Who would have thought that having an opportunity to learn about in-floor heating would be so intriguing and captivating? This is what I experienced during a seminar put on by Flooring Association Northwest. First off, when someone with an English accent teaches a training class, it’s hard not to pay attention! Thank you for that Simon!
Being in the flooring industry and marketing the benefits of our flooring, I had no idea the expansive variety of floor warming applications and how it can enhance the comfort of most of our flooring product lines. From standard mats that are pre-fabricated and simply roll out on top of a sub-floor (of course there is much more to the installation of the mats than I had ever known!), custom mats that you can order to fit any shape room with angles or curved walls, and get this…you can even have toasty warm tootsies in the shower! Amazing! Never leave your bathroom on a cold day again! Grab your book, cup o’ joe and settle in on your shower floor!
I learned that having a warm floor in your bathroom is not the only location you can have in-floor heating. Did you know that if you remodel your home that a good tid-bit to keep in mind is that you have a prime chance to install a warming system, anywhere? I now want to remodel my entire house and install heated floors! Sorry hubby…I think working overtime is in your future! Also, if you have baseboard heating it’s a great time to rip them out, install floor warming under your new floors and save money by using floor warming as your sole heat source. Based on the US Energy Information Administration, using warming mats reduces your energy costs versus that of baseboard heating. Sign me up!
I was most impressed with myself when Simon and Brian were discussing the OHMS testing, AMP watts and voltage meters that I actually knew what they were talking about, well, at least I’ve heard about them and what they are used for. If you don’t want to blow up your circuits and still keep the kids happy watching Sponge Bob, when you install floor warming it has to be on a dedicated 20AMP circuit. Which means, if your washing machine is spinning away and you turn on your floor warming thermostat, you best be ready for unhappy kiddos and a load of wet clothes that didn’t finish the rinse cycle!
Along with instant roll out ready to go mats, I learned another method of matting that can be installed under your floor that seemed so easy, a caveman could do it! It’s a snappy blue color with little square like nobs with tracks (also called the membrane) in between is used to lay heating cable that stays in place when you trowel on your layer of thinset on top and then install your floating floor. I didn’t realize that installers had an issue with the cable coming up and shifting allowing for cold spots under the floor. This system seemed like the way to go if you want to increase or decrease the distance the heat radiates under the floor. You can space the wire within the tracks from one track to two tracks for a more dense heating area or space it out further to spread out the distance in which the heat radiates.
Several installers were at the training who gave some very insightful information about tricks to install the floor warming systems. If using a large tooth trowel, use caution not to trowel too deep into the thinset which created deep tracks. This causes air gaps that the heating mat beneath will allow heat to escape thus making for a colder floor, cold spots and makes the warming mat less efficient.After learning as much as I did about floor warming, it became clear to me, crystal clear…if I were to remodel my home or build a new home, I would definitely install in-floor heating! Thanks to the Flooring Association Northwest for a very informative demonstration on in-floor heating! I’m in!