DIY Network

How to Install a Floor Heating System

Use these step-by-step instructions from the Bathroom Renovations team and learn how to install a floor heating system that'll keep everyone's toes toasty.

More in Electrical

  • Time

    Two Days

  • Price Range

    $2,500 - $5,000

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Cut and Place the Cement Board

Cut the cement board to size. Place the cement board on the subfloor.

Use a screw gun to drive screws into the cement board every 8".

cut and place cement board

Step 2: Connect the Wires

Set an ohmmeter. Connect the wires from the floor mat to sensors. The reading should be within 5 percent to 10 percent of the factory reading (28).

set an ohmmeter

Step 3: Dry Fit the Mat

Move to critical areas where heat is desired. Mark the outside of the mat with a pencil line to use as a guide so the thinset doesn't extend beyond the mat.

move to critical areas where heat is desired

Step 4: Mix and Apply Thinset

Mix the thinset, and add the thinset mix to water. Mix until it's of soupy consistency.

Scoop the thinset out of the bucket with a trowel. Spread the thinset with a notched trowel in pre-marked areas.

mix and apply thinset

Step 5: Lay the Mat and Apply the Probe

Lay the mat over the thinset. Smooth it out with rubber float. Make sure to apply enough pressure to secure the mat to the floor (Image 1).

Apply the probe 1'-2' off the end of the mat, near the electrical connection, between two hot wires on the mat.

Tape down the probe with electrical tape (Image 2).

Step 6: Lay the Tiles

Dry fit the floor tile. Lay out the tiles to determine how to cut them. Keep full tiles in the most visible areas. Measure one tile width plus 1/4" for the first row.

Snap a line as the guide.

Apply thinset to the back of each and lay the tiles on the mat.

lay tiles on the mat

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  • Floor warming mat and programmable thermostat from Nuheat
    Imperial White honed marble wall tile (Bright Ice White 6x6) and wall bullnose trim (Bright Ice White 6x6) from Rubble Tile
    Water heater from A.O. Smith Water Heaters