Guide for Installing Radiant Floor Heating Under Vinyl Tiles
The luxury vinyl tiles and planks are getting more and more popular. This is because they are easy to maintain, offer superior performance, are water-resistant, have a realistic design and offer numerous installation options. The best thing is that these tiles can easily accommodate an electric sub-floor heating system. If you plan on installing electric underfloor heating, here are the key steps you need to take.
Get The Subfloor Ready
The first step is obviously to eliminate debris. Areas like entryways or air vents need to be dammed off too. Doing so prevents self-leveling cement from blocking them. You need a marketer to mark how you will lay the heating element based on your installation plan.
Test Heating Elements
The last thing you want is to complete laying down the heating elements only to realize they are defective. You have to test the elements before installing them. Using a digital ohmmeter, you need to ensure the elements are fully operational. If the cold lead is present, run it through the thermostat box and attach a circuit check and turn it on.
Install The Heating Elements
Based on the custom installation plan you marked out earlier, lay the heating elements. You can secure the mesh using hot glue, duct tape or staples. Secure the mesh or cables to the subfloor at least every 6 to 8 inches. Make sure you don’t staple heating cables. The heating element needs to float to the top of the self-leveling cement that you will use later.
Install Sensor Wire
The purpose of the sensor wire is to ensure the temperatures never exceed the max threshold of your floors. The sensor wire should be placed about 6 inches in the heating area and must be laid down evenly. It also needs to be parallel with the laid heating cables. Be careful to not cross heating elements with the sensor wire. Use hot-glue to attach the sensor wire. Don’t forget to take readings using the digital ohmmeter to ensure the readings are comparable to the ones you took before installing the sensor wire.
Fix Cold Leads
The 15-foot cold lead is usually factory pre-attached at the start of heating elements. The wire connects to the thermostat. This means it has to be above the subfloor and not passing over heating wires, securing it with hot glue or tape will be needed for it not to move when adding self-leveling cement. Don’t forget to test the system once more with the ohmmeter to ensure there are no damages.
Embed Heating Element
Now is time to add the self-leveling cement. The elements need to be embedded in at least a 3/8-inch layer of the cement. That way there will be a smooth, flat surface for adding the vinyl tiles.
Install Vinyl Tiles
Now you need to install the vinyl tiles. Follow the manufacturer’s directions in order to get the best result.
Connect The Thermostat
The final step has to be left to a qualified electrician. The electrician will connect the thermostat to the subfloor system and that’s it.