How To Install Electric Floor Heat

Electric floor heating (EFH) is becoming progressively more popular in homes throughout the world especially in counties where the climate is cold. Not only it is beneficial for health, EFH is also a good way to save cost and energy compared to traditional heating methods. Normally, it is used in bathrooms but nowadays, EFH has become a popular choice for conservatories and extensions or anywhere wall wherein space is limited.  It also has aesthetic benefits because you can do away with wall mounted radiators ruining the look of the room.

In case you are interested in setting one up in your home, here are the steps for you to try.

  • Do some inspection. Examine your subfloor.  EFH can be installed on plywood, cement or concrete backer board. Ensure that nothing sharp is on it that could possibly damage the heating wire.  
  • Place the heating wire. As soon as you place the electric wire in the mesh mat, push the mesh down.  To fit, cut the mesh. Make sure that you avoid cutting the electric cable.  It is important that you do not put the heating elements close together to prevent overheating.  It is also recommended that you make the mesh more secure by taping, gluing, or stapling it. Be reminded that putting heating element beneath furniture like the toilet or sink is highly inadvisable.
  • Set up your floor sensor.  It is ideal that you place the floor sensor in a space with nothing above it, which might trap the heat. If it is placed in a spot where heat is trapped, the sensor will not be accurate in telling the system what temperature the floor is. Ensure that sensor wire will not come across any heating element.  
  • Invest in a tester used for continuity. With a continuity tester so that it is easier to find a break before all the mesh is laid down.  Just test for continuity after placing each piece so that you will know where the break is.
  • Put the heating wires. Drill a hole through the floor plate - above the subfloor - where you can put the wires. Fish them up and connect them to the junction box. The wiring for the alarm on high temperature should also be connected to your electric heating.  Make sure that lead wires connected to the power supply will not cross any heating element on their way to the.
  • Call an electrician. With the help of an electrician who is knowledgeable with your local codes, your work can be double checked and connect the wires to the gangbox.
  • Apply thinset. After getting the approval of the electrician, on top of the mesh and the electric heating element, apply a thin covering of thinset. Make sure that you do not knock the heating element while doing this to avoid damaging your floor heating systems. This can take two weeks for it to set completely. This will depend on the humidity and other considerations.  Once it is set, lay the flooring material down and on top of it.

Don't worry if when you turn the electric floor heating on for the first time and there is no immediate change in temperature because it usually takes an hour for the room to get really warm. This is normal with all floor heating systems. It is advisable if you turn it up to 80-90 degrees and leave the room for a while. Come back later and feel the toasty warmth of the floor!


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