Follow our detailed guide and learn how to install a floor heating system for a basement with Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring.
All radiant heating systems rely on a thermal mass. The heat moves from the source (Heating Element) into a thermal mass (thin-set) and spreads out and warms the floor without creating an excessively hot spot. In the WarmlyYours Floor Heating System the thin-set and/or self-levelling cement acts as a thermal mass. It is important to follow the installation guidelines to create a proper thermal mass.Learn More About Floor Heating
Perhaps the most important stage in installing a floor heating system is getting a good installation plan.
WarmlyYours provides a free, no-obligation SmartPlan that includes an installation plan, an electrical plan, and an itemized quote, all of which is prepared by a highly skilled team of engineers.
All you have to do to take advantage of this service is to provide WarmlyYours with a sketch of the project that includes dimensions and other relevant information, like where power will be most readily accessible.
The WarmlyYours Floor Heating System must not be installed under cabinets or plumbing fixtures that will be permanently installed and attached to the floor. Built-in cabinets and other furniture or fixtures with solid bases must not be placed on the heated portion of a WarmlyYours system. Additionally carpets or area rugs thicker than 3/4” should be avoided, as they act as an insulator over the heated area, reducing the efficiency of the installation.Request a Free SmartPlan
Because floor heating is installed beneath the floor covering (or within a concrete slab), the best time to install radiant heating in a basement is either when the basement is being built during new construction or when it is a part of a remodel where the pre-existing floor is going to be replaced.
If you're building a new construction project, we recommend embedding our Slab Heating Mats or Slab Heating Cables within the cement slab itself. You'll want to install the heating mats so that they are between 2" to 3" from the finished flooring surface and you won't want to use any floor coverings or underlayments with a high degree of thermal resistance or the performance of the heating system may be negatively impacted.
For remodeling projects, like the one featured in this design guide, a heating element is installed above the cement slab but below the flooring surface.
GTA Basement Experts were picked to complete the job. After taking measurements and discussing the purpose of the spaces, the design was finalized.
The final floor plan is passed on to our team of experts at WarmlyYours in order to provide a customized layout for the project. That will help us assist not only the installation on site but also provide all vital information for the electrician and the floor installer.
Understanding the purpose of the rooms is critical in order to make the best choice possible in products. In this particular scenario we know that:
In addition to that, we will need to know what application we are dealing with. In this scenario:
Here's a few things to consider when choosing luxury vinyl flooring for your project:
Once the plans were ready, it was time to meet with the contractor and the electrician to highlight each component of the install and to make sure we were complying with Canada’s National Electrical Code.
Here are the most important items that were reviewed:
Thanks to WarmlyYours Electrical plans, we were able to answer all these questions right away, as each electrical plan is tailored for each room.
When WarmlyYours floor heating systems are installed on a concrete slab, we strongly recommend adding a layer of insulation to the slab prior to installing the radiant floor heating system, since 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 heating system. 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 leads to greater efficiency and therefore faster warm up times, higher expected surface temperatures, and lower energy usage.
WarmlyYours offers 2 different insulating underlayments: CeraZorb and cork. CeraZorb is a synthetic cork material and has twice the R-value of cork. Due to its higher level of thermal resistance, CeraZorb is the underlayment that we typically suggest for installing floor heating on top of a slab.
Cork is an economical alternative to CeraZorb. It is made of natural materials and is also a bit thicker than CeraZorb.
Verify dimensions on plan match the location’s actual dimensions. Prepare the subfloor to be clean and free of debris. Use the included custom design or cut & turn sheet to plot your path beginning closest to the thermostat location and utilizing a wire down/mesh up configuration as much as possible. Following the design, cut the fiberglass mesh with scissors to create “panels”. Position the panels around fixtures using cuts and turns to accommodate the system design layout and proper room coverage. NEVER cut the heating wires, cut the mesh only.
Once the roll(s) is fitted into the space, it needs to be secured to the subfloor to prevent movement during the installation of the floor covering. Staple, hot glue, or tape the mat panels and cold leads to the sub floor every 6-8 inches. Staples should never cross, pierce or nick the Heating Element, and never be used to secure the cold lead.
Free form spaces are filled with loose lengths of Heating Element. A wavy line with an arrow will appear on the Installation Plan to indicate the area that needs to be filled. This symbol is accompanied by a unit of measure in a circle that will indicate the amount of Fiberglass Mesh to be removed. Once the Heating Element is separated from the Fiberglass Mesh, position the Heating Element by hand and secure it to the floor with Hot Glue or Tape. Try to maintain the 3 inch spacing similar to the spacing on the Heating Roll(s).
TIP: NEVER fold or position the Heating Element so that it overlaps itself or other wires. The heating portion of the product should never touch, cross over, or overlap itself. This will cause dangerous overheating.
Use a flat trowel to encase the heating rolls in 3/8” of self-leveling cement or latex-portland cement and allow proper manufacturer recommended cure time. Follow manufacturers recommended mixing directions carefully.
Apply manufacturer’s recommended adhesive as per flooring installation instructions.
Install flooring as per manufacturer’s recommendations.
Install the floor sensor 6” into the mat directly centered between the heating wires using tape. NEVER staple the heating wires or floor sensor wire.
TIP: Always test a floor sensor and verify 8-15 kOhm resistance. A secondary backup sensor may be installed, but only one can be connected to a thermostat at a time.
The power lead (D) is 15-feet in length. The lead is spliced to the Heating Element (E) at the factory. If necessary, this lead wire may be shortened or even extended.
Please note the thickness of the factory splice and cold lead and plan accordingly. The factory splices must be completely embedded in thinset or self-leveling underlayment.
The system should be attached to the thermostat and then the thermostat is wired to the home electrical system and installed in a wall box by a licensed, certified electrician.
Ensure supplied voltage to thermostat matches heating system’s. Review and save the electrical plan that includes all the electrical information about the system.
TIP: Dedicated non-GFI circuit is typically needed for the heating system to avoid any nuisance tripping or interference. The GFCI feature is incorporated in the thermostat.
Allow proper thinset cure time as recommended by the manufacturer (typically 7-28 days) before powering up the WarmlyYours electric radiant heat system.
TIP: When commissioning the system or adjusting the temperature setpoint, follow flooring manufacturer temperature restrictions/recommendations. Temperature limits can be set under ”Floor Protection” setting on the thermostat.
Now you can create an inviting space that’s private and comfortable or have an open play area for entertainment. This space can be modified as needed, depending on the occupants. This project took about a month to complete. With great planning you can avoid delays especially during inspection time. Now they are ready to enjoy their warm floors! And Kelev, one of their babies, is in full agreement!
A great thermostat is the secret to any great heating system. Not only is it the way you control the temperature, it’s also how you customize your comfort.
Our nSpiration Series of controls offers a wide variety of options — from programmable models, to controls that will allow you to easily monitor and manage your home comfort remotely from any device. All of our controls are designed to help you get the most out of your floor heating system.
For more information about the variety of controls and sensors available from WarmlyYours, check out our comparison chart.Shop Controls
*All pricing information is MSRP and is subject to change. Operating cost calculation is based on the national average of $0.15 per kWh, but consumption may vary based on individual conditions.