Heated Floors? Yes, Please!

Imagine waking up, and having your feet touch a nicely warm ground on a cold snowy morning. You can have that amazing experience any where in your house that has tile. Warm up cold bathroom floors, basement entertainment spaces, or even your bedroom with electric in-floor heating mats that can be installed directly under your tile. You can use it as supplemental heat for comfort or as space heat to warm the entire area. Installation is just as simple and easy as laying tile.

Electric radiant heating systems use wires embedded in a mat placed directly on our concrete flooring. Please note, these wires are not able to be cut or manipulated in any way. So ensure the size of area is 100% accurate in order to be installed. Take super careful measurements of the area and make a to-scale drawing of the space to be submitted to the manufacturer. Gotta love new age technology as some manufacturers provide an online templating program that allows you to design a custom mat. While others take your measurements over the phone, then they design the mat for you. Every company provides you with a blueprint detailing how and where to install the mat. Something to keep in mind, the mats usually come in 12, 24, and 30 inch widths with increments of 5ft in length with a 10 sq. ft. minimum.

Make sure your concrete is immaculate before you lay down your in-floor heating mat. This means filling in any cracks and using self-leveling compounds. After you have unpackaged the mat and fixed into position near the area where the controls will be placed, then you want to connect your mat to a volt-ohm meter to crosscheck against the manufacturer. If they match, you are looking good. If they don’t, then contact the manufacturer as your mat may have been damaged.

Every mat adheres  differently to the concrete based on the manufacturer’s suggestion. Some recommend thinset mortar — the same mortar used to install tiles, and others suggest the use of hot glue. If it’s thinset, then fold the mat back super carefully, spread the mortar onto the concrete with a trowel, then fold the mat back into place. If it’s hot glue or another non-spreadable adhesive, squeeze a thin line of it down the center of each portion of the mat to adhere it and the wires to the concrete.

Next is laying the tile based on your grid. Wiggle and tap the tiles firmly into place to ensure a level surface. Read just previously laid tiles so they remain in line and properly spaced. After placing a few tiles, then you want to do a couple resistance tests to double check you haven’t damaged the cable. If the resistance test fails, see the manufacturer’s instructions to find the problem. Once the mortar has dried, grout the joints. Once complete, do one last test before it dries.


Last stage is wiring the thermostat, which is in accordance to the manufacturer’s instructions. For safety reasons and coverage, please have your electrician make the final connection to your circuit panel. Have them label it as well.  Power up the system for 10 or 15 minutes to ensure that the floor heat functions, then turn it off and keep it off for two to four weeks while the mastic and grout cure and harden.