Components of a Heated Tile Floor

Adding floor warming to your bathroom, kitchen, or other room you have tile in makes it feel a bit more inviting and comforting. It’s one of those things that you may not think you would need, but once you have it, you couldn’t imagine your life without it!

Considering installing them on your next project? Here’s what you should know.


Schluter DITRA-Heat Floor Warming System

 

Uncoupling Membrane

An uncoupling membrane is a fancy term to describe the mat that separates the tile from the substrate below and allows the two to move independently. The mat is embedded in mortar and bonded to what’s underneath it. This substrate is typically plywood or concrete.

The Schluter DITRA membrane performs quite a few tasks. It serves as a waterproof layer, a vapor management layer, and a support system that distributes weight to prevent tile from cracking.

In a floor warming system, this membrane holds the electric heating cable.

Heating Cable

The heating cable is sold in a variety of different lengths, all corresponding to the size of the room it’s going to warm. This allows it to be customizable for wherever you wish to use it.

The cable snaps into the uncoupling membrane and gets imbedded in the mortar that’s used to set the tile.

It’s important not to run the cable under any furniture pieces such as the vanity or the bathtub because this would cause the cable to overheat.

The cable requires a dedicated circuit in your electrical panel, and is offered in 120V or 240V. The cable’s temperature is monitored and controlled by the units thermostat.

The heating cable snaps into the channel system of the uncoupling membrane.

DITRA Heat membrane with heating cable

Thermostat

With the Schluter floor warming system, each room or area is linked to its own thermostat. The thermostat monitors the temperature, as well as a few other features. There are a few thermostat options to suit different price points, with their newest model packed with the most features.

The thermostat is a programmable Wi-Fi unit where you can control your floor warming from the app on your smart phone, or online.

The thermostat features a touchscreen that displays local temperature and weather forecast. A feature that our clients love is the ability to track energy and consumption costs. Homeowners are often surprised at how little energy the units consume.

DITRA Heat WiFi Thermostat

Required Cable & Sensor Testing

Schluter requires your contractor or electrician conduct specific cable tests in order to get their warranty.

These tests detect damage to the wires and are conducted before, during and after the installation of the DITRA Heat cable.

The results of the tests are logged on Schluter’s DITRA Heat Log Sheet and must be submitted to them for warranty coverage.

Testing of the cable is required for the manufacturer’s warranty.

FAQ About Heated Tile Floors

1. Question: Are there restrictions as to what size tiles can be used?

Answer: For floor warming, Schluter’s minimum required tile format is 2” x 2”.

2. Question: How hot does a heated tile floor get?

Answer: Your heated tile floor will reach 75 – 95ºF (24 – 35ºC), but the normal comfortable range is 77 – 82ºF (25 – 28ºC).

ABOUT THE SERIES

The TEKRA Homeowner education series consists of 1-3 minute videos, published on instagram, Facebook and Youtube aimed at simplifying the construction process so you can make more educated choices and feel more confident during your next project. A more in depth article of each topic can be found right here at tekrabuilders.com/blog.