Floor Heat: Wire vs. Mat? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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03-12-2010, 06:41 AM
What do most of the pro's prefer to use out there? We are trying to keep the floor height to a minimum, so I was thinking to install the wire directly on the subfloor and then SLC over it, and then tile over that. Are there any limitations to the type and size of tile that can go over it? I see where some put Ditra over it then tile, but we're using 2" marble hex, and that might be too small of tile for Ditra. And we really don't want to gain any more height, but we will if we have too. We want this to last forever.

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03-12-2010, 06:59 AM
i did a thermosoft mat system just recently. only adds 1/8" to the floor height and was incredibly easy to put down. just plan out EXACTLY how much you need.

03-12-2010, 02:29 PM
Really need to start with the structure of the floor. Is it stiff enough for tile or natural stone? If you're not sure, plug your numbers in HERE (http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/deflecto.pl) and tell us what you get. Also, tell us what the spacing of the floor joists are and whether you're planning on ceramic/porcelain or natural stone. :)

03-12-2010, 03:08 PM
Wire or mat?? You didn’t tell what’s the sq/ft you going to install, what floor?
Usually the wire is for bigger area and it’s also come in 240V.

you can find way more info on radiant floor HERE (http://www.flooringsupplyshop.com/blog/topics/radiant-floor-heating/)

but like dhagin say enter your number to calculator on the link

03-12-2010, 03:27 PM
I prefer the mat systems, but both the mats and wires can be used on a variety of floors. There are pros and cons to both systems, you can ask right here as most pro's and many DIYers have installed these sucessfully. And mat's are also available in 240v. HERE (http://www.warmlyyours.com/install/electric-floor-heating/faq/)'s just one of them. Another system worth investigating is Laticrete's (http://www.laticrete.com/contractors/products/floor_warming.aspx). If used with their SLC, no lath is needed making for a simpler install. :)

03-12-2010, 06:42 PM
I usually use the wires. I have used them in baths as small as 40 square feet in 110v and as large as 300 foot in 240v. I usually mount the wire to the subfloor, cover with lath and then slc. If a floor is "unacceptable" with deflecto, I will add second layer of plywood. I offer an anti-fracture membrane as an option on tile and highly encourage it on stone.

03-12-2010, 09:12 PM
Structure is not an issue. 2x10's spanning only 8 ft. The area to be heated is only about 50 sqft. I've done the wire with SLC before and it went well. It seems the wire would work better to get around toilets, pedestal sinks, and bathtubs. I just don't want to miss anything.

03-12-2010, 09:24 PM
gosubux, would you please put a first name in a permanent signature line for us to use? :)

If you're happy with the individual wire system, by all means use it. The only advantages I know of for the pre-matted systems is ease of installation. If that's not a factor for you, I don't see spending the extra money they require.

But then, I also can't see the advantage of wiring around pedestal sinks and terlits, neither. :shrug:

My opinion; worth price charged.

03-12-2010, 11:06 PM
My toes, or heels for that matter, don't ever go much past the front edge of where the toilet touches the tile......

Besides, in the middle of the night, I know where to stand....if my toes are cold, I'm too close and gunna make a mess!:D

03-13-2010, 04:12 PM
I just don't want any cold spots.

Thanks for your help.

03-13-2010, 04:53 PM
I typically specify "full coverage" for in-floor heat. Never fails, if you leave spots unheated, that's where someones feet will be... ;)

Don't forget to maintain minimum clearances to things... according to manufacturers install instructs.