"To spot the expert, pick the one who predicts the job will take the longest and cost the most."
Murphy's Technology Law #27.
As the peculiar saying about Murphy's Laws
goes: "beware; Murphy never sleeps".
Careful deliberation and detailed planning are often necessary
before you decide to undertake any home-improvement project or simply to avoid
troubles. However, the decision to install new flooring is usually an easy
one: the old floor is either so badly worn or outdated that it simply must be
replaced. Sometimes even though surface is still "almost OK" the
underflooring is inadequate, broken in places of heavy traffic and with cracks
showing on the surface. This not only goes against the easthetics but can create
a tripping hazard. (Remember Murphy??)
You then must decide on what type of floor to install. The
basic choices are: - carpet, - resilient vinyl (sheet or tiles), -
hardwood, - engineered "wood-like" type such us Pergo or similar - ceramic
Above must be compared against the things like the project
preliminary budget as well as to allowable height (thickness) of the new
The type of flooring chosen often depends
on the room and its designation. A basement converted into recreational room
most likely will not get the wood. A bedroom, for example, is usually redone
with carpet or hardwood. Kitchen floors are often covered with vinyl or ceramic
tile. Bathroom - most likely not parquet but ceramic tiles.
For our particular installation the decision was complicated by
the fact that the new flooring had to cover four distinct, but connected living
areas: - a foyer, hallway, breakfast nook and the large kitchen.
We chose to install glazed ceramic tile.
When compared with other flooring materials - the choice of
colors and styles was like 100 times better than any other types of flooring and
prices were practically the best. For this particular application the carpet
was out of the question. Because of questions in regards to carpets
synthetic materials of sometimes questionable origins, glues, dyes and
microfiber particles floating in the air recently we did not wanted anything to
do with carpets.
The carpets are simply out. Stone, wood and ceramics are
The tile selected were high performance large
18x18-in. tile. Originally engineered for commercial applications such as
shopping malls and hotel lobbies it had a distinct Southern style and was an
ideal choice for this home's high-traffic areas. Its super durable matte-glaze
surface is slip, stain and scratch-resistant. We had to decide between two
styles, one resembling
granite and the other veined marble. The choice
here was the darker sand-colored granite like surface called
Andean Light Shade. It costs about $6.50 per sq. ft.
At this stage the decision was made to have approx. 65% of the
floor heated with Elektra radiant heating fiberglass dual side powered 120V
mats. Out of 2 types available 9 Watts/sq.ft. was chosen since the whole area
was more than 200 sq.ft. - 65% of coverage will most likely produce adequate
Matching line-voltage thermostat chosen was Denmark made
Elektra UCCG model with 10 ft. long floor temperature sensor.
THE FIBERGLASS MESH CAN BE CUT, NEVER THE HEATING COIL!
THE DISTANCE BETWEEN HEATING COILS!
is NOT OK:
IS THE ABSOLUTE MININUM. 2"-3" IS BEST.
remember: Electricity can be deadly and wiring done incorrectly can kill and
start deadly and destructive fires even when "just replacing one small
ARE DEALING WITH LINE VOLTAGE, not low voltage!
EVER attempt to work or even touch the inside of the electrical components
without being 100% sure that the power is
you are not an electrcian and if you have the slightest doubt about your wiring
ability, please contact a licensed electrician and/or repairman before
doing any diagnosis, repairs or installations. The products shown here
are deemed SAFE and sound by various testing authorities but the wiring
process can only be SAFE when done with safety precautions. Please
read manuals and/or ask pros when not sure. Most of the simple
installations shown here can be done by yourself or you can have someone
qualified do it for you and THEN have the electrician check it and connect it to