• In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating contractor Richard Trethewey explains how to install electric radiant heating.


    1. Start by having a licensed electrician test the radiant heat mat to ensure it’s working properly.
    2. After preparing the subfloor for tile, use a trowel to spread thinset mortar onto the tile backerboard.
    3. Press the radiant heat mat into the mortar, then spread another layer of mortar on top and set the ceramic tiles.
    4. For plywood subfloor, some radiant heat mats can be stapled down without a setting bed of mortar; check with the manufacturer.
    5. Have electrician install a dedicated GFCI-protected circuit to the radiant heat mat.
    6. Install a thermostat with automatic timer to control the radiant heat.
    See products and services from this episode.
    • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
      Laying the radiant heat mat isn’t hard, but you’ll need a licensed electrician to make the final hookup

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      Tools List

      • mason's trowel
        used to apply thinset mortar

      Shopping List

      1. Electric radiant-floor heating system

      2. Thinset mortar

      3. GFCI electrical outlet

      4. Wall-mounted thermostat with automatic timer