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STEP Warmfloor frequently asked installation questions

Have a question regarding the installation of STEP Warmfloor? Check out our responses to these frequently asked questions. 

STEP Warmfloor sunroom instalation

We understand that even the most accomplished and seasoned do-it-yourselfers have questions from time to time. With STEP Warmfloor, our goal is to make the installation process as easy as possible for every person, so we’ve gone ahead and addressed some of the most frequently asked questions our staff encounter.

Q- How do I determine how much of the STEP Warmfloor mat I need for my project?

A- The best way to figure the materials needed for your STEP Warmfloor installation is to submit a scaled drawing to HeatMyFloors.com. Our sales reps will take your drawing and determine the materials needed to complete your radiant heating application. We also will provide a free quote showing how the STEP Warmfloor heating elements are placed in your room(s), along with a complete wiring diagram. It is that easy and there is no cost to you.

Q- How do I determine the space requirements between the heating mats?

A- For floor warming, the spacing of the heating elements is based on the floor covering that you plan on installing. Since tile is very conductive of heat it should be spaced at approximately 2 inches apart. Wood flooring typically is spaced 4 inches between elements. Carpeted applications typically are spaced 4 to 6 inches apart.

Q- Where should I place the power transformer?

STEP Warmfloor power transformer

A- The transformer should be installed as close to the STEP Warmfloor heating element as possible. This will reduce voltage drop between the transformer and the heating elements. Our design will provide you maximum distance between transformer and heating elements. Keep in mind that the transformer should also be installed in a cool and ventilated space. We caution installing the transformer in cabinets as its temperature may get too hot. This may cause premature overheating and tripping of the transformer circuit breakers.

Q- Can I use my own wire to install the mats rather than the wire type that was specified on the STEP Warmfloor design?

A-It is very important to utilize the tinned copper wire that is specified for STEP Warmfloor heating elements. Since the heating element bus braids are made of aluminum, using wire other than tinned copper can cause a galvanic reaction and can lead to connection failure.

Q- At what height should I install the thermostat?

A- Thermostats are typically installed 60 inches off the floor.

Q- I am using the floor sensing thermostat in my bathroom, do I just install the sensor on top of the heating element before installing the floor covering?

A- No. The sensor should be placed between the heating elements to get a balanced temperature reading of the floor.

Q- After reviewing my design drawing for my kitchen radiant heating system, I noticed that there are several strips of the heating element independently wired back to the transformer. Can I just series wire or daisy chain the elements together and run one set of wires back to the transformer?

A- No. This would cause significant voltage drop to the heating elements. The elements will not reach their full temperature output and cause comfort concerns. We ask that you closely follow the wiring diagrams included in our radiant design to get the maximum comfort for your application.

Q- Is it difficult to install?

A- STEP Warmfloor is easy to install. It was designed with simplicity and the installer in mind. Cut the elements with a scissors to length, connect the wires and secure in the position on the floor.

Q- How do I secure the heating element to the subfloor?

A- With a wood subfloor you can use thin-set, or staple or nail the element down to keep it in place. Stay clear of the bus braid that runs along both edges of the element. You want the element to be as flat as possible on the subfloor without any air gaps. Prior to installing the element, make sure the subfloor is clean and dry. If the concrete subfloor is not insulated, we recommend insulating the subfloor to give better energy efficiency to the system. The manufacturer has a double sided sticky tape that can be used to secure the element to the concrete or insulation. Do not use duct tape, glues or adhesives of any kind.

Q- Can I cut the element at an angle?

A- No, you cannot cut the element at an angle. All cuts need to be at a 90-degree angle. The bus braid on each side of the element needs to remain intact.

Q- Do I need to test the system before I put down the flooring?

A- Yes, heating elements should be tested and measured before being covered. Record the readings and send in the warranty information. Taking pictures of element placement is a good idea.

We hope this list of frequently asked questions cleared up any troubles you may encounter while installing your STEP Warmfloor radiant heating system. Should you need further assistance, you can reach us at (800) 785-8738, or download the STEP Warmfloor installation manual.