Radiant Heat Floor Mat Install Quick Start Guide
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY:
A radiant heat floor mat is very easy to incorporate under the finished floor of your bathroom, sewing room, book nook, or your ultimate man cave or ham-radio shack. They produce luxurious heat and can heat an entire room if you size it correctly.
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.
DIY Radiant Heat Floor Mat Install Videos
Watch me install my own floor mat in my man cave / office in this three-part series:
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.
Buy Radiant Heat Floor Mat Now
opens in a new windowCLICK HERE to order standard mats. This is the brand I used.
Be sure to look at the RELATED CONTENT links at the bottom of this page. Lots of goodies there for you.
REQUIRED TOOLS & MATERIALS:
- 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!
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