How to Heat Marble Tile Floors

marble floor
  • 8 hours
  • Advanced
  • 1,500
What You'll Need
Electric heat mats
Double sided tape
Glue gun
Electrical tape
Toe kick heaters
GFCI breaker
Wire nuts
Graph paper
Drawing pens
Electrical box
Wire cutters
Wire nuts
Wire strippers

If you are installing beautiful marble tile in your bathroom or kitchen, you may want to think about how it will actually feel beneath your feet. If you prefer your feet to be nice and toasty, consider adding a heated floor system. The 2 most common floor heating systems use either a toe kick heater or in-floor heating.

    Price Points

    Both systems price about the same. The toe kick heaters cost $50 each. The heated floor systems consist of several heating mats, a thermostat, and built-in wire leads. It too costs about $100 for a starter kit. The heated floor system can cost more, depending on the square footage it covers.

    Draw out a plan of your floor space onto graph paper, noting where each fixture is already placed. Figure out how many toe kick heaters or heating mats you will need. Decide how and where you will place the thermostat.

    Toe-Kick Heaters

    This type of floor heating system involves much less work because it is not installed underneath the marble floor tiles. It can be installed anytime after your marble tile is already in place. Toe-kick heaters are good for small bathrooms that have a vanity. The actual unit is installed in the very base of your existing vanity sink cabinet.

    The hardest part of this type of floor heating system is the electrical work that may be required. These heaters are usually 120-volt, so that you may tap into an existing circuit.

    You will need to tap into an existing GFCI plug that is located somewhere in your bathroom. If you are not sure how to do that, then you may want to hire an electrician.

    Follow these instructions to install:

    Locate a GFCI plug nearby to plug the heater into. It must not be run through an extension cord.

    Tap into the GFCI plug and run power to the inside of your vanity cabinet.

    Remove the kickboard from underneath the cabinet.

    Take your jigsaw and cut out the toe kick heater opening from the kickboard using the provided template.

    Remove the cover from the heater to access the electrical hookup.

    Hook up the wiring using wire nuts.

    Install the cabinet portion of the heater unit.

    Install the motor unit, following the provided instructions.

    Test the unit before tightening it.

    In-the-Floor Systems

    These types of heating systems have to be installed before you put down any marble tile. They require more work because you have to install several heat mats and a thermostat. Then you install your tile.

    Cut and place the desired number of mats on your floor. The mats should cover about 90% of your floor space. You should generally stay about 6-inches away from all edges and walls. Consult the design that you previously did for the best layout options.

    Connect the mat ends together with the included wire connectors or wire nuts, after placing them on the floor.

    Use glue, staples, or double-sided tape to secure each mat to the floor.

    Next, you will use the jigsaw and cut out a small hole near the floor and base of the wall. It will be used to house the thermostat.

    Tap into a GFCI source and run power to the hole you just cut out.

    Install the outlet box and connect the wires.

    Install the thermostat using the proper screwdriver.

    Now you are ready to install your mortar and tile just like you normally would. Installing a heated floor system can provide you with the warmth and comfort you are looking for with marble tile floors.