Finishing Your Basement

Tile Over Heated Floor: How This Works

Floor installation is rarely complicated, unless you are attempting to install heated flooring under tile. The heating coils that lay under the tile have to lay on a very flat surface. The coils cannot be activated while you are laying tile over them either. Here is more on how to install heated flooring coils and tile together.

Rip up the Old Floor

First and foremost, the old floor has to come up. It does not matter what kind of flooring it is. You have to rip it out down to the base flooring. If it is wood, carpet or linoleum, it will come out rather easily. If it is tile, it is going to be a mess. Be prepared to find other types of flooring under the floor you see, as previous homeowners may have just installed layer after layer of flooring materials over previous layers.

Level the Bare Base Floor

The next step is to make sure that the base floor is level. In older homes it is quite common for houses to sink unilaterally, causing dips in floors. A carpenter's bubble level placed at different spots on the bare sub-floor will let you know if you have an uneven base floor that needs to be leveled. Quarter-inch masonite or eighth-inch masonite sheets can help level the base floor in areas where it is slightly sunk. Just cut and staple these sheets to fit the areas that need to be on the same level as the rest of the floor.

Install the Heating Coil Sheets

A heated floor consists of sheets of heating coils, activated by their connection to an electrical switch. Roll out these sheets so that all of the wires and all of the coils face the same directions. Secure them to the base floor according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once the whole floor is covered in heating coil sheets, you are ready for the large square tiles.

Install the Large Square Tiles

Starting at the open doorway, use the large square tiles across the space of the doorway. Continue across to the opposite wall. If a fixture gets in the way, leave a tile off until you reach the opposite wall. Grout all of these tiles so that they are secure. Then cut remaining tiles to fit all of the remaining openings and spaces in the floor. In some areas you may need to get creative with a tile saw, but then you can finish your tile floor and grout these pieces too. Finally, wire the heating coils underneath into a switch, and everything should work.

For more information, contact companies like Thayer Decorating Center.