WSHM-120-15036 Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I work with my electrician to install WarmlyYours electric floor heating?

While WarmlyYours electric radiant floor heating systems are typically installed by your floor covering contractor, a licensed electrician is recommended for the final thermostat hook-up. With every quote, we provide an Installation Plan layout, together with an electrical plan that has all the info required for the electrician.

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How can I determine what I need for my floor heating project and how can I find out what my floor heating system will cost?

You can use the Instant Quote Tool, which gives you many options for your floor heating coverage. Use this interactive tool to design your room online and receive an instant quotation with product recommendations, rough-in and installation kits, cost of your control, etc. Planning your floor heating project is made easy when using our Instant Quote Tool.

Send us your floor plan or fax it to (800) 408-1100 and we will send you a quote, product recommendation and a free custom installation plan for your project.

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Is electric floor heating safe and what about EMF?

Our electric radiant floor heating systems have withstood rigorous safety testing and earned the UL listing. They produce much less EMF than common household appliances like your TV or vacuum cleaner. The EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) tests all electrical devices and publishes the data. Many common household appliances are tested at a distance of 6 inches. The test results indicate that on average, the EMF emitted for the following appliances, measured in Milligauss (mG) units, is:

Vacuum Cleaner: 300 mG

Microwave: 200 mG

Portable Heater: 100 mG

Dishwasher: 20 mG

Washing Machine: 20 mG

WarmlyYours TempZone™ (Twin): 1.8 mG

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What type of flooring can I install along with an electric floor heating system?

WarmlyYours’ TempZone™ product is most commonly installed under tile, stone, and marble flooring, but can also be installed under many other popular floor covering options such as hardwood, vinyl and linoleum. We also have our Environ system, which is an electric floor heating product as well and is specially designed for installation under carpet (in the U.S. only), laminate and floating wood. WarmlyYours can accommodate any flooring type with either of the electric radiant floor heating products that we offer. If your flooring type isn't listed here, just give us a call at (800) 875-5285 and we will be happy to discuss it with you.

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If I have extra cold lead wire, can I trim off what I don't need for my installation?

Yes. Unlike the heating cable for electric floor heating, the cold lead wires can be trimmed.

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How do you keep a sunroom warm in the winter?

Sunrooms can be very cold during the winter months. While a furnace may push some warm air into the room, the large number of windows, exterior walls, and other causes of heat loss in a sunroom will typically keep it from having a comfortable temperature level. Floor heating and radiant panels will add radiant heat, which the human body absorbs faster than other forms of heat, to the room so that it feels warm even at lower temperatures.

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Can electric floor heating be installed under a vanity?

Electric radiant floor heating should not be installed under permanent fixtures that may trap heat. However, if the vanity or cabinets are "floating" or are on legs, then a floor heating system may be installed under it.

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Can I put furniture on top of underfloor heating?

Yes, but any furniture that may trap heat, such as pieces with an enclosed bottom, should be avoided. Furniture on legs with a clearance of at least 3" is permissible.

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How do I know if I am installing my electric floor heating system properly?

Please keep in mind that you must check your electric floor heating system with a digital ohmmeter in conjunction with a Circuit Check™. Take an initial reading as soon as you take the product out of the box to verify that it is within -5% / +10% of the values stated on the product’s label. This will give you a basis of comparison for future readings. Take a second reading once you have positioned the system to match your custom installation plan. It is also advisable to take an additional reading in the middle of the tile installation, just to make sure that the Circuit Check™ is doing its job. Then, take a final reading when you are finished with the floor installation and are ready to hook up the thermostat.

The Circuit Check™ is a tool developed by WarmlyYours to give you peace of mind and ensure trouble-free installations. Simply hook up the cold leads to the tool while you position the system to match your custom installation plan.

The Circuit Check™ will continuously monitor the continuity of the circuit during the installation of your system and during the installation of your flooring. The Circuit Check™ beeps immediately when a short in the system is detected, alerting you to a potentially damaged cable in the area you are working, before you lay the tile over the electric floor heating system.
 The WarmlyYours technical support team is available 24/7 to provide assistance if the alarm sounds, or if you would have any questions during your installation.

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Should I add insulation before installing electric floor heating and how will that affect the system's performance?

When installing electric floor heating over a concrete slab, an insulating underlayment like ThermalSheet is highly recommended to ensure efficient operation, faster heating times and warmer floor temperatures.

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How much does it cost to run an electric floor heating system?

The answer to this question will depend on a whole host of variables related to electric floor heating, including, but not limited to, the run time (for supplemental heating, we usually recommend between 4-8 hours per day), the electric radiant floor heating system you're using, the total square footage, and your local electrical cost. Typically, the cost is just a few cents a day. 

To figure out how much electric floor heating might cost to run for you, make sure to use our interactive Operating Cost Calculator. 

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Will electric floor heating help with moisture issues like mold and mildew?

Yes, the drying effects of electric radiant floor heating will reduce the humidity coming from the slab, which is the largest source of moisture.

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Can you heat under the appliances, fixtures, or furniture in a laundry room, mudroom, or utility room?

No, it is recommended that floor heating only be installed in the areas that you will walk on. Heat can become trapped if installed under objects that do not offer enough clearance for air to circulate (such as a washer or dryer).

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Do radiant heating products have polarity?

Electric-resistance heating cables and systems have no polarity. This includes all current WarmlyYours heating elements.

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Can I use electric floor heating as a primary heat source?

Yes, in most cases, an electric floor heating system can be effective as a primary heat source. However, our TempZone™ and Environ™ systems are most commonly used as a secondary heat source, providing floor-to-ceiling radiant heat to any room in your home where you desire more warmth and comfort.

If you are considering electric floor heating for an addition to your home, such as a sunroom where you have no other source of heat, WarmlyYours offers an innovative online tool which calculates approximate heat loss. This tool can help you to determine if a WarmlyYours’ electric radiant floor heating system will provide your desired comfort temperature throughout the year. You can access the Heat Loss Calculator or you can call us at (800) 875-5285 and a Customer Service Representative will make the calculation for you.

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What is the total power/amperage that the electric floor heating system draws and does this system need a dedicated circuit?

The amount of amperage draw depends upon how large the area is that you are heating. For coverage of areas less than 30 square feet, the system will draw less than 3 or 4 amps. If you have a larger area over 120 square feet of heated space, then you may need a larger breaker plus additional controls. No matter what the size of the area you choose to heat, we recommend a dedicated circuit for your electric radiant floor heating system.

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Will the radiant heat affect the attached rubber or cork backing on Luxury Vinyl Tile? Does the attached backing have any effect on the floor heating system?

Since most Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) manufacturer's set a maximum temperature for radiant floor heating, the system should have little to no effect on the rubber/cork backing.

Pre-attached backing can act as an insulating layer though, meaning it can prevent the radiant heating from efficiently directing heat up through the floor. Please check with the manufacturer for the r-value of the product. Look for an assembled plank with an r-value of less than 1. The lower the r-value, the better!

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Do I have to replace my floor to install electric floor heating?

Yes. While there are some floor heating systems that can be installed beneath floor joists, most electric radiant floor heating systems will need to be installed beneath the floor itself. This is why the best time to install electric floor heating is during a remodel or as a part of a new construction, when a floor is being installed anyways. 

If you're interested in alternative radiant heating methods, check out our Radiant Panels, which are wall-mounted and use infrared technology to provide supplemental heating. 

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How are hydronic and electric floor heating systems different?

While both hydronic (heated water) and electric floor heating systems perform a similar function by providing radiant heat from beneath your floor, they do differ in some pretty crucial ways. Typically, using hot water instead of electricity will result in lower operational costs but significantly higher investment and maintenance costs. This usually means that hydronic heating systems are reserved for new construction projects (where it is easier to incorporate the boilers and pumps needed to operate the system) and electric floor heating is often used for remodeling projects in bathrooms, kitchens, etc. To learn more about the differences between these systems, check out this post

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What is a good choice, or watt density, for supplemental heat?

Supplemental heat can be addressed by changing the spacing on cable installs. Floor location in the house is very important when considering adding supplemental heating to a floor. For example: If heating a second story floor, over a heated space, cable at 4" spacing can be used. The same type of heating over an unheated space would probably be done with TempZone Flex Rolls or TempZone Cable at 3" spacing. All heating is considered supplemental unless a heat loss calculation is done.

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How can I make my basement warmer?

A floor heating system can work as a supplemental heating source and make the basement warmer. If more heat needs to be added to the room, you can experiment with setting the floor heating thermostat to higher temperatures.

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How much does it cost to heat a bathroom floor with electric floor heating?

A typical bathroom floor can be heated for about a quarter a day with electric radiant floor heating.

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Can I heat luxury vinyl tile/planks in the kitchen?

Yes, our TempZone Heating Products can be used for heating luxury vinyl tile or luxury vinyl planks in any indoor application.

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What breaker and wire size do I need to use for a floor heating system?

The breaker and wire sizes are selected based on the total amperage of the WarmlyYours heating system connected to a single thermostat. This information is on the WarmlyYours heating system's installation plan, electrical plan, or UL label. Based on guidelines from the National Electrical Code: loads up to 16 Amps may utilize 12 gauge wire with a 20-Amp breaker, and loads up to 12 Amps - 14 gauge wire with a 15-Amp breaker. Local code and/or other factors may change these guidelines.

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What temperature will my heated floor reach?

The temperature of your floor can range anywhere between 75°F to 95°F. The floor's actual temperature will depend on a number of factors including the amount of heat loss that the room experiences as well as the room’s configuration. For instance, the warmth contained in a two story entry way would likely be less than that of a smaller, more enclosed area such as a bathroom. In a bathroom that is located on the second floor of your home or over another floor in your home that is typically heated, the temperature of your heated floor should easily reach a comfortable temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit, if the electric floor heating system is installed correctly. For the heat loss calculation for your specific room, you can access the Heat Loss Calculator or you can call us at (800) 875-5285 and a Customer Service Representative will make the calculation for you.

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How does electric floor heating work?

Electric floor heating works by having an electric heating cable installed underneath the flooring (embedded or floating, depending on the system and floor type), which is then wired to a special thermostat (either one specifically designed for electric radiant floor heating, like a WarmlyYours’ nSpiration Series control, or a third-party thermostat). When turned on, the heating cable emits heat upward through the flooring which is then radiated throughout the room, heating all solid surfaces. 

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How will electric floor heating affect my wood floor?

WarmlyYours nSpiration controls are equipped with an in-floor sensor to precisely control the floor's temperature to comply with the wood manufacturer's temperature recommendation.

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What is the maximum temperature for Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) when it comes to in-floor heating?

This is stated in the Installation Manual of the LVT product when purchased. On average, this maximum temperature will fall between 80°F and 83°F. This number can then be used to program the thermostat during setup to set the floor's maximum temperature.

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How does electric floor heating compare to central or forced air heating?

Typically, electric floor heating is used as a supplemental heat source but in some cases, it can be used as a primary heat source. Electric floor heating is more energy efficient, less prone to spreading dust and allergens, and easier to control from room to room. Air-based heating systems can be used for both heating and cooling and can be a good way to control air quality in the home with regular maintenance. 

For a more in-depth answer to this question, check out Your ‘Cheat Sheet’ for Radiant Heat vs. Forced Air

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Does the heat cause any shrinkage, expansion, or warping of the vinyl flooring?

If the flooring manufacturer has a warranty for electric floor heating, it should not be adversely affected by shrinkage, expansion, or warping. Again, it will depend on the brand and construction of the product. Some manufacturers may place limitations on the maximum floor heating temperature. To minimize expansion and contraction, some Luxury Vinyl Tile companies require heating the flooring to a continuous heating level with "setback" temperatures (lower temperature settings during the day and overnight) kept to a minimum.

While radiant heating can affect the expansion and contraction of the floor, the most overlooked and important factor is the relative humidity in the space, so a humidifier or dehumidifier may be needed.

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How effective are radiant electric floor under 3/4" wood flooring?

For best results, we recommend a 1”- 1.5” maximum distance between the heating cable and the top of the floor. Nailed down hardwood will require sleepers to run the cable safely between board nails. Be sure to use 3/8" to 3/4" of self-leveling cement to embed the heating element.

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Would the installation process be different if Luxury Vinyl Tile was installed in a bathroom?

No. A bathroom floor would be installed in the same way. Our TempZone floor heating systems are wet-location listed and ideal for bathroom floors.

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Can this floor heating be used under an existing hardwood floor?

No, most in-floor heating is designed to be added to new flooring. If you do have existing wood floors you would like to add radiant heating to - it is possible to do so with an under-joist heating system. 

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Is installing a floor heating system for LVT the same as for ceramic or porcelain tile?

Yes, Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is typically installed over the embedded heating element using self-leveling cement (SLC). Many people choose to use SLC when installing tile over floor heating.

We do not suggest using thinset to encase the heating wires with LVT, as it is very difficult to get thinset completely flat.

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Can the floor heating be set to turn on at certain times when we know we will use those areas and need heating?

Yes, with our programmable thermostats, you can choose which days and times the floor heating turns on for your comfort. With a Smart thermostat, you can also control these options from your phone while away from home.

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How can I make my room warmer without a heater?

Floor heating will typically add the most heat to supplement an existing heating source and it will not take any extra space since it is embedded in the floor. If you are not remodeling your floors but have some open wall space, you should mount a radiant panel. For the most effective results, install the panel so that it points toward the area where you will spend most of the time.

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Which LVT, WPC or Solid Core product can be paired with electric radiant floor heating? Is there a list of manufacturers who still provide a warranty when pairing with radiant floor heating?

LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile), WPC (Wood Plastic Composite), and Solid Core all fall into the category of "vinyl flooring." These vinyl flooring types can be rated for floor heating, but the application will completely depend on the manufacturer's guidelines.
Please look in the installation manual and warranty documents of the LVT, WPC, and Solid Core flooring product that you are interested in to see if and what types of heating are allowed.

As for a list of manufacturers of LVT, WPC, and Solid Core products providing a warranty for their products with radiant heat -- many do provide a warranty for their products when properly installed with floor heating. The list of these is ever-changing, so please be sure to check with the flooring manufacturer for current recommendations.

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Can I put electric floor heating in the shower?

Yes, we have TempZone Shower and Bench mats with sizes designed specifically for shower installation and they are wet location listed for for installing electric radiant floor heating to a shower.

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Does this system work with Cork Flooring?

Cork flooring can be used with floor heating if the r-value is under 1. You will need to find the r-value of the flooring you choose and let your account manager know during the design stage. Cork flooring should have a low r-value to minimize trapped heat.

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How many square feet of floor heating can be connected to one thermostat?

One thermostat can control multiple heating mats/cables as long as all the elements are using less than 15 amps. For TempZone™ Flex Roll systems for example that would be maximum of 120 sq.ft. for 120V systems and 240 sq.ft. for 240V.

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Can you use a sunroom in the winter?

Yes, sunrooms can be used in the winter, just activate your floor heating or radiant panel and turn your sunroom into a 4-season room. You will notice a tremendous difference in the room comfort, especially with the thermostat set to maintain a desired ambient temperature. WarmlyYours thermostats will do the work for you by energizing the floor for longer cycles.

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Can you use glue-down Luxury Vinyl Tile products with this floor heating system?

Yes, if the flooring manufacturer recommends this installation method. In most cases, the heating element will still need to be embedded in self-leveling cement before the flooring is installed.

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Is there a way to heat vinyl flooring without embedding the heating system, such as a floating floor heating system?

There are heating systems designed for floating floors, such as our Environ system. However, the flooring must be rigid enough so it does not mold itself to the heating cables over time.

Check the flooring manufacturer's floor heating recommendations. In most cases, the heating system will need to be embedded beneath the flooring. Check for all "flatness" requirements for the flooring you choose. The flattest floors utilize self-leveling cement when installed correctly.

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What is the recommended temperature for a heated kitchen floor?

Everyone has their own comfortable temperature setting, but we typically find that our customers use their thermostats to set the "floor temperature" of the system in the 78°F - 84°F range.

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What are the power requirements for slab heating systems?

The requirements are: 20 watts per square foot foot (with 3" spacing) without a floor covering; or 15 watts per square foot (with 5" spacing of cable only) with a floor covering. To calculate your exact power requirements, multiply the square feet by 20 or 15, as listed above and then divide by the voltage (120V or 240V) to arrive at Amps.

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What is your cost per square foot for Slab Heating Cables or Mats?

The cost for the heating elements in a Slab Heating system is $7 per sq. ft. ($8 CAD) for Slab Heating Mats and $7 per sq. ft. ($9 CAD) for Slab Heating Cables.

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What should I do with the floor sensor that was included with my floor heating element?

WarmlyYours has recently begun including floor sensors with our heating elements to help ensure customers will have everything they need for optimal operation of their radiant heating systems.

The sensor included with your floor heating element can be installed with the heating system (the sensor is equally spaced between runs of the heating wire--see your install manual for more info). Installing this sensor with your floor heating control will enable energy efficient operation of the floor warming system based on the floor temperature instead of the ambient room temperature.

We generally recommend that you install a second, unconnected backup floor sensor alongside the primary one. In the very unlikely event that your first floor sensor is damaged, this install method will save you from having to pry up flooring to replace a floor sensor. You simply disconnect the damaged sensor from the thermostat and connect the backup sensor.

In addition to the floor sensor that was included with your heating element, our nSpiration Series thermostats also come with a floor sensor. If you purchase both a heating element and an nSpiration Series thermostat from WarmlyYours, you'll have a primary and a backup floor sensor for your system.

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Can I have one thermostat for my open floor kitchen, dining room and living room?

We usually recommend that you have an individual thermostat for each room. However, if it's an open floor plan and your local electrical code allows you to have one controller for the whole area, then it's definitely possible to have it all controlled from one thermostat.

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What should I consider if I want to heat a vinyl or composite material floor?

We recommend verifying 3 things with the manufacturer of the flooring product to be heated;

1.) Is the flooring product compatible with electric floor heating?

2.) What is the maximum temperature the flooring product can withstand?

3.) What is the temperature set back recommendation of the flooring product?

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Can the floor be waterproofed and still have floor heating?

Yes, we offer several options to help make your floor heating system water resistant or waterproof. Our TempZone product line is designed for wet areas - making it completely safe for rooms that will have water on the floor at times or may experience leaks or flooding. We also offer waterproofing bands for our TempZone Cable + Prodeso Uncoupling Membrane system. Allowing you to waterproof all seams and the perimeters of the wall - guaranteeing that your floor heating system stays safe and prevents water from leaking to areas below.

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How is the slab heating system controlled?

You can control your slab heating system with any WarmlyYours nSpiration Series thermostat. Depending on the size of your project, you may also need to add a relay or nJoin power module.

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How quickly can I get the slab heat cables/mat after I order?

In-stock items will ship the same day if you place your order before 4:00 PM CST.

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What happens if I accidentally cut the slab heating wire during the installation?

Stop installation, box out a 3"×3" area surrounding the damaged area, and call tech support at (800) 875-5285.

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Who is qualified to install the slab heating cables or mats?

Any trade professional is qualified to layout slab heating cables and/or mats; electricians must make the electrical connections and test the wire; you can hire a concrete contractor to install the concrete for you.

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Where to connect the ground wire of floor mats/cables?

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Can you install multiple sensors in the floor for one thermostat?

Yes, you can install multiple sensors while installing the floor heating system. Only one of these sensors should be connected to the floor heating thermostat. Any secondary sensors can be run through conduit up to the thermostat area to be connected in the future should anything happen to the original sensor. The sensor is low voltage and may not need conduit. If conduit is required, it will need to be separate from the return power leads.

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Do I need insulation when installing a floor heating system over a concrete slab?

When WarmlyYours floor heating systems are being installed on a concrete slab, we strongly recommend adding a layer of insulation over the slab prior to installing the system. While our systems provide up to 25% more heating power per square foot than many of our competitors, the slab will always act as a "heat sink." Some of the heat that would otherwise be transferred to the flooring surface will remain in the slab, causing the floor’s surface temperature to be considerably lower. This is true with any floor warming system.

When installed on top of a concrete slab without insulation, it is generally accepted that a radiant floor heating system will take the chill away from the floor and provide a small amount of warmth. Adding insulation on top of the slab and beneath any floor heating system will allow a greater percentage of the heat generated to transfer to the flooring surface. This results in greater efficiency and therefore faster warm up times, higher expected surface temperatures and lower energy usage. The floor will have the capacity to warm to a comfortable temperature, and in some cases can be employed as the primary heat source for that room.

The recommended types of insulation are natural cork, insulated tile backer boards, and insulated underlayment, such as ThermalSheet synthetic cork.

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Do you have any installers in my area?

Please refer to our Dealer/Installer Locator.  We will connect you to the best dealer/installer in your area.

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Does a floor heating system require a separate GFCI breaker, and if so, what amperage?

A Warmly Yours indoor floor heating system should not be installed with a GFCI breaker because GFCI protection is built into the thermostat and power module.  And while it's not always required, we strongly recommend a dedicated circuit for each thermostat and power module to limit the occurrence of ground fault nuisance tripping caused by multiple GFCI devices on a circuit. The amperage of a breaker would depend on the amp draw of the heating system. For example, a TempZone Flex Roll (which provides approximately 15 watts of energy output per square foot) that is providing 15 square feet of heating coverage will draw only 225 watts ( 1.9 Amps), so a 15 Amp circuit would suffice.  Always size breakers according to your local Electrical Code requirements. 

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How much additional height will this solution add from the top of the slab to the bottom of the finished floor?

The slab heating cable sits in the middle of concrete pour. Here are the layers for this application from bottom to top:

  • 8-10" of compressed crushed rock aggregate
  • 2" polystyrene insulation
  • 2 - 3" layer of concrete
  • Rebar and/or reinforcing mesh
  • Attach slab heating cable to rebar/mesh
  • Final layer: 2-3" or concrete as final flooring surface
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In regard to heavy or large objects on the floor, how should floor heating be planned to accommodate these?

An area where large furniture will cover the floor should have enough clearance underneath to allow air to circulate. Any areas where floor heat may be trapped (rugs, box bottom furniture), let your sales rep know so we can design an installation plan around these areas.

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What is the order of layers I must install the slab heating system in?

The layers for the full installation are as follows:

  • Bottom: 8-10" of compressed crushed rock aggregate (may already exist)
  • 2" polystyrene insulation
  • 2-3" layer of concrete
  • Rebar and/or reinforcing mesh and attach the cable or mat
  • Top: Pour a 2-3" layer of concrete as the final flooring surface

Call tech support at (800) 875-5285 to customize this to your unique application.

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What’s the difference between hydronic (heated water tubing) and electric floor heating?

Hydronic systems operate by using heated water pumped through tubing beneath the floor. Electric underfloor heating works with heated cables beneath the floor. Typically, hydronic systems are a good choice for new construction projects and electric systems are better for remodels or single rooms. This is because the high installation costs of hydronic systems (boilers, pumps, etc.) makes them cost-prohibitive for projects like a bathroom or kitchen. Electric radiant heating systems are also easier to repair than hydronic systems if they're damaged. 

For a more complete answer to this question, check out this blogpost

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Where do you install the slab heating cable?

You should install the cable 2-3" below the finished surface, and attach it to rebar and/or reinforcing wire mesh to secure the cable in place.

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Why not develop a heated floor solution for any type of floor rather than specific type of floor?

There is a way to install floor heating that makes it suitable for any type of floor. By embedding our TempZone systems in self-leveling cement (SLC), you have created a heated subfloor. Almost any low r-value flooring can be installed directly over this for heated floors.

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