How To Install Heated Hardwood Floors

April 14, 2017

The idea of installing heated wood floors is an idea that is starting to grow in popularity. A great addition to a room in your home, heated wood floors have many benefits. Not only will it fill your home with great warmth, it will likely save you money in the long run. Because it warms your home from the ground up, many find that they can set their thermostat on a lower setting. It is also completely silent, something that isn’t typical for heaters.

If you think heated wood floors would be a benefit to your home, I have included the steps on how to install it properly. This would likely take a couple of days to complete. It isn’t the easy project but it is manageable, so be sure that you are adequately prepared for each step by obtaining all of the necessary tools and reading though the process very carefully.

Tools and Materials You May Not Have On Hand

  • Plywood (5/8")
  • Spline
  • Galvanized Nails
  • Cork
  • Staples
  • Rosin Paper
  • Spade Bit
  • Hammer Tacker 
  • Pry Bar

Once you make sure that you have everything you need, you are ready to being the steps to installing heated wood floors.

Step 1- Measure Your Floor Space

First, you want to make sure you adequately measure the area of the room. With those measurements, you want to apply plywood as it works great for subfloors. When you are measuring, be sure that you leave a ¼” gap by the walls and 1/8” gap between each piece of plywood.

Step 2- Nail Your Plywood

Approximately every 6” place either nails or screws into the edge of the plywood to make sure that it is firmly attached to whatever is underneath.

Step 3- Cut Spots For Vent Holes

Mark the areas in the plywood for cutting out vent holes and make the necessary cut. You will likely need to use a jigsaw and spade bit.

Step 4- Lay The Rosin Paper

Apply rosin paper to the floor. Use your hammer tacker in order to staple it down. Rosin paper will act as a vapor barrier for your heat as well as helping to eliminate any squeaks.

Step 5- Do a Layout of the Floor

Before you can start to apply thermoplastic polymer you need to complete a layout of the room you are installing this in to be sure of how much of the thermoplastic polymer you will need to lay.

Step 6- Staple the Thermoplastic Polymer to the Floor

Cut the polymer into strips and apply them to the floor using staples. There will be terminal wires on each strip, at the end. You need to connect these.

Step 7- Attach Your Connector

There is a braided wire at the corner of each element, to expose it you need to cut the plastic at the corner. Once you have done this, take the metal connector and slip it over the wire that is braided. Take the flattened terminal wire and insert it in the connector until they are touching each other. Once you have done that, take a crimping tool and crimp your connector until it is adequately tight.

Step 8- Form a Seal That is Permanent

Take a piece of sealant tape, preferably self-adhesive, and cut it. You then need to fold it, peel the backing off and wrap it all the way around your connection. Be sure to press out any air to create the permanent seal. You should then route all of your wires to be attached to terminal boards and a transformer. You will need an electrician to install a switch for turning it on and off.

Step 9- Install Your Wood Flooring

Once you have completed the eight steps above, you are ready to install your wood flooring of choice and reap the benefits of a heated wood floor.

In reality, this process is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the effort. Having a heated wood floor will be a great benefit to any room in your home. However, I acknowledge that this process may not be for everyone. If you would prefer, you can always hire someone to install the heating for you.

While the initial cost of purchasing and installing the materials may be high, the money you will save in the long run make it more than worth the investment.

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