Frequently asked questions about electric radiant floor heating. Here we answer some of the most common questions asked by our customers over the years. These are general questions, and we have considerably more detailed answers covered in the section dedicated to each specific floor warming product. Browse our site for specific product details, installation videos and detailed instruction manuals.
- Is electric floor warming safe?
- How does electric radiant floor heating work?
- What is the difference between 120- and 240-volt systems?
- How long can we expect our floor heating system to last?
- How much electricity does electric floor heating use?
- What are the voltage and amperage requirements for floor heating?
- Are your floor warming systems easy to install?
- What types of flooring can I install over electric floor heating systems?
- Should I insulate under the floor warming system?
- Why do you offer more than one floor warming system?
- Can I buy floor warming products direct from you?
- Can I cut the floor heating wire shorter?
- Can I splice mats together?
Is electric floor warming safe?
Yes! At least, we can attest to the safety of the systems we sell at Warm Your Floor, since they have all passed more safety tests than any of our competitors’ products. Our systems have UL, ETL and CSA certifications, have passed the Robinson Floor Test (for durability), and our SunTouch products are rated by the Tile Council of North America. All our thermostats have been safety certified by independent testing agencies, and all include built-in GFCI shock protection. And, unlike some of our competitors, our electric floor heating products have never had a safety recall. [return to top]
How does electric radiant floor heating work?
The heating wires are specially engineered and designed so they provide heat via the specific wire's electrical resistance. Special insulation is used to provide protection and durability to the heating wires. When the thermostat is turned on (or the timer is activated) electricity is sent to the floor heating system, then the wires heat up and in turn warm up the floor. This heat then radiates from the ground up throughout the room, heating objects and people within the heated area. That's exactly what you want from your system: a warm floor and a warm body. This way, energy is not wasted heating up air that then rises to the ceiling and is lost. [return to top]
What is the difference between 120- and 240-volt systems?
Both voltages have the same heat output and energy usage, but 120-volt products pull 1 amp per every 10 square feet, while 240-volt products pull 0.5 amps per every 5 square feet. Since the thermostats can handle only up to 15 amps, this means that one thermostat can run up to 150 square feet of 120-volt product and 300 square feet of 240-volt product. [return to top]
How long can we expect our indoor floor heating system to last?
All of our indoor systems carry at least a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty and are backed by successful, reputable manufacturers that have been in the floor heating business for over 20 years. Because the brands we sell are made with superior wire construction and are encased in mortar during installation, our systems have a very long life expectancy! [return to top]
How much electricity does electric floor heating use?
Not very much, and our programmable thermostats have Energy Star ratings for the greatest efficiency. All of our mat systems operate at 12 watts per square foot, so 20 square feet requires only 240 watts, the same as a few light bulbs. Our uniform wire spacing optimizes the heat output and saves a lot of energy over a 15-watt system. A typical installation in a 60 square foot bathroom typically costs 10 to 20 cents per day depending on how much the electric company charges in your area. See our energy use calculator for specifics. [return to top]
What are the voltage and amperage requirements for floor heating?
Both 110/120 and 220/240 systems are available. Mats are 12 watts per square foot, which means you can control up to 150 square feet of floor warming at 120v, and twice that (300 square feet) for 240v, per circuit. Each circuit has a 15 amp maximum, and one thermostat control is required per 15 amp circuit. A dedicated circuit is recommended, but very small systems of 20 square feet only require approximately 2 amps, so you may be able to add onto an existing circuit; a licensed electrician will know the answer for your project. [return to top]
Are your floor warming systems easy to install?
Yes, all of our systems are easy to install and safe to use. Some of our products are so easy to work with that even a weekend do-it-yourselfer can install them. Over 50% of electric radiant floor warming installations are done by first-time installers. Or your own contractor can easily manage installation with the help of the how-to videos in our Knowledge Center and the complete, step-by-step installation instructions included with every product. Either way, we are here to answer any questions or provide installation tips—both for you and your contractor. [return to top]
What types of flooring can I install over electric floor heating systems?
Virtually any floor covering can be heated by our systems. While tile and stone floors are the most commonly heated floors, you can also heat hardwood floors (glued or floated), laminates, vinyl or linoleum, bamboo, cork, even carpet. Concrete floors can also be heated by placing one system within the new concrete pour. Be sure to read the installation instructions for specifics of how to properly install floor heat for your particular application and floor covering, or call us toll-free and we’ll answer all your radiant floor heating questions! [return to top]
Should I insulate under the floor warming system?
In most cases, the heat output of our products is sufficient to heat your floor relatively quickly, and our programmable thermostats are “smart,” which means they can help compensate for the start-up time and regulate your energy usage. However, if you are installing over a slab, you might consider installing cork insulation to help combat your floor's heat loss and lower the start-up time for your warm floor.
Concrete slab subfloors absorb part of the heat generated by the floor warming system so less heat is transferred to the flooring. Heat always moves toward colder surfaces, so it goes both up and down when the floor warming system is in direct contact with a slab. Adding a simple layer of cork between the slab and floor heating provides a "thermal break," slowing the flow of heat into the slab and allowing more heat transfer into the flooring itself. Installing insulation on top of the slab translates into faster response times and less energy used: a wise investment. Our cork insulation is engineered, tested and approved for use under all types of flooring.
There are a few other insulation materials available, but cork is our favorite because it is a natural product and a renewable resource, unlike other insulating products. You can buy this specially engineered cork insulation directly from us. [return to top]
Why do you offer more than one floor warming system?
We have been selling electric radiant floor heating since 2000, and in all our time working with this technology, we have found that no single manufacturer offers a complete solution for every project. We've researched a number of radiant floor heating products available on the market and have chosen to carry only the highest quality products from the top manufacturers. There are cheaper radiant heat floor warming products on the market, but we won’t sell them.
We’ve researched, tested and installed all of the products we carry, and we're confident that they are the best products for the money. We're passionate about adding warmth to your home, from the ground up. Making sure you can get the right product for your specific application is one of the ways we can assure your complete satisfaction with your new warm floor. [return to top]
Can I buy floor warming products direct from you?
Absolutely. Warm Your Floor has the largest inventory of floor warming products in the US, in stock and ready for immediate delivery. That means your project won't meet costly delays waiting for product to arrive. Send us your room layout, and we'll recommend, design and quote a floor warming system specifically for you. [return to top]
Can I cut the floor heating wire shorter?
No. Never. This will alter the properties of the wire, causing it to heat incorrectly and possibly lowering the life span of the product. You may cut the mesh on the SunTouch mats, but never the heating element. You may also shorten the cold lead or the thermostat sensor wire, but DO NOT shorten the heating wire. If you cut the wire by mistake, we do have special wire repair kits that can be used to restore your mat to proper working order. [return to top]
Can I splice mats together?
No. All mats and cables "home run" back to the thermostat. The mats cannot be connected end to end. We have mats in over 70 sizes and many length and width combinations to cover rooms of any shape or size. [return to top]