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I would like to add radiant heat to my kitchen floor. I will be using vinyl flooring (with a floor heat sensor to keep the temperature below 85 degrees F). One option is Schluter radiant heat. In their instructions for installing vinyl they suggest pouring self leveling cement over the electric wire mat. In my case there is about 5/8" dip near the doorway so self leveling cement would give me a 7/8" step at the doorway (1/4" plus the 5/8" dip) which is unacceptable. I am wondering if I can use thinset adhesive to glue 1/4" plywood to the electric mat and put the vinyl over that. Another option is to trowel thinset directly on the mat and than apply the vinyl to that but I do not feel confident I would get the thinset flat enough. I have not seen anybody address the problem of not being able to use self leveling concrete.

I also considered the ZMesh low voltage floor heating system which is approved for this type of installation (vinyl over plywood over mesh) but the cost is significantly higher.

Any other suggestions?

Brian

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  • What other options do the instructions suggest? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jun 3 '20 at 1:44
  • You can typically call the manufacturer and ask for the technical questions department. They'll often give you more information that the manual. My expectation is that if you can install the radiant mat on plywood then I don't see why you can't install plywood over the radiant mat. Also self leveling compound needs help to self level so you could apply it in a uniform thickness and keep your dip. – Fresh Codemonger Jun 3 '20 at 3:42
  • I agree with the suggestion to call the manufacturer. My guess is that plywood over mastic may not get you a good enough interface with the wire mesh to allow for proper, even heat transfer. You may also miss spots which could cause the wire to overheat and burn out. This could, potentially, damage the whole heating system (the good news) or even start a fire in the plywood floor (the bad news). Again, just guesses, call the manufacturer. – FreeMan Jun 3 '20 at 13:34
  • Also, welcome to Home Improvement! Please take the tour and browse the help center so you can make the most of the site! – FreeMan Jun 3 '20 at 13:35
  • As per a couple of suggestions, I did contact the manufacturer and got a prompt reply indicating that it would not be covered by warranty if installed that way. Thanks for the suggestion. – Brian Howden Jun 3 '20 at 18:42
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As per a couple of suggestions, I did contact the manufacturer and got a prompt reply indicating that it would not be covered by warranty if installed that way. Thanks for the suggestion.

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