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Old 12-20-2012, 08:53 AM   #1
Raymondo
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Radiant heat wait time

I know that the manufacturers say to wait 28 days before turning on an electric radiant heat system, but does everybody actually do that? I installed one 14 days ago for a client, and they are dying to turn it on before Christmas. The house is otherwise kept around 70 and the floor in question is over the basement which is also heated.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:35 AM   #2
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If the manufacturer calls for a specific wait time, Casey, why would you be concerned with how long other installers wait? Seriously.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:14 AM   #3
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Hi Casey,

Which system? All manufacturers are not alike, especially in the floor heat business.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:25 PM   #4
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I always do Casey. The longer you hang out here, the more you see new ways that a floor can fail. Things like self leveler releasing from concrete and sounding like gunshot in the middle of the night. Or porcelian tile that releases almost clean from thinset after a couple days, but a month later has to be chiseled out in tiny pieces because it's cured.
Radiant heat puts so much expansion/contraction stress on a floor that it is the one thing you want to give every single tiny bit of extra chance for sucess.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:22 PM   #5
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Thanks Tom. Sounds like sage advice.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:57 PM   #6
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Greetings;

May depend on the heat the system puts out ultimately. Cement products in general terms cure is 28 days. Most manufactures recomend a minimum of 10 days cure time before usage. It is possible to weaken the mortars and cementious grout if fired up early. It would be wise to check the system briefly before materials set completely.


Good luck with your project.

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Old 12-29-2012, 06:55 AM   #7
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My understanding is the 28 days cure time is based on 4" concrete, and with most electric radiant heat tile floors being less than an inch, we insist on a 7-10 day minimum wait.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:35 AM   #8
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How fast are you working? If you set the heat in SLC or thinset, then tile the walls, then tile the floor then grout, throw in some paint and finish surfaces, it would be two weeks or so.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:53 AM   #9
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Guys,
I wish someone representing one of the floor heat companies would chime in on this one. I know that it is possible for the floor heat system to speed the drying time of the thin set, BUT, I can't see how it would REALLY compromise the ability and bond . Some of the installers here do exterior installs in 100 degree weather. That tile will be heated far higher than a 12 watts per foot floor heat?
I understand my example is apples to oranges but the thought behind it is the same. Does it really have a negative impact on the tile installation if you turn the floor heat on right away? ( remember, the floor heat cycles so we are not talking constant heat )
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:45 AM   #10
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Hi guys, Wally here Product Manager from Nuheat. The recommended wait time is based on the cure time of self-levellers or thinsets. We simply do not want the heat to dry the compound quicker than it was designed and potentially affect the bond strength. If the thinset/SLU manufacturer has a shorter cure time, then feel free to turn the heating system on. The cure time can be found on the bag or on the manufacturers website.

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Old 12-29-2012, 02:19 PM   #11
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Brian, it's not just the (very delicate) SLC-to-concrete bond, but also the thinset bonding to slippery porcelain tile above. Look at all your sheer bond strength ratings for your tile mortars, they're based on a 28 day cure for the thinset. If you fire up the floor heat it drives out the moisture and stops or greatly reduces the curing process, permanently reducing your sheer bond strength to less than spec for the life of the floor; plus at the same time puts a very heavy expansion/contraction strain on the floor before it's cured... double whammy.
Concrete or SLC thickness is directly proportional to "drying" (which is slower than curing), but thickness is not so proportional to curing; that is more a function of time, not so much to thickness; which is why both 4" concrete slabs and 1/8" thick of tile mortar are both usually judged on 28 day cure times.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:29 PM   #12
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Welcome aboard, Wally. I hope you'll stick around.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:13 PM   #13
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Thinset shears can be done at 7, 14, 21, and 28 days for various tests. The difference between 21 and 28 is usually not that great. As others have mentioned, you turn the system on and the cure will stop shortly thereafter.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:04 AM   #14
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Wait for the suggested cure time.

We here at WarmlyYours always recommend turning the heating system on AFTER the SLC or thinset cures. The cure time is dependent on the recommendations of the company that makes the SLC or thinset.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:09 PM   #15
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Thanks Dave,Wally, and Scott for chiming in on this. I respect your opinions
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