Stay warm with heat mat tiles this winter

Tile Over Tile: Glowing Heated Bathroom Flooring

Tile over tile suggests perfection, but in this case, you’re going to sandwich a layer of radiant heat mats in between the old and the new tile. Tile over tile is a simple method to avoid the mess related to destroying the old restroom floor but needs comprehensive planning.


Before you set up a glowing heat mat over the old bathroom tile and set up new tile over the mat, you should check the floor for deflection. Ceramic tile is challenging and will break or dislodge if the surface flexes under the load.

Stand in the middle of the bathroom flooring and leap up and down. If the floor moves, it has a deflection problem and is not a great candidate for tile over tile installation up until you enhance the sub-floor.

Avoid That Sinking Feeling:

Considering that you’re tiling over tile, you should prepare beforehand to prevent making the vanity, toilet and tub look like they’re “sinking” into the brand-new floor.

Fortunately, much of the brand-new radiant heating mats are no thicker than the depth of the mortar you would generally get many tile installations. Integrate this with a tile density of 1/4 inch and the maximum elevation above the old flooring would be only 1/2 inch.

One method to keep the home bathroom components from looking swallowed up by the new floor is to reinstall the baseboard and get rid of the old one. Even better, why not buy brand-new baseboard tile to complement the new floor?

The raised height of the brand-new floor will also need you to adjust the length of the door( s) and perhaps set up a brand-new limit.


Eliminate or re-attach damaged tile pieces. Wait till the flooring has actually been sanded and thoroughly vacuumed before you fill the areas with mortar if you eliminate them.

If any of the tiles have checks broader than 1/8″, you need to consider a crack isolation membrane. This membrane is a roll on item that you apply to the old tile. The membrane enables the brand-new flooring to move separately of the old.

Next, sand the old tile, so the mortar has an excellent bonding surface. A belt sander would guarantee a constant bonding surface area.

Please ensure you use a face mask and safety glasses while sanding. The tiles might have kiln blasted with a harmful lead glaze.

After sanding, vacuum the tile and clean down with an all-purpose cleaner. Pay unique attention to the areas untouched by the sander.


Roll out the mats prefabricated to your specs by the producer. Some radiant systems, like Quickmat, are self-adhesive and require no mortar to protect them to the old tile flooring.

If you’re re-tiling the only bathroom, keep some scrap and a board 2 x 4’s handy to protect the mats when the restroom is in use.

Throughout the setup process, utilize a digital ohmmeter to check the resistance of the heating mats. Checking this will help you keep an eye on the mats for short circuits.

Have your electrician connect the heating mats to the source of power and set up the thermostat. Depending upon the local electrical inspection treatments, you may need to wait up until the electrical job approved before beginning to laying tile.

Trowel out the mortar over the mats. Some manufacturers recommend latex- customized or epoxy-modified mortar and grout instead of water-based multi-purpose adhesives. Mortar beds thicker than 3/8 inch ought to work fine for most systems; they take a little longer to warm up.

Because you will not be covering the entire flooring with heating mats, ensure the mortar applied over open locations, (under the toilet) is level with a mortar covered heat mat.

Don’t bang the trowel on the heat mat or heating wire to eliminate excess mortar from the trowel. You might sever the heating wire.

At this point, you would lay the tile. If you have no experience tiling, practice on your next-door neighbor’s restroom floor.

Fire It Up!

Your new radiant heated bathroom floor looks gorgeous, and you can’t wait to get warm feet. Proceed, but just for 10 minutes. Don’t put the system into complete operation till the mortar is fully cure. Cure time can take up to four weeks. See why extensive preparation is so necessary?

Before you install a radiant heat mat over the old restroom tile and set up brand-new tile over the mat, you need to inspect the floor for deflection. Ceramic tile is fragile and will break or remove if the surface area bends under the load. If any of the tiles have checks larger than 1/8″, you must consider a crack seclusion membrane. This membrane is a roll on a product that you use to the old tile. Your new glowing heated bathroom floor looks gorgeous, and you can’t wait to get warm feet.  Stay warm with other tile floor warmer ideas.