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Old 11-12-2004, 12:59 PM   #1
Floor Tiler
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Radiant Floor Heat

I have been planning out a kitchen remodel for the past few months and must make a decision on floor heat. I know many hear have used the various electric mats/wires and tubes. I initially considered the tubes for my kitchen, but received a $4,300 installation cost (includes the pump for the boiler) and I still have not received the cost for a mud bed, which is recommended for this install.

Looking at a floor mats (Warmly Yours); the material costs are around $800. I have installed their product in my bathroom last year. It works great, but did not accomplish the radiant requirements I needed after removing the radiator. I now have to add an additional heat source. The plus side to this is that I know how to install over this product.

The flextherm product has been discussed often and some claim is can be a primary heat source (I am not fully convinced yet). Installation looks easy enough and cost is around the $800 range as well.

Some other factors to consider:

1. Space is about 150 square feet. Floor meets the deflecto requirements for ceramic tile, which I plan to install..
2. Space under the kitchen is a finished basement that is heated by a gas fireplace. However, the fireplace is only on when the space is occupied. It does get cold down there in the winter.
3. The house is currently heated by a boiler with radiators.
4. House was built in 1912 and insulation is not great. Ceiling height is 108”
5. Kitchen will be gutted and re-insulated, but give the wall construction, insulation will be limited to the 2x4 wall depth.
6. The existing radiator will be removed and capped. Will not be able to re-install at a later date.
7. I live in Minneapolis and it can get cold.

What would you install based on these factors; considering cost, ease of tile installation (I have poured SLC and tiled over an electric mat.)?

I know this is a tile site, but have seen floor heat discussed quite a bit. Thanks for any responses.

Jeff.
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Old 11-12-2004, 02:11 PM   #2
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if you cannt do a nail up hydronic system system becouse of a finished ceiling, then I would go with a Electric system.A wire system will let you run them at a closer loopto get more heat out of it then a mat.Try www.suntouch.net Thery offer all three types of systems.
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Old 11-12-2004, 02:19 PM   #3
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Whn you gut your kitchen, would you have a problem losing a little bit of space by putting up a layer of 2x2 or 2x4's in front of the existing 2x4's so you could insulate better?

As for electric radiant heating, if the space is well insulated, I think they do a decent job of heating the space, but if it's not well insulated, it probably either won't keep up or will cost an arm and a leg to operate or both. I'm just using it as an additional heat source only for foot-comfort in my kitchen and have FlexTherm spaced at 3", and there's times it's heating the whole level just because I keep the furnace fan on all the time so air is always circulating across it. It's probably not the best thing since it probably means it's on a lot more than it would otherwise be. At 2" spacing I'm sure it could do even better. But my house is very well insulated.

I recently found a less expensive alternative to FlexTherm, too... www.infloorheatingsystems.com

I'm about to do a 190 square foot space with it, total cost including thermostat came to just under $600. Of course, then there's the SLC cost. Order online for the best price; if you call, prices are a lot higher.
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Old 11-14-2004, 09:00 AM   #4
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Installation of heating mats

I am thinking of installing radiant heating mats under my ceramic tile in the basement. I was looking at Huheat but didn't find installing instructions. Do you know if I can install the heating mat directly over concrete? Do I need to put down some kind of moisture barrier? Is the tile installed directly over the heating mat? Any info would be appreciated.
Thanks, Diana
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Old 11-14-2004, 11:21 AM   #5
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Hi Diana, yes you can install the heating mat right over your slab. I like to cover the wires with a layer of thinset, some use SLC. The instructions on most units show tile being installed directly over the wires.

Do a search here and you will find more info or click on the Warmly Floor banner at the top of this page.
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Old 11-14-2004, 11:29 AM   #6
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Jeff,

First off let me say I'm sorry to hear that the WarmlyYours was not sufficient for you particular bathroom. For your kitchen, if you want certainty that the electric floor heating system will give you enough heat, WarmlyYours can now do a comprehensive heat loss calculation for you - free of charge, and this will tell you if electric floor heat can provide enough warmth for that particular room.

On a note about if Flextherm will give you more heat then WarmlyYours. The maximum allowed by the NEC (National Electricity Code) is 15 watts per square foot. This is what WarmlyYours Tempzone system is at, and also what Flextherm's is. (if you do the 2 inch spacing).

E3

Suntouch is at 12 watts per square foot for their mat system, so if WarmlyYours or Flextherm can't heat the space, then Suntouch definitely won't be able to.

Doug,

The infloorheatingsystem is a Suntouch private label site. Suntouch pretty much copied the flextherm system totally and now sell it at a cheaper price. All's fair in business I guess. These guys now sell the cable and kits for pretty cheap prices. The only problem I would see in buying from a secondary source is there is a chance that they won't be able to give you the same answers or support as a manufacturer would. And personally I think the fact they will charge you more to talk to them is an indication of the level of service they will give you down the road.

Guest,

Nuheat can be installed directly on the concrete slab, but if you would need a moisture barrier anyway you should put one down, and then install the Nuheat on top. Click the link below (or up the top) for info on how to install the WarmlyYours system. I don't have it with me now, but we also have a full list of compatible moisture barriers, and anti-crack membranes available if you call.

I'm sure you guys must all think I talk a lot, I really don't - well maybe
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Old 11-14-2004, 12:40 PM   #7
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How can I get the heat loss calcuation completed. Do you have a link to your web site I can use?
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Old 11-14-2004, 07:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WadeJ
Jeff,

Doug,

The infloorheatingsystem is a Suntouch private label site. Suntouch pretty much copied the flextherm system totally and now sell it at a cheaper price. All's fair in business I guess. These guys now sell the cable and kits for pretty cheap prices. The only problem I would see in buying from a secondary source is there is a chance that they won't be able to give you the same answers or support as a manufacturer would. And personally I think the fact they will charge you more to talk to them is an indication of the level of service they will give you down the road.
Wade,

A little touchy here aren't you??? Why jump to a conclusion that Watts/ Suntouch won't give you the support before you know that they won't. I know that you pay to have your banner on this site but let your product do the talking before you do. If Watts/Suntouch doesn't give the support for the infloorheatingsystems I'm sure people on this forum will let everybody know.

As you say all'fair in business and if Watts/Suntouch is able to market and sell at a lower price then that's business. You do point out that theirs is only 12 watts vs your 15 so that should be enough said.
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Old 11-14-2004, 10:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitterpat
Wade,

A little touchy here aren't you??? Why jump to a conclusion that Watts/ Suntouch won't give you the support before you know that they won't. I know that you pay to have your banner on this site but let your product do the talking before you do. If Watts/Suntouch doesn't give the support for the infloorheatingsystems I'm sure people on this forum will let everybody know.

As you say all'fair in business and if Watts/Suntouch is able to market and sell at a lower price then that's business. You do point out that theirs is only 12 watts vs your 15 so that should be enough said.
Pat
MasterHeat (infloorheatingsystems.com) is 10, 12.5 or 15 watts per square foot, depending on the spacing you use (2", 2 1/2" or 3").

I don't really see where "support" for this sort of product could possibly warrant double or triple the cost. What exactly is there to support, and to what extent would one think a company selling this stuff wouldn't support it?

"Umm, I can't tell, do I hook up the white wire to the white wire?" "These instructions are really confusing, do you really want me to cover all this stuff with thinset or SLC; I just don't get it". Support? Or are you talking about planning a layout? As if that's not something a DIYer could ever do themselves? Heck, for 1/2 the price difference, I'd plot layouts for people, as I'm sure would hundreds of people around the country.

I would consider such non-specific arguments about support being "worth the extra money" to be akin to crying wolf or banging drums to get people worked up over something never clearly identified to coerce them into paying a premium.

Hey everyone: better buy that tile at full retail or you'll lose out on "support;" if I paid $1600 more for this stuff because of "support" I better have an installer fly out to me to install it for me and they better fly me to some Caribbean Island while it's being installed, because the markup I continue to see on these heating mats is moving from ridiculous to absolutely absurd.
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Old 11-15-2004, 08:58 AM   #10
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Guys,

Jeff, the link to the Heat loss form is

http://www.warmlyyours.com/homeowner...tlosscalc.aspx (make sure you also click the link below so John get's his money).

On the watts per square foot. The Suntouch rolls are only 12 watts, their Warm Wire can be spaced to be at 15 watts per square foot - but then we get back to the wire vs roll discussion that we have had before.

Pat, I guess you're right I shouldn't jump to conclusions that just because it's a private label they won't give you the support that you need. I rushed into that conclusion. I guess we'll find out how they go and if they can sustain the cheaper prices.

Doug, It's obvious that these product need support. Otherwise there wouldn't be so many questions to our forum or to this one. If someone knows what they are doing and reads the instructions and doesn't mess up the install, then they work fine. But when something goes wrong, do you want to be left by yourself. We work with installers that have been doing our system for years, and there is still the occasional mistake. Only last week, I flew to North Carolina to trouble shoot a floor that we couldn't figure out over the phone. We got there, worked out what went wrong and now can let the tile guy and the electrician fix it.

When it's all said and done guys, you use what you're comfortable using. If experience allows you to go it alone and get a cheaper price, go for your life. If your a first timer and want help along the way, then find someone who will offer you the support that you need.

Wade J
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Old 11-15-2004, 10:19 AM   #11
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Hey, I want you guys to quit beating up on our product rep.

Seriously, I asked Wade to comment on this thread. He knows his stuff. If you really want to get into a technical argument or a proprietary one, do it in the Hangout, not here.
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Old 11-15-2004, 06:50 PM   #12
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Doug obviously has superior DIYer skills and can manage on his own.

That does not mean everyone can Doug.
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Old 11-15-2004, 07:17 PM   #13
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Thanks Wade,

We get several professionals and DIYers who value yours and other professionals noncompensated public assistance.

Thanks again.

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Old 11-15-2004, 11:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flatfloor
Doug obviously has superior DIYer skills and can manage on his own.

That does not mean everyone can Doug.
I do understand that; however it should be noted that any DIYer here is going to get a decent load of assistance, no matter what they buy, where they buy it, or what level of support is promised when they buy it. I'd bet a good number of people never bother trying to call a manufacturer or dealer for advice when they have a resource like this forum. I can't fathom the instructions I've had to use (provided by the manufacturer) not being clear enough for most anyone, though -- even FlexTherm's which were pretty barebones/minimal. I think a lot of that also ends up being "hand holding" as in "yes, you really do only have to do what it says in the instructions" because people think it shoul dbe more complicated. But that's me, I guess.

How many times have the people giving advice here ended up telling some poor soul who got "professional advice" they really have to rip everything up and start all over?

Advice not necessarily worth price charged.
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Old 11-16-2004, 10:00 AM   #15
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Doug,

I for one am happy you hang around. You've been a great help on many occassions. I just can't have you beating up on our reps. They're fragile, especially the ones who pay us money.
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