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Electric radiant heat mats


bigflatsmike's Avatar
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NY

01-14-10, 11:28 AM   #1  
Electric radiant heat mats

I am in the process of updating my kitchen and part of hte project is to replace the floor. Right now we have linolium flooring in the kitchen and going to switch to a porcalin or ceramic tile. Our kitchen is in the back of the house and gets no sun exposure so it is pretty cold this time of year. We have hot water baseboard heat through out the house right now with only 1 3 foot section in the eat in kitchen. I was thinking about installing some of those electric in floor radiant heating mats that you can just tile right over, but I have a couple of questions that I would like to ask. How efficient are they to run, will running this type of system raise my electric bill signifficantly? How reliable/robust are these systems? Meaning if I install one and tile over it, what are the chances that I have to tear up the tile floor to replace the mats?

I am also open to other ideas on how to add a little heat to the area.

Thanks,
Mike

 
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resercon's Avatar
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01-14-10, 11:53 AM   #2  
Electric heating used as a supplement is usually quite cost effective. It's when you use it as the primary source it can be very expensive. You do have other options like installing a hot water radiant system, regardless of the type of floor. This is considerably more expensive to install than the electric mats.

 
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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01-14-10, 01:10 PM   #3  
I haven't yet heard of anybody having to tear up the floor because of a non working mat. You must install it with care though. The biggest time the mat can get damaged in during the install. If you have access from underneath the floor you might want to consider using your hot water, but if you don't, the electric mat is a good idea.

To calculate you cost take the watts per square foot X your sq ft. Divide by 1000 to get your kilowatts and then multiply that by how long you thing the mat will run. Multiply that buy your cost per Kwh.

Example:
Your room is 10 x 10 = 100 sq ft
Your mat is 5 watts per sq foot 5 x 100 = 500
Divide by 1000 500/1000 = .5 Kwh
Multiply 8hr per day 8 x .5 = 4
you pay .10 per Kwh 4 x .10 = .40 per day
30 days = 30 x .40 = $12 per month


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bigflatsmike's Avatar
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01-15-10, 03:41 AM   #4  
Thank you for your replies!!!

I have thought about the hot water radiant heat in the past but can not afford to install the whole house system right now. But heres a question; in an ealrier project (adding a deck off the back of the house and adding french doors in the kitchen for accessing the deck) a section of base board was removed from the kitchen. Obviously the reason the kitchen is cooler now in the cooler months! But could I just cut into the base board hot water run and add some pex tubing under the kitchen floor with heat shields, like a radiant heat system??? I have 2 zones in my house and the kitchen is on the end of its particular zone.

Thanks again for the help!!!

 
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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01-15-10, 06:08 AM   #5  
Posted By: bigflatsmike But could I just cut into the base board hot water run and add some pex tubing under the kitchen floor with heat shields, like a radiant heat system??? I have 2 zones in my house and the kitchen is on the end of its particular zone.
Not a pro, but I would think you could do that and in fact I have seen it done! If you have access to the floor underneath and the pipe from the one you eliminated you would be 1/2 way there. I would likely be cheaper than the electric.


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bigflatsmike's Avatar
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01-15-10, 06:19 AM   #6  
Thanks Tolyn!!! This would be the best option in my opinion. I have always thought about doing this but was never sure if it could/should be done. Unless I haer different, I believe this will be the direction I will go.

Now for a question on this, would I just run a single pex line betweeen each joist in an "S" pattern or should I loop it so there are 2 lines between each joist.

Parts list for doing this would be pex tubing, connectors for 1/2" or 3/4" copper (what ever the baseboard is), and mettal "flashing" as diflectors. Would this be all I need?

Thanks again!!!

 
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01-15-10, 07:18 AM   #7  
I have read it done both ways. Two runs per joist and one per joist. This might be a good place to start reading: http://www.radiantec.com/pdf/Within_...diant_Heat.pdf or Complete Radiant Heat Information Site You have to use PEX that is made for radiant heating, not the stuff for plumbing. You will also need to install insulation between the joists when your done.


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