Where to install underfloor heating under tile; thinset layer or concrete?

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Whether you'd like to enjoy radiant floor heating in your kitchen, bathrooms, family room or anywhere else, simply plan your radiant floor heat installation and take these 4 simple steps:

Lay out the mat Spread thin-set mortar Lay tile Connect thermostat

Step 1. Lay out the ThermoTile mats on the room's subfloor.
Its flat, ultra-thin electric cable is factory-mounted on a heavy duty fiberglass mesh designed to lay flat for quick installation. Each ThermoTile mat has 10' lead wires coming from one end of the mat which needs to be connected to the thermostat. So whether the underfloor heating mat is 5' or 120' long, there is no need to worry about where the mat ends. Follow a layout plan and start the mat so the lead wire reaches the thermostat location.

a. Space heating mats 3" from walls, fixtures and 4-6" from toilet rings. Depending on subfloor type: plywood, backer board or cement slab, adhere the heating mat...

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Installing Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating is super easy to install. But like most things in life require particular specifications to achieve the perfect result. And these specifications are usually determined by the floor covering. So let’s start with under tile heating.

Under Tile Heating

The Sub-floor.

So…. When installing heating under a tiled floor. There are a few things to consider, and the best way to look at this is from the ground up.
Starting with sub-floor is it concrete or wood? Why is this important well it plays a very big roll in your underfloor heating system. A concrete floor will absorb heat faster than any heating system can produce heat. Which is why with water based underfloor heating for example. Can often take a long time to heat up as the heating will slowly heat the concrete. And once all the concrete has reached temperature only then will the heating rise upwards. Which is why a suitable insulation is required no...

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I installed heated floors during my bathroom refit. I had the rolled up line instead of the mat.

Power-wise, i have it on the same switch as my AC unit, because the two will never be operational at the same time, but the draw for these things aren't huge, so if a light is on it, it shouldn't be a problem. I probably wouldn't put it on a circuit with plugs in the bathroom (or any plugs that may have high draw appliances).

My subfloor is old school hardwood floor, and it was flat enough, so we went with hardibacker (the stiff stuff) 1/4" and thin set. This is a bathroom, so flat-ness affects where water goes, so you should make the decision to based on what gets you the most level.

Thin set wise, the instruction was have a full scratch coat on the hardiebacker before you lay down the line. I had concerns with making my floor too thick, so I went with an ultra-thin scratch coat, just enough to cover the board, then heating lines, then a modest thin set layer and...

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Decide where you want to start your tile.

Most people decide to lay tile from the center of the room outward, which is important if you're dealing with even-sized tiles. This method will create a nice effect in the center of the room, but tiles in the edges of the room will need to be cut. You may decide to start tiling from another spot in the room, especially if you're using irregular-sized tiles. You may choose to have uncut tiles on the sides of the room and work from there if cabinets, sofas, or other furniture is covering tiles on one side of the room. This article will assume that you want to start from the center of the room and work outward.

Make sure you do a dry layout with your tile and spacers directly on the cement board before you lay down the mortar. A dry layout will allow you to visualize the room as it might be when everything is finished. Experiment with different layouts until the right one catches your...
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Under Wood and Laminate Aluminium Foil Heating Kits.

1: The Sub floor must be clean, sound and suitable for the chosen floor covering prior to laying the heating. Impact plus 6mm insulation or hard insulation boards must then be installed over the sub floor prior to fitting the heating, (see insulation fitting instructions).

2: Measure the floor accurately allowing for a 100mm+ unheated border around the perimeter of the area. Once measured make sure the heating mat is a suitable size for the area. The mat size and wattage can be found on the outer box and heating mat. The mat should also be tested for continuity and resistance at this stage. The readings should be noted down on the back warranty page of this manual. (See Fig 2)

(IMPORTANT, If the mat is incorrectly sized or the resistance readings do not match the test results on the box label, stop and return the mat for the correct size. Once the mat is unrolled it becomes the responsibility of the...

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Tile can contribute thermal massHeavy, high-heat-capacity material that can absorb and store a significant amount of heat; used in passive solar heating to keep the house warm at night. to a passive solar house, and to Christa Campbell it would make a more appealing finish floor than concrete.

Although tile can be placed directly over a concrete slab, products such as Schluter’s Ditra are designed to separate, or “uncouple,” the tile from any potential movement in the substrate and protect the tile and grout from cracking.

The question for Campbell is whether using Ditra offsets some of the thermal mass gains in a passive-solar design.

“I’m wondering if you can lay tile over a concrete subfloor without compromising the thermal mass capacity of the concrete,” she writes in a Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor. “Would an uncoupling system, using something like Ditra, have a negative impact? Should we be looking at using sand instead?”

Campbell’s question is...

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