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Unread 05-16-2011, 01:28 PM   #1
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Location: Chicago
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SLC, heating cables, and lath: should be lath be under or over heating cables?

Here is a question that seems to have two answers, but I would like to hear solid reasons for each answer--rather than "that's the way it's done".

When installing electric radiant heating cables over plywood and embedding them in SLC, most SLC specifies that lath (plastic or metal) is required. The question is whether the lath goes below or above the heating cables. What are the reasons for doing it one way or the other? Is one method better (stronger, less likely to delaminate) than the other? Or is just convenience or convention?

I myself have put the lath above the heating cables, as I remember being instructed to do it that way somewhere--but now I can't remember where I learned this, so now I'm wondering.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Unread 05-16-2011, 05:33 PM   #2
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Tim, it can be installed either way. Here's a little quote from TileGuyTodd's SLC and electric heat mat thread in the Liberry:

(note #4 plastic lathe can be installed first but we have found that on some models sensors can rise in the mix, putting lathe above which requires caution in stapling, eliminates this problem with some models)
Putting the lath down first reduces potential problems with damaging the heat mat. Putting the cable down first allows the lath to keep the cable and sensor tight to the subfloor. Pick your poison.
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Unread 05-16-2011, 06:04 PM   #3
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The metal lath can be quite sharp, so watch the cables, regardless of which side you install it on!
Jim DeBruycker
Not a pro, multiple Schluter Workshops (Schluterville and 2013 and 2014 at Schluter Headquarters), Mapei Training 2014, Laticrete Workshop 2014, Custom Building Products Workshop 2015, and Longtime Forum Participant.
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