If you are thinking about installing radiant underfloor heating, you should make sure you avoid these common mistakes. 

Selecting the Wrong Flooring Material 

Many types of flooring can be used over underfloor heating systems, but only a few options will efficiently distribute the heat from the flooring system into your home. Laminate and vinyl flooring can become discolored at high heats, so they should not be used in conjunction with underfloor heating. 

Wood flooring can be installed over underfloor heating, but there is a slight potential for warping over years and most woods do not transfer heat efficiently to the entire room. Similarly, carpet works as an insulator, so it will make the system more expensive to use and less effective for heating. 

Ceramic, porcelain, or stone tile are all excellent choices for flooring with an underfloor heating system beneath it. They conduct heat, allowing the heat to spread evenly over your floor. Thicker tiles will also maintain a higher temperature for longer, even after your system is turned off. As a bonus, in the summer, tile flooring will retain a cool, refreshing feeling throughout the day. If you would like to use tile for your radiant underfloor heating, then head on over to a tile store near you.

Not Using Enough Tile Adhesive or Scree

Tile should be installed over a flat surface. If it is installed over an uneven surface, the tile can crack when pressure is applied. 

Hydronic radiant heating utilizes PEX tubing to move hot water beneath your floor. Since the tubing is generally 3/8" thick, it needs to either be installed along your subfloor or installed in an even layer of concrete. The concrete should dry for at least 24 hours before you begin the installation of new tile. 

Electric radiant heating uses thin pads with electrical wire. These pads are so thin that you can unroll them directly beneath the tile. However, you should use a liberal amount of tile adhesive to ensure there are not any points of pressure on the bottom of the tile. If installing tile directly over a heating pad, you may want to invest in thicker, higher quality tile, which can withstand greater force without cracking. 

Failing to Prepare for the Added Floor Height

The additional floor height for an electrical underfloor heating system is minimal, but a PEX hydronic system can add an additional inch to your floor. This is not a problem if you are redoing an entire floor of a house or are installing the system in a new home. However, if you are installing it in a single room, you should be aware that there will be a slight step leading to areas that do not have underfloor heating. If you cannot accommodate a step in your home, you should consider electric underfloor heating for small areas in your home. 

Spreading the Heating Mechanism Out Over Too Much Space 

Underfloor heating systems should be evenly spaced throughout the entire room, and the system should be powerful enough to heat the space between each PEX pipe in a hydronic system or each wire in an electrical system. This means you need to calculate the heat loss of your home and install a system that can efficiently heat your home, making sure you evenly space the system over the entire floor. 

Another problem is installing too much piping, which will result in an overheated room and a higher installation cost. 

Relying On Electric Heating as a Sole Heating Source

Electric underfloor heating can be expensive for large areas. It is best to use as to increase your comfort while relying on an alternative heating method to maintain your overall home temperature. However, a hydronic system can be used as your main heating system, especially if it is installed in a concrete slab that will hold the heat over time. 

Underfloor heating can be a comfortable, efficient form of heating, but only if you install the system properly. 

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