I am installing an electric heated floor on top of a concrete pad in a basement which ceramic tiles will then be placed overtop. I have been told that I should insulate the heating floor system from the concrete pad to prevent heat loss down into the pad and encourage it to move up into the tiles. A couple options considered are:
1. Install 1/4 inch cork by thin-setting it to the concrete pad, then installing the heating system by fastening it to the concrete pad (through the cork), followed by applying a self-leveling mortar over the cork and heating system and finally tiling over top that.
2. Lay down a vapour barrier overtop the concrete pad, then fasten 3/4 inch plywood using a Ramset to the concrete pad (through the vapor barrier), then install the heating system to the plywood, followed by applying the self-leveling mortar over top the heating system and plywood and finally installing the tiles over top that.
Does one system sound better then the other? Any suggestions?
You don't need to go through any of that trouble. The heat generated from the heating pads will not be lost into the concrete. Heat is radiated in all directions. There should be a thermostat included with your in floor heating unit along with a temperature probe. Once the probe reaches the desired temperature the heating element will shut off. The most important thing about in-floor heating is to make sure the tiles are positioned as close to the heating pad as possible. What this means is make sure you do any leveling to the floor before setting the heating mat, not after wards.
Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.Find your home service pro