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we have done several heated floors under ceramic tile using the mats and have had fairly good luck with keeping the tiles plumb.
We use a 1/2" trowel where there is no mat and use a 3/8" trowel over the mat.
the last bathroom we did, we used a cable system... IT WAS AWFUL!!!! not only did the guy sell us WAY to much cable we had no idea what we were doing. We installed the cable 4 times before we got the proper lay out. We had 2 rolls of cable 1 did 60sqft the other did 70sqft (its a pretty big bathroom). We tried the 60sqft roll twice before we realized it wasn't enough, and then used the 70sqft roll and eventually made it work. We could have used both rolls but its not recommended to install it under tubs and cabinets.
After the cables were installed we used floor leveler to cover the cables and a small area surrounding the cables. when we went to lay the 18x18 tile it was a nightmare to get the tiles level with one another.
is there a better way to level the tiles? should we have just used a ton of floor leveler on the whole floor?
 

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The tile guy I talk to says he uses Easy Mat for bathroom tiled floor heating, along with Fusion Pro grout. Remember, don't use a wax seal on the toilet.
 

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I've used both mat systems and loose lay cable systems and I prefer the latter.

That said, it is more of a PITA from a labor perspective. The manufacturer should have provided a spacing guide based on the square footage you were covering, and the length of cable--but I know it still takes a little thought and sometimes t&e to get it just right.

In answer to your last question--yes, you'll get a much better result by leveling the entire floor to the depth of the cable. Once the cable is installed, we run screws throughout the room around 2' o.c.--leaving them up at the height we want the top of the leveler pour.

With an uneven floor, a cable system kills two birds with one stone. Even coverage throughout the space, and a perfectly level floor.

Hope that helps.
 

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With a loose cable system you have to start in the center of run then lace both directions. The center of run may not be the center of the room.

SLC on the entire floor. I mix mine in a plastic tote, usually 3 bags at a time. The fewer times you have to mix the better.

I do use wax rings on the toilet, just keep the cable 6" from the flange.

Tom
 

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Both these mirrors have the hot water line that supplies the shower mixing valve sandwiched between (but not touching, that would be bad) 2 aluminum plates running behind them. Both are 4 runs on the bottom ⅓. I did pad out the wall ¾" so the shelf would be deep enough. Next one I'll take progress pictures.

Also found a picture of the SunTouch mat on the shower floor. The dark is plastic lath, the rest of the area will get the same.

Tom
 

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Lacitcrete does not require primer and lath over wood?

I use Mapie, they require primer and lath. They manufacture a plastic lath for use with electric heat.

Tom
 

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I've had the best luck with the loose wire systems. Can't remember the brand. I don't do many, but when I do, I use a hot glue gun to glue the wires down. It comes with sticky holders that are spaced evenly, but I always want the wires fastened between the holders. Then we pour leveler over the entire floor. Works great. Gives me a perfect base for the new tile and covers the wires.
 
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