The most expensive, but also the most functional. You can set the temperature by hours or, in some models, by days of the week. For example, if everyone has left in the morning, you can set a low temperature of the order of 5-7°C, and an hour or an hour and a half before coming to program its increase to the standard. There are some models with the ability to control via the Internet.
Some models of thermostats for underfloor heating have built-in air temperature sensors and the ability to turn on / off heating according to these indicators, but not depending on the temperature of the floor. So there really is a choice.
The basis of the underfloor heating system are heating elements in the form of mats, cables or infrared films.
For the organization of the warm floor, two types of cables are suitable:
Produce the same amount of heat along its entire length, but with overheating create a risk of burnout. The most budget variant. a single-wire resistance cable. Two-wire costs a little more, but it is easier to install;
Are able to regulate the amount of heat emitted depending on the temperature of their own heating. The price of such cable is higher than a resistive cable, but it works more reliably.
Both types of thermal cables can be laid in two ways. serpentine and snail-shaped.
Mats are the same heating cables, but already laid in a certain way on a reinforced plastic mesh. Installation of mats is simplified as much as possible. they are placed according to the developed scheme directly on the floor base, and the tiles are tiled on top using glue.
The direction of laying is not of fundamental importance. Mats can be laid both along a short or long wall.
Carbon fiber mats
The carbon system is based on an infrared emitter with a heating element in the form of graphite-silver rods. They are connected to each other by a high-security cable with a core of stranded copper wire.
Carbon rods are covered with a polyester or polyethylene sheath on top, and there is carbon paste inside.
Externally, carbon fiber mats look the same as cable, but with fewer jumpers. The technology of laying them is the same. The advantage of the system is that the cables are connected to the conductor in parallel circuit, so if one element fails, the rest continue to function.
Another variant of infrared heating is the carbon film, which works according to the same principles as the carbon mats. Thanks to its minimal thickness, the system allows to save space, providing high-quality heating.
Infrared film can be installed dry at any stage of repair work, and turned on immediately after installation. But this type of heating element has a number of drawbacks. It separates the laid tile from the adhesive base, which is fraught with deformation of the facing.
In addition, in situations where cement mortar is used for laying tiles, the film corrodes and comes into disrepair.