Heated electric floors – luxury for any floor
Heated electric floors provides a warm and comfortable floor under tile, stone, laminate, wood and even carpet.
Today’s heated electric floors come in predominately four styles. The first are mat systems which have a warming wire attached to a mesh or fiber-type mat. Next is free wire or “cable” systems which utilize guides attached to the floor and then the wire is looped around the guides and spaced appropriately. There are also floor warming systems designed to be used under floating floor/carpeted areas. The newest systems are “film” which are ultra thin and can be installed under almost any flooring surface. All floor heat products can be installed with either a manual or programmable thermostat to regulate the heat output of the system.
The most common types of heated electric floors
Mat: Mat type floor warming systems are best used in square or rectangular areas. They are customizable by cutting through only the mat/mesh and turning the roll to cover the room. The wire may also be removed from the mesh and “free wired” in areas that would require special attention. They usually have a wattage output between 12-15 watts per square foot. Most systems come in either 120V or 240V depending on the area needed to be warmed. On average a 120V mat will cover up to 150 square feet on a single thermostat and 240V up to 300 square feet. Smaller sizes are available to accommodate smaller areas. Many floor heat companies provide kits that include everything you will need. Kits include the mat, thermostat, fault check tool, and step-by-step instructions.
Cable: Cable or “free wire” type systems work well with areas that are irregularly shaped. They have the flexibility to weave in and out of spaces while providing floor warming capabilities. These systems also come in both 120V and 240V and are very easy to install. To ensure a flat surface it is important to use a self-leveling product with cables systems.
Under Floating Floors: Floor heat has expanded its appeal to under floating floors like laminate and engineered wood . Under floating floor systems have a pad already incorporated in the product. Additional pads are available to fill in areas where floor heat is not installed.
Film: The newest under floor heating products in the United States are film systems. This type of floor heat has already been used overseas for some time. This system is appealing because it uses a very thin film. They can be installed under tile and floating floors. The thin material helps address height concerns from adjacent floors.
You can learn even more information about these specific products on manufacturers’ websites. Many companies provide user friendly “heat loss” and “operating cost” calculators on their sites. This information can be used in the decision making process of whether to install heated electric floors in your next project. As a remodeling contractor who has floor heat in his own personal master bath, I would never be without heated electric floors again. A customer will never say they wish they hadn’t put in floor heat, but many are sorry they didn’t.
Learn more about the products shown above on the following manufacturers’ websites.