How to Install Radiant Garage Floor Heating

Radiant flooring coils
  • 4-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 200-2,000
What You'll Need
Thermal insulation barrier
Radiant heating mat
Wire cutters or scissors
Thin-set cement
Flooring material

Install a radiant garage floor heating system to make your winter all the more pleasant. The most popular type of radiant floor heating is called electric radiant heat. The system is buried within thermal masses (such as concrete) and can retain heat for a long time, even after the power is turned off. Follow the simple steps below to effectively install your own radiant garage floor heating system.

Step 1 - Measure the Radiant Heating Mats

Measure and make a plan of the floor to avoid all permanent fixtures and to avoid blocking the heated area as this will result in a build-up of localized heat and possibly damage the floor covering. If you’re not sure, discuss your requirements with the supplier, and they will calculate the amount of material you need.

They will even go over all the details of your layout, showing you where to cut and position the mesh for the best coverage and the easiest installation.

Step 2 - Work Out Electrical Requirements

radiant flooring coils

The radiant floor heating system may require a dedicated circuit and will definitely require protection from a ground-fault circuit interrupter. Some systems also required a thermostat allowing complete control of the floor heating to suit your lifestyle.

Others can be turned on and off with a light switch. Have an electrician take care of the wiring if you’re unsure as to what you exactly need, or at least have him check your work out.

Step 3 - Prepare the Concrete Sub-Floors

If the subfloor is a new concrete floor, allow it to cure naturally depending upon weather conditions. All manufacturers recommend preparing the exterior by sealing and priming new surfaces prior to applying leveling compounds. If the floor isn’t level, then apply a thin layer of leveling compound to smooth it out.

A high quality thermal insulation barrier between the radiant heating mat and the sub-floor will significantly improve the performance of your floor heating. It will also speed up the initial warm-up times and save you money on electricity costs—the thicker the insulation, the better the results.

Step 4 - Spread Out the Radiant Heating Mats

pouring finish over radiant flooring

Use an ohmmeter before installation to make sure the circuit is working properly. Press the sticky side of the mat to the prepared insulated floor. It’s important to remember that the heat is carried through the thick red wire. Be careful not to cut or damage the red wire during installation; otherwise, the unit won't work. It’s not a big issue if the mat doesn’t cover every inch of the floor because the heat will radiate to other areas.

Step 5 - Lay Out the Flooring

Finally, set a coating of thin-set cement over the top of the radiant flooring mesh and install your flooring material to complete the installation.