Is Floor Heating Really Easy to Install?

Heated Floor installI’ve blogged about our kitchen remodel a few times recently, so to sum it up quickly, we installed new cabinets, appliances, flooring, and electric radiant heating. Everything has been installed, and the kitchen is finished now. So, the day of reckoning has come. Is radiant heating as awesome as everyone says? Yes, totally!

The best part about it all is how easy it was to install. We used a contractor because I was convinced it was going to be harder than it really was (even though all of our marketing collateral is very clear about how easy it is). But, after watching our contractor do the installation and taking photos of each step, I realized that it was the kind of thing we could have easily done on our own.

Floor Heating installInstallation of radiant heating rolls is a breeze! Since our kitchen is on a concrete slab, we added insulation between the concrete and the heating rolls. The insulation is designed to prevent heat loss into the concrete slab, and makes the system even more energy efficient. We decided that cork would be the “best fit” for our project (and, by the way, it was really helpful that WarmlyYours sells cork). The contractor rolled out the cork, cut it to fit, removed the cork and then laid down an adhesive. He laid the cork back on top of the adhesive and weighted it down on the ends where it tends to curl up. After that, we just waited for the adhesive to dry, and then it was time to lay the mesh rolls.

Flooring installA custom installation plan was included with our system and was very easy to follow. It illustrated exactly how to install the floor heating roll. You start by laying the roll down at a specific place that is indicated on the plan. It’s just a matter of unrolling, cutting the mesh, and turning the mat where the plan tells you.

Once the actual installation was completed, it was time for our contractor to lay the tile! He applied a layer of thinset cement over the mesh before he laid the tile. After that, the only thing left to do was to wait for the electrician to hook up the floor heating system to the thermostat.

A few days later, after the system cured, we were able to turn our floor heating system on and enjoy the warmth. Not only does it feel great, but I’m expecting quite a return on our investment when the time comes to sell our house.

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The use of radiant heat in living spaces is nothing new. The Romans used this method of heating their villas centuries ago. Hot air was forced under the floors of these villas, giving rise to the earliest form of radiant heating.

Michael on 11/11/2009