How to Install Radiant Heating Under Wood Floors How to Install Radiant Heating Under Wood Floors

What You'll Need
PEX (Polythene) 0.5 inch tubing
Aluminum panels
A water based central heating system with a boiler
Programmer to control the heating system
High resistance electric cables or heating mats

Radiant heating works on the principal of thermal conduction and radiation. Under floor radiant heating is a very efficient method of heating an area because the entire floor acts as a radiator. Not only does it save money when it comes to your electric bill but also heats a room well. There are two main types of under floor heating: water based and electric based. The steps below will guide you through installing each type under your wooden floors.

Step 1 – Take Appropriate Precautions

Installing an under floor heating system is most convenient when it is done during the construction process. It is recommended that you hire an electrician to wire the programmer to avoid malfunctions. Always keep blueprints so that you can plan out the installation of your heating system and don’t get lost.

Step 2 – Buying the Correct Materials

Maintaining and repairing an under floor heating system is an expensive job. It is for that reason that we urge you to purchase only the highest quality materials available. If you opt for water based heating system, purchase 0.5 inch or 1.3 cm PEX tubing because it is designed to resist corrosion. A robust piping system will not only result in fewer leaks but will also cost you less in maintenance. On the other hand, if you prefer an electric based heating system, then purchase high resistance cables or heating mats. Also make sure that the programmer switches are compatible with the hardware that you buy. Contact a heating contractor for detailed information and planning.

Step 3 – Installing a Water Based Heating System

On the under floor install aluminum panels to guide the tubing in a convoluted shape all over the room. This will increase the surface area of the tubing, which in turn will radiate more heat in to the room. After completing this task, use an instructions manual to connect your boiler and controls to this tubing. A programmer will determine the temperature and pressure of the water and can be used as a heat control switch. After making all necessary connections, call in a heating contractor to inspect your work. For help in installing an electric based heating system, consult step 4.

Step 4 – Installing an Electric Based Heating System

This system is composed of an electric power source, high resistance cables or heating mats and aluminum panels. During construction, guide the wires through the aluminum panels much in the same way as explained above. Aluminum panels are not required if you use heating mats. Either way, you will need to connect the heating device to a power source. While the task of connecting a power input to a power outlet is relatively easy, we recommend that you call in an electrician to do the job. This will make sure that not a single component malfunctions.

Step 5 – Testing Heating System

Before installing the floor over the ducts or cables, turn the system to check it. Make sure that the water pipes, in case of a water based system, are not leaking and that the cables, in case of an electric based system, are not sparking. Make sure that you inspect the programmer thoroughly before installing the floor over the heating system.

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!