Mat-style electric infloor heating systems have been around for years. I’ve installed several different ones, and have yet to be impressed. Mats need to be custom-made for a specific space, and in my experience they’re surprisingly unreliable. When electric infloor heating mats stop working because of a break in wiring somewhere (as has happened on some of my jobs), that’s a big headache because all the flooring needs to come up to repair the bad mats.
When shopping for an electric floor warming system, reliability is key. Look for a lifetime warranty that covers full replacement of the hardware including removal and replacement of the flooring. But be sure to install the product according to specifications in order to keep the warranty valid.
Some systems include a dimpled plastic underlay that’s made for heating cables to snap in only where needed. You can anchor the underlay to the floor with thinset mortar, pop the cable in place from a spool, working around cabinets, appliances and other areas that need no heat, then cap the whole thing off with more thinset followed by ceramic or porcelain tiles. These installations are easily customizable for different spaces, and thermostatic controls allow homeowners to pay only for the heat they need. Independent control of floor temperature lets them dial in just the right amount of floor heat relative to room temperature. Electric infloor heating systems aren’t usually powerful enough to heat spaces entirely on their own, but they’ll make homeowners’ feet a whole lot happier.