Ask the Flooring Expert – Kevin Brooks

Ask the Flooring Expert – Kevin Brooks

This month I would like to talk about in floor electric heating systems. When you are building or renovating consider heating your new flooring with an electric heating system. They are an efficient and effective way to create a warm floor under porcelain tile, stone or slate, and engineered hardwood. The ideal locations to use this product are bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms up to about 500sf. If you are planning on heating larger areas, hydronic heating may be a better option and would be performed by a mechanical contractor.

The electric systems are fairly simple systems. They utilize a thermostat and thermal probe to determine the temperature of the floor and turn on and off the system to maintain the desired heat setting. There is a wire that is set under tile into the cement adhesive and heats like a wire in a toaster, although much higher quality wire and protective braiding or mats to prevent damage. Generally, these systems come with a warranty that vary based on the manufacturer and utilize the energy of two 60 watt light bulbs in a small bathroom.

Some of the advantages of the electric systems are that they can be quickly installed in a small room with a smaller cost than a hydronic system and are very simple to install and use. They are easy to custom design in a complex floor plan and can even heat the steps to a soaker tub.