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Retrofit heating into tile floor

Retrofit heating in tile floor by cutting grooves inbetween the tiles and laying electric heating cable in them
  [vote for,

Lets say you have a cold ceramic tile floor and you hate walking barefooted on it. If you want the floor heated, you can rip it all apart, lay special heating cable, pour concrete, lay tiles again. Or you could just cut grooves inbetween the tiles with some disc grinder/cutter into some 1cm deep and then lay thin electric heating cable into the grooves and fill the grooves with filler again. Both ends of the cable would end somewhere in the box on the wall where controlling would take place. I see only two issues-cutting the grooves without damaging tiles and possibility of tiles unsticking off the glue due to thermal differences between center and borders of tiles. Also thin heating cable is neded, but that isnt impossible.
dreamtechnics, Jan 08 2017


       Grinding away the grout without damaging the tile is no problem, nor is embedding the heating wire in new grout. I'm wondering if the warm wires would heat the adjacent tiles sufficiently to make it worthwhile.
whatrock, Jan 08 2017

       Hey something I actually know!
The heat usually only penetrates up to an inch and a half on either side of an in-floor heat wire so standard spacing is in three inch tracks and both ends of the wire need to terminate in the same location.
Your idea will work but the centers of every tile will remain cold.

       Either the cable has to be thin enough to turn next to another cable in the grout space or more tiles have to be missed out.   

       Thermal energy is going to equalize, dropping as you move further away from heat max. If the tile doesn't accept the heat, the air above the tile will. Both give what you want, a warmth in the room at floor level for your phalanges.
wjt, Jan 09 2017

       Grinding away grout (oh thats what its called) will not be enough-we need some 1 cm depth for the cable to be deep enough, to have enough concrete to give heat to and to fill enough new grout. I was thinking about some machine with disk, on wheels, that could cut away the material, because tiles are brittle and one wrong move would chip off a very sharp corner. As to cable thickness, I managed to find some 2.9mm thick wire on alibaba. In my home gaps are some 4mm wide so wire would surely fit. Can anybody tell me about tiles comming of the glue due to thermal differences?
dreamtechnics, Jan 09 2017

       I do.   

       //Can anybody tell me about tiles coming off the glue due to thermal differences?//   

       The glue is called mortar and it is just modified concrete. If bonded properly then heat or frost isn't an issue depending on the body of the tile itself.
You can use unmodified mortar on a concrete substrate but it is not recommended for heat wire installations.

       All grout removal systems suck and you risk chipping tiles at any moment of a several hours long task. It's nerve wracking, and when you think you're finished you have to go back over the entire job and pick away at the little bits of grout still clinging to the bevelled edges.
Unless you're installing 3 inch wide tiles you'll only heat up the edges of the tiles I tells ya.

       I'm with [2fries]* - doing this over any significant area will be a nightmare, and you won't get good heat distribution.   

       It would be much, much faster to simply remove the tiles, lay a heating element, then lay new tiles.   

       *Only in this matter, you understand.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 09 2017

       I'll take it.   

       It seems to me that some kind of rail for the grout-removing tool (similar to those used with handheld circular saws) could help guide it along the proper line to remove the grout without impacting the tiles. That's the kind of thing that I generally assume already exists if there's a need for it.
notexactly, Jan 10 2017

       I just worry about the cleaning lady being electrocuted while trying to mop the the floor. Or the owner dropping a full cup of coffee onto the heating grid.
popbottle, Jan 10 2017

       So use a liquid in-floor heating system? That's what's in my house and it's never had a problem. The tubes were pretty narrow, IIRC, so it might not be impossible to fit them between the tiles.
notexactly, Jan 10 2017

       Lay out the heating grid in a 'pretty' design, pour clear resin over the top?
AusCan531, Jan 10 2017

       For those, who are afraid of electrocution-"residual current device" would protect from any electric shock (google it).
dreamtechnics, Jan 10 2017

       Also, for what does LVP stand?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 10 2017

       Luxury Vinyl Plank.
whatrock, Jan 10 2017

       Alternately one could heat water to a comfortable temperature and irrigate the existing floor with a recirculating pump during the cooler months. The baseboards and cabinetry would certainly suffer as would any adjacent carpeting, but there's nothing quite like standing in warm water during a nocturnal trip to the fridge.
whatrock, Jan 10 2017

       What about a strip heat light that can be instaledl all around the skirting. Heat your tiles with minimum installation disturbance. Hopefully the angles could be gained to have total coverage.   

       And if you really wanted , every second light element could be a different colour. Disco into that morning shower.
wjt, Jan 10 2017

       I know it's not fun, but no one need get electrocuted if you use low voltage! With low voltage (higher current) the Ni-chrome wire itself will be thicker, but it wouldn't need special insulation. This means it could be directly inserted into a very fine slot in the grout or whateverhaveyou.   

       To keep your feet warm, you'll just have to learn to walk on the cracks.
Ling, Jan 10 2017


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