Electric Floor Warming 101

A great way to add extra comfort to your home is with an electric floor warming system. Not only does stepping onto a warm tiled floor feel great, but also, electric floor warming systems can act as a great supplement to your existing heat source. This is particularly helpful in bathrooms or other tiled areas – especially those located in cold parts of the house (basements, corners of the house, above garages, etc.).

Over the years I’ve installed heated floors in bathrooms, laundry rooms, mudrooms and entryways, and the results have always been well-appreciated.

Materials & Installation

If you’re considering an electric floor warming system for your own project, I recommend using DITRA-HEAT by Schluter Systems, which is what I use. The biggest reason I use it is because it incorporates uncoupling technology to ensure floors aren’t susceptible to cracks. But also, a great benefit is that the cables can be placed wherever heat is desired so that you can completely customize it for your room (i.e., – you can place it in areas where people will be walking).

As far as installation goes, traditionally, the DITRA-HEAT membrane has required thin-set both to install the membrane and then the tile on top, however Schluter has just launched a peel and stick membrane, which is great news for anyone who installs the product as often as I do. The new peel and stick floor warming membranes offer the same benefits as the original DITRA-HEAT and DITRA-HEAT-DUO but these -PS versions feature a self-adhesive backing so no thin-set is required during the membrane installation. (Although it’s important to note that the thin-set is still required to install tiles on top of the membranes). This means less mess, fewer tools required, and a much faster installation. This is good news for installers and homeowners alike!

Flooring Types

If you’ve never had this type of system before, it’s important to make sure you’re using the right flooring on top of the membrane. Many flooring materials can be used, but some definitely work better than others. Electric floor warming systems are best covered by ceramic, porcelain, or natural stone tiles, which are excellent temperature conductors. Engineered wood, vinyl, and laminate can also be used but they come with temperature limitations, so do your research before choosing your flooring or work with an experienced installer who can advise you.

The Verdict

Electric floor warming systems can be a great addition to certain areas of your home. They provide a smooth, even heat; they work well with traditional bathroom flooring materials; they can act as a great supplement to an existing heat source; and they add a sense of luxury and comfort. And with the new peel and stick membrane from Schluter, installation is easier than ever before.

For more information about DITRA-HEAT, including the brand NEW DITRA-HEAT-PS and DITRA-HEAT-DUO-PS, please visit www.Schluter.ca.

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