The installation of electric underfloor heating (or radiant floor heating) falls within the capabilities of homeowners who are confident with their DIY skills. Even if you want to hire a professional electrician, such as the team at Oliver Heating & Cooling, to complete the electrical connections, you can still do everything else yourself. The steps for how to install underfloor heating require only basic tools and attention to detail.
Tools and Materials Needed
Tile and stone flooring have the highest thermal conductivity and retain heat the best. You can also install underfloor heating under wood, laminate, vinyl and bamboo flooring.
- Cordless drill
- Glue gun
- Utility knife
- Volt-ohm meter
- Fiberglass mesh tape
- Cement board underlayment
- GFCI protected underfloor heat matting
- Thin-set mortar
- Double-face tape
How to Install Underfloor Heating Steps
- Determine whether you can connect the heating mat to an existing outlet or if it needs a dedicated circuit.
- Test the heating cables within the mats with the volt-ohm meter. This step allows you to ensure no damage has occurred to the product and that all of the heating cables are working efficiently.
- Prepare the subfloor by installing cement board.
- With the trowel, spread thin-set mortar and place cement board on top. Attach the boards with cement board screws.
- Do a test fitting of the heating mats. You must NEVER cut, nick or cross the heating cables.
- Cables must be no closer than 2 inches. Also keep them 4 inches from walls, cabinets, and fixtures. You can cut the mesh matting as necessary to fit the pieces.
- Prepare a groove in the cement board with a chisel to hold the power lead, conduit, and thermostat wires.
- Cut notches in the wall for the power conduit.
- Attach heat mats to the floor with double-face tape and glue gun.
- Check the heating cables with volt-ohm meter again.
- Fish power line and thermostat wires through two conduit tubes. Bottom ends of conduits go into the notches you carved.
- Connect the conduit to a 4 x 4 inch electrical box attached to a wall stud.
- Weave thermostat wires into 12 inches of mesh matting without touching cables.
- Spread mortar across matting, making sure that it’s connecting with the cement board underlayment.
- Place tile. Allow mortar to dry.
- Grout the tile.
- Complete thermostat wiring and electrical connection.
Need Help? Hire the Oliver Experts
Oliver Heating & Cooling’s dedicated team provides electrical, heating, cooling and plumbing services throughout the Delaware Valley. If you’re uncertain you’re able to learn how to install underfloor heating, or you just don’t have time to fit the project into your busy schedule, ask us for an estimate. Check and see if you’re in our service area!