Installing Underfloor Heating - Levelling a floor prior to tiling
Underfloor heating has now been in our homes for a few years and has made a big impact on the sales of ceramic tiles. Some people go for under floor heating in the form of pipe work laid under the concrete / screed with hot water running through it. This method is favoured by those people that are building a new house or having a major renovation project.
Another type of heating that is most common and preferred, is the electric cable heating system.
This type can be incorporated under floor tiles (ceramic, porcelain, natural stone, quarry, terrazzo and the like), wood, carpet and mirror. Heated mirrors are now also available which will reduce condensation on it and is great in the bathroom environment.
Although under floor heaters are easy to install, on completion, will need to be inspected by a qualified electrician. If you need to install under floor heating on to a screeded floor prior to tiling, this is what to do.
- Lay on the cable following the manufacture's advice and test for faults. Make sure the cable is secured on to the floor before next step.
- Apply a latex based levelling compound up to the cable height.
- Before fully cured apply another coat of levelling compound. This layer protects the cable during tile installation (lifting and re-laying of some tiles). It also allows the carrying out of safer repairs to the tiling if ever needed. It is also a more appropriate way to tile as the thickness of tile adhesive coverage is very important as too much adhesive will mean a weaker floor.
- Retest the cable for faults.
- Tile floor as per usual making sure to use the appropriate fixing material according to tile and substrate. Make sure to use a flexible tile adhesive, possibly with added plasticiser. One that I have used in the past is Bal Single Part Flexible with added Bal AD1.
On completion of the tiling allow a minimum of 2 weeks before using the heating making sure you follow the adhesive manufacture's instructions for the gradual increasing of the temperature on a daily basis until the material has finally cured.
Enjoy your warm floor.
Please note: Tile Master assumes no liability for any problems and/or damage of any kind arising from above guidance. Do this at your own risk.
Tiling a kitchen splashback