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Looking for a reliable Radiant Heat Mat for installation under tile

artisanfarms | Posted in General Questions on

What brands, if any, have good reliability?  Ideally, I’d like to install 3×5 Radiant heat mats under the tile in two small bathrooms to warm and dry the floors adjacent to the tub/shower.  

Are there any brands to consider?  Any to avoid?

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Replies

  1. Patrick_OSullivan | | #1

    Is this a new install, or retrofit?

    If new, I recommend Schluter Ditra Heat.

    1. Expert Member
      Akos | | #2

      +1 on Schluter.

      Be sure you read the installation instruction and make sure the subs follow it to the T. There is also some testing and documentation you need to generate to get the full warranty, your electrician should be able to do it for a small fee while hooking it up.

      One item that helps with long term durability is making the floor temperature sensor replaceable instead of embedding it in thinset. What I have done is router a small groove in the subfloor where the sensor needs to go and place a 5/16" PEX pipe. The sensor can be placed through the pipe and can be easily replaced if needed without breaking up the tile. The other option is to install a couple of spare sensors.

      1. artisanfarms | | #4

        Thanks for the sensor installation tip. I like it. Relatively easy to do and it will provide some peace of mind.

  2. artisanfarms | | #3

    It's a new installation, and horror of horrors for many of the readers and posters here, I'm doing the work myself just as I have been doing for 40 odd years now.

    Thanks for the recommendation and second on Schluter. I will take a look at them.

    1. Patrick_OSullivan | | #6

      If it at all matters to you, the Mysa thermostat (https://shop-us.getmysa.com/products/mysa-in-floor) is compatible with Schluter cabling and sensors and natively integrates with Apple HomeKit (and I believe other smart home technologies).

      I use it with mine with no issues.

      1. artisanfarms | | #7

        Thanks. I wasn't too interested in the smart home technologies at first, but my kids are slowly dragging me into the present day.

  3. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #5

    +2 for the Schluter system. The temperature sensors are the weak spot, so it's common practice to install at least two of them. If you make one replaceable, that's even better. I've never tried putting in a replaceable sensor, maybe a short piece of copper tubing would allow for that? You'll get better thermal response that way compared to PEX, or just put a little piece of copper tubing where the sensor is with PEX the rest of the way.

    Pay attention to their cable routing instructions too. You want to ensure that your layout heats the floor evenly -- don't put too many passes of the wire in any one spot or you'll get a "hot spot" there.

    Bill

  4. onslow | | #8

    artisanfarms,

    Please be sure to at least use a water blocking base coat under your tile if you don't go with the Schluter system. RedGard is my go to, but others are available. While a warming mat may help speed up drying, be advised that similar to solar drive on brick or stone, heating will drive moisture down as well as up. The thinset tends to be especially thick when setting an electric mat under tile, which makes for a substantial reservoir under the tile. Grout does allow water down and up, tile does not. The total area you have to create drying will be a small fraction of the total area hiding under the tile. I would recommend a bath mat to catch the bulk of the water and just allow the heater to make things cozy. Repeated heavy splashings of water will likely over run the drying capacity of the grout lines. Silicone treatments are a good first defense, but they give up over time. If the area is small, it might be worth the expense and hassle of epoxy grout.

    1. artisanfarms | | #9

      Thanks for the comments. A bath mat directly under my feet sounds like a good idea.

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