Q&A / 

Radiant Heat Floor Mat Install Quick Start Guide

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: hammer-2-5

If you’re remodeling a bathroom, creating a sewing room, planning a book nook, building the ultimate man cave or ham-radio shack, then you may want to consider radiant electric heating in the floor. They produce luxurious heat and can heat an entire room if you size it correctly.

This is the exact mat I used in my 3-part video series.

This is the exact mat I used in my 3-part video series.

You can purchase mats that are stock sizes, or you can custom order a mat for a specific room. In either case, be sure you do the necessary calculations if you’re thinking of using the mat as the sole heat source for your room.

If the room will have insulation under the mat, in the walls and ceiling, most mats will be able to heat a room in all but the most harsh climates.

This project is PERFECT for a beginner, that’s why I rate it at two out of five hammers.

Most people will be intimidated by having to use a multimeter to check the ohms, or resistance, of the heating cables. Remember, there is NO electricity in the mat when you check this. You’ll not get electrocuted, so settle down.

Watch the video below unless you’ve come here from YouTube having already watched my video.

Be sure to look at the RELATED CONTENT links at the bottom of this page. Lots of goodies there for you.

REQUIRED TOOLS & MATERIALS:

         
dotRadiant Heating Floor Mats toolsradientheatfloormat   dotRubber Grout Float  toolsgroutfloat
dotInexpensive Electric Multimeter  toolsvoltmeter   dotCircular Saw  toolsmilwaukeecircularsaw
dotSafety Glasses toolssafetyglasses   dotTape Measure toolsfatmaxtapemeasure
dotTim's Favorite Tools timcartoon50x50      

TIPS

  • STOP and read the written instructions that came with the electric mat. Just Do It. Not only do I want you to read them, I want you to UNDERSTAND them. If not, call the manufacturer.
  • Lay the mat on the floor to make sure it fits the room. Be sure the power leads can make it to the electric box where the thermostat will be located.
  • Create a notch in the wall bottom plate to accommodate the heating cable wires that extend to the thermostat box.
  • SECRET NINJA TIP: Don’t freak out if your resistance doesn’t match what’s on your mat tag. Resistance readings vary with the air temperature. Your mat was probably tested when the air temperature was 65 - 80 F. If you feel your reading is way off, then call the manufacturer and tell them what the temperature is where you’re testing the mat.
  • Only try to glue down about 24 inches of the mat at one time. It can be problematic working with too much thinset at one time. If weather is HOT, then mix smaller batches and only put down as much thinset on the subfloor as you can cover with the mat in 10 minutes.
  • Remember the grooves in the thinset mortar must be parallel with the primary direction of the heating cables in the mat.
  • If you’re installing the mat over a wood subfloor, consider sealing the floor with a coat of urethane to prevent swelling of the wood. 
  • Be sure the subfloor is free of all humps, drywall mud globs, nails, stones, rocks, etc. The subfloor must be clean and any nails or screws MUST be countersunk so they don’t touch the cables in the heating mat.
  • Run a separate electrical circuit for the heating mat. Don’t even consider running it on some other branch circuit.
  • Give strong consideration to using a programmable thermostat made to work with the mat.
  • If using a Nuheat mat, buy the electrical monitoring tool that sounds an alarm if the mat gets damaged during installation.
  • Celebrate your Victory!

Please subscribe to my Newsletter and get insider information on the latest home-improvement tips, and products. I guarantee you that my newsletter WILL save you time and money. Frequently, I include your questions with my answers and proposed solutions. Perhaps the best part of the newsletters are my reviews of new products based on my own testing. Click here to read my past newsletters.

It is FREE & EASY.



Step 1: Subscribe   Step 2: Activate   Step 3: Save
Enter Your Name Here:   Easy! When you click the Subscribe Now button, a confirmation email is sent to the address you entered. You MUST CLICK ON THE LINK WITHIN THE EMAIL to complete your subscription.   Watch for your first Newsletter!
   
Enter Your Email Here:    
   
   

RELATED HELPFUL CONTENT:

Column QSG007

SPONSORS / 

3 Responses to Radiant Heat Floor Mat Install Quick Start Guide

  1. This is one of the projects I have never done before, so it is nice to see whats involved should I ever be asked to install one. Thanks.

  2. Tim,
    These quick start guides are a great way to get an over view of the project, then really dives into the details. I like the way this quick start guide is laid out- its a road map of tools required, hints and tips, followed by a detailed video. I don't think it can get much better than that.
    Great idea and layout.
    -Mike

  3. tim
    why did you put osb down under the mat? wasn't there concrete under the osb? why could you not have put it on top of the concrete floor?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>