Seeking advice on electric heat under tile [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

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aambrose
01-29-2003, 10:16 PM
I've done a search on this topic and a lot of people have talked about NUHEAT and Warmly Yours. Has anyone ever installed Warm Tiles brand electric heat under tile? If so, how'd it go. Any opinions on this brand? Here's a link to their web site:
http://www.warmtiles.com/
Thank you!

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Tony A
01-29-2003, 10:18 PM
The above posting was done by me. I didn't realize I wasn't logged in. :bang:

Bri
01-29-2003, 10:52 PM
Hi
If you check out this post, you'll notice that the same heating cables were used on this Job.

http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?threadid=4600

dswallow
01-30-2003, 04:41 AM
I'm using a similar product from FlexTherm (http://www.flextherm.com/). Total cost for enough for 150 square feet including programmable thermostat was $577.99 plus shipping from MasterHot (http://www.masterhot.com/).

There are some pictures of the stuff getting installed then the SLC getting poured (page 4 of the thread) over it in this thread: http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?threadid=3710&perpage=15&pagenumber=3

It took 13 bags of SLC, running $324.87+tax.

I just started putting down the tile tonight, and it's going to be 28 days after that's done before I can turn it on (mortar has to fully cure) and see how it works, though I have run it when it was bare and it warmed up pretty nicely.

tileguytodd
01-30-2003, 06:53 AM
Good show Doug. Flextherm is what we carry at the shop. Great product. I just recently did a pour over another heating type cable.it doesnt really matter too much which you use the SLC work is the easiest way to go it seems.

Tony A
01-30-2003, 11:11 AM
Thanks everyone! I'm starting to get addicted to all the great info on this forum! :drool2:

I never saw a precise definition for SLC but from what I gathered by reading the threads, I'm guessing this stands for self leveling compound? :confused:

Great pics Doug! :nod: And I loved the details that accompanied them! I'm definitely going to refer to these threads once I start my project hopefully in 2-3 months.

I noticed in Doug's pics that the heating wires were installed on top of (forgive me for the terminology :uhh: ) Durock or some kind of CBU. I had always thought this was how it should be done, but I've seen installation documents where they installed the wire on top of the plywood subfloor then used thinset to embed the wires. I'm assuming Doug's way is the way to do it. I will be installing this heating in our master bath and covering approximately 66 sq. ft.

Does anyone recommend one brand over another for the heating method? NUHEAT, Warm Tiles, FlexTherm, MasterHot???

Doug,
I see you are a software engineer. I work for the State of Illinois and write PC applications. What type of software do you write? Just curious.

Thank you!

flatfloor
01-30-2003, 11:52 AM
http://johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?threadid=5040

This was posted within minutes of yours.

Rob Z
01-30-2003, 05:10 PM
Hi Tony

I use Nuheat because it is quick and easy to install, and causes fewer problems when setting tile than the other brands I researched. The only thing to be careful of when installing Nuheat is to be sure the floor under the leads is ground down a small amount. For example, for the mat I just installed, I used a grinder to cut out about 1/8" of the mud bed so the thick leads would not stick up too far and cause lippage in the tile.

Whichever brand you use, you'll love having your feet warm!

dswallow
01-30-2003, 06:28 PM
Originally posted by Tony A
I noticed in Doug's pics that the heating wires were installed on top of (forgive me for the terminology :uhh: ) Durock or some kind of CBU. I had always thought this was how it should be done, but I've seen installation documents where they installed the wire on top of the plywood subfloor then used thinset to embed the wires. I'm assuming Doug's way is the way to do it. I will be installing this heating in our master bath and covering approximately 66 sq. ft.

FlexTherm's instructions suggest you could avoid using SLC and just have the wires in the thinset that's between the tile and the underlayment. However, they do mention it for areas only 50 square feet or less. I think the reasoning is that in a small area, getting all the tile level isn't that hard even if you have to use a bit more thinset to cover the wires, but in a larger area, it can be troublesome.

If some brand suggests installing the tile using thinset over the heating wires over plywood, avoid it. Tiles do not get thinsetted over plywood, if you want them to stay on your floor. :)

Originally posted by Tony A
Does anyone recommend one brand over another for the heating method? NUHEAT, Warm Tiles, FlexTherm, MasterHot???

MasterHot is just a reseller of FlexTherm product. :)

The thermostat with Warm Tiles looks rather clunky to me... I mean, this is the 21st century and they have a KNOB and no temperature display and it needs some specially modified wall box too?

I don't think radiant heating is rocket science, so buy what looks good that has a good price.

Originally posted by Tony A
Doug,
I see you are a software engineer. I work for the State of Illinois and write PC applications. What type of software do you write? Just curious.

Virtual reality motion platform arcade games. Flight simulation, etc. Primarily/theoretically... in reality just about everything and anything as the need arises. :)

Tony A
01-30-2003, 10:47 PM
Oh man!!! Forget the tile stuff for the moment! I almost fell out of my chair when I read what kind of software you work with! :drool2: :drool2: :drool2:

I have always been extremely interested in that stuff since my first encounter with a computer around age 12 but just don't have the proper training/education to do that stuff. I write PC applications for users within our department. Mostly database information systems. You know, the really cool screen displays and report layouts! To add to my embarassment, most of our systems are still DOS applications! :crap: I'm envious man!

Back to the tile...I had the same feelings about the Warm Tiles thermostat - kinda cheapie. But I visited our local Menards (Midwest version of Lowes) store and I saw that they have an updated thermostat that looks much better. I'm still leaning toward the FlexTherm. Any idea where I could buy this and any "off-the-top-of-your-head" guesses at a price for something to cover approx. 66 sq. ft. and a nice thermostat? Thanks!

dswallow
01-30-2003, 11:08 PM
From MasterHot (http://www.masterhot.com/) (an online FlexTherm reseller), click on "Price List" in the upper right corner to order:


Option 1, 2" spacing (typically for bathrooms, entrances, solariums), 12watts/square foot, 90 degrees fahrenheit max temperature:

(1) 120P70C105, 420 feet Heating cable, 120V, $301.75
(2) G2, Gages, 2" spacing, $17.42
(1) LS120P, Programmable thermostat, $157.25

TOTAL: $476.42 + shipping


Option 2, 3" spacing (typically for kitchens, bedrooms, family rooms), 8watts/square foot, 82 degrees fahrenheit max temperature:

(1) 120P47C70, 282 feet Heating cable, 120V, $237.15
(2) G3, Gages, 3" spacing, $17.42
(1) LS120P, Programmable thermostat, $157.25

TOTAL: $411.82 + shipping

Note that I used 70 square feet to avoid having two heating cables so you'd need to run the cable slightly closer than the 2" or 3" spacing so you use up all the cable under the floor. You could use two cables to get exactly 66 square feet, but it'd cost more money since there's a bit of a premium on each separate cable. Or you could do the opposite, use a slightly shorter cable (for 62 square feet) and spread it out slightly more (not a bad option if you want the 2" spacing)

Tony A
01-31-2003, 12:46 PM
Talk about helpful! Thanks for doing that homework for me Doug! I read the entire MasterHot (http://www.masterhot.com/) web site and you were right on the money with everything! I may be able to use the 372 feet - 744 watts cable to cover 62 sq. ft. or I could use the 420 feet - 840 watts cable since I have some buffer zones. I'll have to do a detailed drawing for the 2" spacing to see for sure.

Did you install yours on top of cement boards?
Also, I couldnt find any detailed information on the programmable thermostat. Do you know where I could obtain that information?

Thanks again! :bow:

dswallow
01-31-2003, 01:25 PM
My original plan didn't include heated floors; that was added when Bud brought it to my attention in another posting (unrelated to my remodeling), and it grabbed my attention when I found out how inexpensive it was. At that point, I already had the Hardibacker installed, so the wire went on top of it, and SLC over it. I'd suspect that would be the same way I'd do it even if I'd known in advance.

It's rather funny to think what someone will be seeing at some future time when they decide to remodel (I've put in enough work on that kitchen; as far as I'm concerned that kitchen is permanent)... 5/8" plywood, 1/2" plywood with screws and nails everywhere, thinset, 1/4" Hardibacker with a whole lotta screws, heating wire in 1/2" SLC, thinset, and finally 3/8" granite tile & grout. I feel like I've made some bizarre sub sandwich for my kitchen floor. And the SLC does not look like it will come up without a fight!

And then talk about weight... 1700 pounds of tile, 350 pounds of thinset, 650 pounds of SLC, 400 pounds of Hardibacker (I'm guessing... 19 sheets less some pieces), at least that much in plywood.

I'll look through the info on the thermostat and post some details tonight. I don't really remember it completely, so if I said anything about it right now, I'd probably get something wrong.

Wiring is easy, though. Bring 120volts to the electrical box where the thermostat will be connecting it to the thermostat line input, the radiant wire has about 7 feet of non-heated wire on each end so you either run it to an electrical box near the floor and then run another wire from there connecting it to the thermostat, or wire to the box with the thermostat directly if it can reach, and connect it to the thermostat. The temperature sensor wire goes to the thermostat.

Tony A
01-31-2003, 01:52 PM
I forget what the subfloor thickness is supposed to be for ceramic tile. Our builder is using 3/4" T&G plywood with wood I's for the joists. Any comments on that as far as weight goes?

Also, thanks again for your efforts!