It may be summer now, but chances are you are already thinking of the many home improvement projects you have to complete before winter arrives. You have all the tools, the industrial fasteners, and the materials set out, and you are ready to take on just about any project you need to in order for your home to stay warm and toasty once the temperatures start to fall outside.
One of the most popular ways of doing that these days is by using electric in-floor heating systems. These systems are generally placed under kitchen and bathroom floors to keep them warm and allow you to walk barefoot through your entire house during the cold season.
These systems can be used under almost any flooring, but are most commonly chosen for stone and tile flooring, as it is usually much more uncomfortable and cold to walk on during winter. However, if you want to use the heating systems under carpet, laminate, vinyl, cork, or hardwood flooring you can, but it won’t give you the instant and dramatic affect that tile and stone tend to give when heated because these surfaces don’t conduct heat as easily.
So, what do you need to know when planning to install electric- in-floor heating systems? Take a look the following tips.
Installing Your Floor Heating Systems
- Electricity- Before you go out and purchase an in-floor electrical heating system, you need to make sure you have the correct electrical connection first. To do this, hire an electrician and have them come to your home and determine what electrical needs your home has before a heating system can be install. It most likely depend on your current heating system, and the square footage of the room you will be heating.
- Size- Heating mats and cables come in a variety of sizes and are measured in Watts. Depending on the average temperature your area experiences during winter, the specific wattage you will need will vary. Normally however, 12 Watts per square foot are generally used for stone and tile flooring, or as much as 15 Watts per square foot.
- Choices- When you are in the process of installing in-floor heating, you will have two choice for the installation: mats and cables. Mats are generally more expensive, but they simple to install and cover the exact area and Wattage you need. However, specific measurements are needed before you purchase mats. Cables are a bit more difficult to install and require fastening strips, but are more flexible in installation because they can be used in any side room simply by making the loops larger or smaller.
- Preparation- Before you can install your heating system, you are going to need to prepare the sub-floor. This means gathering your fasteners and fixings and tools and placing an extra plywood sheet over the existing sub-floor. Before you secure the plywood sheet to the floor with screw fasteners, make sure the total thickness of the subfloor and plywood is at least one inch to support the floor system. Also, make sure the entire floor is secure and clean after you are done to ensure proper installation of the heating system.
Once you have taken the time to do your research and preparation, have used the correct fasteners and fixings for securing the sub-floor, and have cleaned the area, you can then begin installing your heating system. Once it is complete however, make sure to avoid future changes to your flooring to ensure your system lasts for a long time.