Step-by-step one electric radiant heating mat installation. Do it once - do it right!
Enjoy for 30+ years!
1. Measure the room for floor tiles. You will need 10-20% more
than actual square footage of the floor since the tiles will be cut.
2. Measure the room for floor heating. OPEN 'walkable'
AREA ONLY. Not under cabinets, shower stalls, toilets, vanities etc. It will be
some 10-60% less than square footage of tiles to be ordered.
Two worst case scenarios to avoid at all
Ooops #1: Not enough tiles (and the store can't get
Ooops #2: Too much floor heating! It will need
to be swapped for a smaller unit.
3. Mark the outline of the future vanities, toilets, showers
etc. Standard cabinets or vanities are 22-24" deep. Toilet bowl base can
be anywhere from 9" to as much as 20" long, measured from the drain opening
on the floor towards the front of the bowl. Tip: the more expensive the toilet,
the longer the bowl will most likely be.
4. Get the RIGHT size mat. 120V? 240?
Getting one smaller than the available space is not a problem. Getting one too
big WILL BE A PROBLEM. Heating elements cannot overlap or be cut off.
5. Locate the convenient spot for the thermostat. It does not
need to be in the same room as it is going to sense the floor temperature based
on the floor temp. sensor reading. The sensor wire is 10 ft. long and can be
extended. The sensor is low voltage. Thermostat (sometimes called 'a floorstat')
is LINE VOLTAGE (110-120V or 208-240V). The mat (or mats) or a heating
cable is connected to the thermostat.
Follow the code (distance from water, GFCI protection,
dedicated circuit etc.)
After everything is done, the thermostat on the
wall will be the only visible part of the system. Everything is to be
hardwired, hidden from view and from tiny fingers. 100% SAFETY IS OUR #1
PRIORITY. For the manual thermostat consider GFCI protection. For
bathrooms and kitchens this is often a must. Our programmable thermostat is GFCI
6. Locate the spot where the wires from the mat(s) will go into
the wall to be connected to the thermostat. Thermostat floor temperature
sensor will go from the thermostat to where the mat(s) or a heating cable
7. To be sure that everything is as expected, check the mat(s)
resistance. Different size mat(s) or cables have different resistance. It ranges
from 16 Ohms to as much as 250 Ohms depending on the model and its voltage. Mats
(or cables) are voltage specific and need to be powered by appropriate
8. Cut the mat to accomodate the shape of the floor. NEVER cut
or nick the heating wire!
9. Install the mat on the floor. For MG mats (two connecting
wires) leave yourself a room for the return wire. MD mats have one connecting
wire but then the mat is thicker than MG models.
10. Maintain the distance between heating wires. 2" is best.
Heating wires cannot cross or otherwise be close together. NO MAT
11. Continue on untill you run out of the mat. For MG mats (two
connecting cords) it is time to loop it back to the thertmostat. Using the
narrow strip from the end of the mat with the heating wire attached is better
than extending the cold lead wire. You will need a room for it next to the
wall, so while installing, leave a few empty inches next to the
wall to use as a 'loop back' area at the end.
12. When satisfied with the layout, staple the mat's mesh to he
floor. DO NOT STAPLE THE HEATING WIRE. When going over 'backerboards'
or 'woderboards' use 1/4 in. staples. Longer staples will bend.
If installing over cement slab use hot gue gun.
Careful! THE HOT GLUE GUN GETS REALLY HOT!
13. Locate the spot for the thermostat sensor. The head of
the sensor sholud be 1.5-2" away from theating element of the
Now it's time to test again.
When OK - you can either tile right away or skimcoat the mat
with thinset and tile later.
Last but not least
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