Do I need to put any sort of layer over the wires? Thinking through it,
I would figure that using a notched trowel over the wires would be a
pain. Is it? Or is there a protective sheet or something you put
between the wires and the thinset?
Any other feedback on installing this system?
Yes, the wires make it a little more difficult, but as long as you're
careful you should be OK. You put nothing over them, but the thinset
will have to be pretty thick (3/8"). The wires are then imbedded in
the thinset. I have heard of people running a second temp sensor into
the floor in case the first one fails, but I did not do this.
The tiles will be cool within 1" of the edge of the wires, so make sure
you think about this before cheating by not putting wires where they
should be (think about where your feet are when you go #1 for example).
I put a layer of thinset over the wires. I thought it would be very
difficult to use a trowel with the wires there. I didn't want to back
butter the tiles wither that would be way too messy. You can use the
top of the cable supports as a guide for the thin set. I also had to
use some leveling compound in areas to bake the floor level.
Little off topic of what you were asking, but have you come up with a
particular manufacture and make of what you are in stalling?
we are thinking about puting these in too, and just researching.
Warm Tiles was available at Menards and was on sale when I purchased
it. Its also one of the lower cost systems I looked at. Doing it
again, I'm not sure I'd use the Warm Tiles system. Yes it was one of
the least costly systems, but it was kind of a pain to get the wires to
stay in the hold downs. Other systems come in pre manufactured mats
that are placed on the floor. I went to one site that had a nice
program where you inputed your room size, location of fixtures and
within a day or so, they give you a design and a cost estimate.
It was also a little difficult with the Warm Tiles system to estimating
the loop locations and spacing. You get a spool of cable and you
"loop" the cable into the floor hold downs. I wanted to make sure that
all the heating cable was in the floor and I had good coverage, so I
had to redo the last of the two loops several times to get all of the
cable in the floor.
I used SunTouch in my bathroom, been working great for the past couple
years. The wires are weaved into a plastic mat that can be rolled onto the
Re the OPs original question, the wires (or mat) sits right in the thinset.
It is a bit of a pain to keep the trowel from getting caught on the mat
wires and plastic grid. I laid down 4" octagonal tiles over the mat with
1" accent pieces and I kept having to play with the accent tiles because
they wanted to sink into the overly-thick thinset. If you were dealing with
larger tiles and a simple tile pattern the job would be a lot easier.
I have a very small area to do, master bath. It is the furthest from
the furnace, and is located over an unheated garage. They orignally
installed a couple of feet of ebh but I don't like that. The idea of
having the tile heat up for your feet to touch leaving the shower
sounds soooooo nice.
So, not doing a big area, I might have to go with a more expensive
just lay down option. I'm guessing after I remove the existing
tile, I'll be in no mood to spend time figuring things out.
BTW, just a side note, makesure your tile heaters are gfci protected.
This could be at the thermistat or on the breaker, but that I remember
something mentioned in the nec about it. If you want, I can check for
the specific reference.
tom @ www.CarFleaMarket.com
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