Menu Close

There is a handful of information out there about electric radiant floor heating. If you are considering a new project, your contractor should explain the following key points with you:

tools for installing radiant heat

  • Floor coverings: Your contractor should fully understand what floor coverings are suitable or not suitable over electric radiant floor heating systems. Low voltage heating mats such as STEP Warmfloor are approved to be installed under any floor covering. Most cables and mats systems that operate at high voltage (120-240 VAC) and or low voltage heating mats (24 VAC) are suitable to be placed under tiled floors and if applicable in cement slabs. In fact, the majority of all electric radiant floor heating systems have tiled floors installed over them. However, extreme caution needs to be taken into account with all the other flooring types. Some high voltage cable systems may be suitable under carpet only if there is a self-leveling compound poured over the cable first.
  • Insulation: Your contractor should suggest that you install insulation under your electric radiant floor heating system. The old myth of heat rises simply does not apply to these types of systems.
  • Placement of air sensing thermostat: Thermostat placement can have effect on performance and overall comfort in the room. If the thermostat is placed on an outside wall and or near an outside door then the radiant system maybe turning on more than is actually needed. The opposite is true as well. If the thermostat is placed near a heating vent or where the sun rays enter into the room the system will not turn on as the thermostat believes it is warm enough already. The result will be a cooler than normal floor temperature and discomfort. This is where floor sensing thermostats are nice to utilize with electric radiant floor heating systems.
  • Types of thermostats: Should you choose between an air sensing thermostat or floor sensing thermostat? If your radiant application is the only heat source in the room then utilizing an air sensing thermostat will suffice. However, when a room also has forced air heating or some other type of heat source then it will pay off in comfort by choosing a stat then can sense the floor temperature only.
  • Primary heating or supplemental floor warming: Your contractor should fully know if the electric radiant heating system they are proposing is capable of providing all the heating needs of the room and or home. Although some cable systems have primary heating capabilities they often fall short of being able to sufficiently heat for primary heating. A good contractor will conduct a heatloss.