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DIY Underfloor Heating

DIY underfloor heating is a popular project, because many people hate walking across cold floors. There is often nothing more comfortable than soothing heat generated by a diy underfloor heating system.

Some diy underfloor heating systems are easy to install, while others require the touch and skill of a professional. The electric diy floor heating mats are very popular, because you simply unroll them, connect them to the electrical system and then cover them with the flooring material. Ceramic tile, granite flooring and any other natural stone product work very well with these electrical diy underfloor heating mats. The reason for this is simple: the underfloor heating mats are very thin.

The hot-water diy heating systems are more of a challenge. To produce enough heat, the diy underfloor heating water systems must have a pipe size with an inner diameter of nearly one-half inch or larger. These larger pipes can't be easily covered with flooring materials, so they often are installed within the concrete slab on under a wood subflooring system.

It is possible to do a diy underfloor heating system on top of a wood subfloor, but the pipes often must be covered with a liquid compound that looks like pudding but sets up and hardens like concrete. This is a very difficult multi-step process and many do-it-yourselfers are not equipped with the tools and skills necessary for a professional installation.

The hot water systems also require boilers or water heaters to generate the heat transferred by the heating pipes under the flooring. It takes great skill to size, install and connect these heating plants to the piping systems.

The biggest mistake a do-it-yourselfer can make while installing radiant heating in a floor is undersizing the system. It is very important to make sure the correct amount of heating is being installed to offset the cold or heat loss. Not all houses need the same amount of heating elements. A floor space that gets colder in the winter will require more Btus than a house in a mild climate. Pay attention to the sizing guides produced by the heating product manufacturers.

Electrical-wiring methods are very important when it comes to diy underfloor heating systems. Many do-it-yourselfers are not qualified electricians, and they can overload circuits if not careful. This grave mistake can cause deadly electrical fires.

An electrical underfloor heating system can draw significant electrical current, and you must make sure the mat is on its own circuit if the instructions or electrical code require it. Adding new electrical circuits is not a hard diy project, but it can be very intimidating.

Column EM0039

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