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Staple up radiant applications are fast becoming one of the most popular choices to provide the luxurious feeling of warmth to an existing bathroom or kitchen floor. Regardless of floor coverings, you will be able to transform any room into one of the most comfortable rooms in your home by installing a staple up application. You have open access to the area or room below the room.

Below is a picture to give you a better idea of how the layers of flooring may look with a staple up application:

Installation is fairly easy. On my Do-It-Yourself (DIY) scale, I would give it an easy 7 for most DIY people. The process is straightforward when you follow the HeatMyFloors layout that is specifically designed for your application.

To get started, it’s important to create a layout of the room where you plan to install radiant heat. Don’t forget to draw in the placement of the toilet, bathtub/shower as well as vanity or other objects in the room. Next you will need to go to the room below and look for reference marks such as plumbing pipes that lead to the toilet, sinks and bathtub/shower.

Take note of which direction the floor joists or trusses run. Once you have found a reference point you should be able to get a good idea of where the room is located above. Simply take the drawing of the room you did earlier and draw in approximately where the floor joists/trusses run.

On the drawing, indicate the number of joist bays as well as each of their lineal length. It’s also a good idea to indicate the width of the spacing between each joist type, as this will give the designer a better idea of how many STEP Warmfloor heating elements need to be designed and installed for each joist bays. Here is an example of a drawing on how to plan your warm floor design:

When planning on this type of installation you will need to take into account the width of the floor joist as well as the length of each joist bay. There will be no need to install the element under cabinets above, as that will just be a waste of time and money. The STEP Warmfloor heating element is available in 12 inch and 9 inch widths. The 12 inch elements are used in applications where the floor joists are spaced 16 inches apart, whereas the two to nine inch elements are installed where the floor joists are spaced 24 inches apart.

Next, you will install the elements to the subfloor beneath the room. The heating elements can be stapled and or nailed to hold them in place under the subfloor from below.

After the elements are installed you will need to install some form of insulation. The purpose of insulation is to drive the heat directly through the sub floor and through the finished floor above. The insulation could be rolled fiberglass or 1-2 inch extruded polystyrene sheets. Both are readily available at your local lumber yards or big box stores. I prefer the rolled insulation blankets as they are easier to manipulate around wiring and plumbing connections. For the best results and comfort try to install an R-value of R-11 or higher.

Since the low voltage heating element needs a transformer to step down voltage to 24 volt AC, you may need the services of an electrician to install the high voltage power.

The next step is to turn the system on and within one hour or less you will be enjoying the unsurpassed comfort of radiant floor heat all without compromising the existing tile, carpet, wood or vinyl floors. It’s that easy! Find out more about electric floor heating and STEPWarmfloor .