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How to Install Electric Radiant Heat Under Your Floor

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Patrick in California has a heating question. What can we help you with?

    PATRICK: The question that I have is – I live in Huntington Beach, California and – down by the beach – and I’m getting ready to put in a new bathroom and pull all the flooring out and I want to put in a heating system that’s sub-tile.

    TOM: OK.

    PATRICK: And once all the tile is out, I just have a wood surface and my understanding is that the actual heating pad is somehow tacked onto the floor and then it’s floated with like a thinset to keep it in place. Is that true?

    TOM: Are you going to use the electric, radiant heat panels?

    PATRICK: Yes, sir, the electric radiant.

    TOM: Or do you want to use the hot water system?

    PATRICK: No, it just – number one, we don’t have basements in Southern California, as you know …

    TOM: Right.

    PATRICK: … and I just wouldn’t have a space for it and it’s just this one small area; it’s going to end up being about 4 foot by 6 foot total; so 24 square feet.

    TOM: Alright. Well, then, you can apply the radiant floor panels right to the sub-floor and then …


    TOM: … you could put a mortar bed on top of that. That’s the best way to do that.

    PATRICK: OK. One last question – when I ordered it, they had suggested I get a secondary alarm to tell if there are any breaks or any cuts or any kind of defects in the system. Would you recommend installing that or is that just a waste of time, having a secondary …?

    TOM: Well, that sounds to me like a continuity tester and you would test it …

    PATRICK: Correct.

    TOM: You would test that before you put the mortar down. So, after the mortar is down, if you have a break in the system, how does that help you?

    LESLIE: It’s going to be hard to repair it.

    TOM: Yeah. How does that help you? You’d end up tearing up the floor anyway.

    PATRICK: Yeah. I guess you’ve got a point there. So it’s really – it’s overdoing it then, putting that in there.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Sounds like it’s a bit overkill. If you put it down before you put the mortar down, you test the continuity so you know there’s no …

    PATRICK: Right.

    TOM: … breaks in that and everything is working fine …

    PATRICK: Right.

    TOM: Then, I think you just go with it from there.

    PATRICK: OK. That’s excellent. I’m glad I learned what I needed to know and I’m ready to go do it now.

    TOM: Alright, Patrick. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Enjoy those warm feet.

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