Little Luxuries: Floor Warming | 2019 Idea House
Few things up the luxe factor like toasty warm tile floors. Here’s how we integrated electric floor warming in the TOH 2019 Idea House—and why you might consider it for your home, too
What Is Electric Floor Warming?
Simply put, electric floor warming consists of a series of heating cables that are installed between the subfloor and the floor itself. Controlled via thermostat, the cables produce heat that gently warms the floor. Unlike forced-air heat that blows into a room—and rises up, up, and away from the occupants—floor warming creates a source of heat from underneath. And when your feet are warm, the rest of you feels warm, too.
Electric floor warming works best with tile, but it can be used under a variety of resilient floor coverings.
Warming Up the TOH 2019 Idea House
Gut renovations offer the opportunity to rebuild smarter and more efficiently. Here at the Idea House, we wanted to create comfort zones in key areas, and didn’t want to risk cracking or compromising the tiled surface.
DITRA-HEAT directly incorporates uncoupling technology with electric floor warming. (What is uncoupling? We’re glad you asked. An uncoupling membrane is installed between the subfloor and the tile, and is designed to absorb any substrate movement, eliminating the major cause of cracking and delaminating of the tile surface.)
Available in rolls or sheets to accommodate various room sizes, DITRA-HEAT uncoupling mats can be easily cut to the dimensions and shape of the room; cables can then be placed wherever heat is desired to achieve customized heating zones, or placed throughout the room to heat the entire floor. The studded design of the mat allows the installer to simply snap DITRA-HEAT cables into the membrane, without clips, fasteners, or levelling compound, saving installation time. And the nominal 1/4" (5.5 mm) thickness minimizes tile assembly height, reducing transitions to lower surface coverings.
Estimate your membrane and cable requirements here, or use the Schluter app on your mobile device.
Where to Use Electric Floor Warming
You know the feeling: You step out of a nice hot shower—and right onto a jarring, icy-cold tile floor. While that scenario easily conveys why electric floor warming is ideal for bathrooms, there are other spaces where it makes just as much sense.
Floor warming can also increase comfort in kitchens, basements, and additions, and it’s especially convenient in rooms that tend to be colder simply due to their location, like above a garage or crawl space, for example, or rooms with sliding doors. In addition to the master bath (shown above), here’s a look at the other spaces where we used DITRA-HEAT in the Idea House.
Ceramic and stone tiles are ideal surface coverings for mudrooms and entryways because they are durable, hygienic, and easy to maintain. But our mudroom has glass entry doors on both sides, and it’s adjacent to the garage, making it susceptible to cold drafts and frosty floors. Underfloor warming encourages a leave-your-dirty-shoes-at-the-door policy—and your four-legged family members are sure to appreciate it, too.
Our dreamy steam shower is made even more luxurious thanks to an ingeniously heated bench, where one can kick back and truly revel in the heat.
When connected to Wi-Fi, users can monitor and adjust their floor heating system via Web or mobile app with the Schluter DITRA-HEAT-E-WiFi programmable thermostat. Set your thermostat to turn up the heat an hour before you rise, and making your way to the dressing room on cold winter mornings will be a lot less daunting.
Combine the beauty and durability of stone, tile, or resilient floor coverings with the comfort of an electric floor warming system to bring a touch of luxury into any room of the home.
Schluter-Systems is proud to sponsor the TOH 2019 Idea House. Learn more at schluter.com