Which heated floor? Suntouch of Flextherm, or other?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by DIY_Steve, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. DIY_Steve

    DIY_Steve New Member

    Nov 26, 2012
    Portland, OR

    I'm hoping some of you with experience with remodeling bathrooms can help me plan how to build my floor system to include a heated floor, ceramic tile, and doorless zero threshold shower with trench drain.

    Does anyone have experience with Suntouch and Flextherm heated floors? These are the two I am comparing, about $65 separates the two so I'm leaning towards Suntouch as its 30" width mat option will offer very easy install for me. Any others to consider?

    DIY SG
  2. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

    Jul 20, 2009
    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
    North Vancouver, BC
    Personally I hate any kind of "Mat" heating system. I prefer using cable so I can get a more even heat and heat the entire space.

    I find that walking off the matt to the no heated tile feels weird under foot.

    I have had multiple complaints from men who have cold feet when they pee and women who have cold toes when they get ready at the mirror. No we cable heat.

    I like the NuHEat system with their newly designed wire cleats.

    We have done a ton of installs with Warm Wire and it's a great wire but the install cleats troublesome.

    The system from Flextherm looks Hogee - I don't like all the plastic square pieces.

    Never used Suntouch so I can not say.

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  4. JTlikestobuild

    JTlikestobuild New Member

    Feb 18, 2013
    Vancouver BC
    Hey JW

    Do like the cable because it is easily customized?

    I've used Danfoss heat tracing on some commercial pipe applications and was thinking of using the Danfoss LX heating cable for my 2 bathrooms.

  5. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple BATHROOM DESIGN & BUILD for both Canada & the US

    Jul 20, 2009
    Design Work World Wide: Bathrooms Vancouver Area
    North Vancouver, BC
    When you install cable heat your bond from the tile to the substrate s entirely in your control.

    When you use a mat you are at the mercy of the Mat manufacturer's production. I do not like how wet self levelling and thinset needs to get to cover these mats. I much prefer a slurry coat of thinset and a screed mortar skim coat. Then Ditra.

    Other things should be considered as well. Sub floor defelection for one and sub floor expansion for two. Wood moves. Wood shrinks. Wood expands. Can delaminate and on and on.

    My preference is to always cable heat the floor.

    Their are kist out there from everyone.

    In 2013 I'm going to do a better job of promoting the NKBA. NuHeat is a member of NKBA and does great training for us NKBA members here in Vancouver. In an effort to use more products from the NKBA I switched from Easy Heat to Nu Heat Cable. Nu Heat recently changed their cable installation clips and hace this killer "In Wall" thermostat which I'm convince with a little Quiet Rock Puddy will lessen the sounds of the Thermostat cycling on and off.

  6. DYI Ontario

    DYI Ontario New Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    Bourget, ON
    Flextherm all the way

    Hi there,
    I've been installing in-floor heating systems for a few years now. I've tried a few and I have to say that between Suntouch and Flexther, I would go with Flextherm all the way. Not only is Flextherm's customer service amazing (I was on the phone with one of their reps for over an hour while he guided me through my first installation, but he actually called back the next day just to see how I was doing), but I find their products are just easy to handle and more durable. And I would go with cables over mats anytime too...

    Mats may be easy to install but you really need to have a square room with absolutely nothing in it. The second you have to start contouring objects or get into buffer zones, mats become so tricky and installing them becomes frustrating. Putting down cables is pretty simple, just take your time and they will give you more flexibility throughout the room. Flextherm also has mats with a glued backing so you just have a strip the tape and glue it directly to the floor... I've used it one, works fine because you can actually detach the cable from the mat if you have to move it, but I still prefer their cables. Plus I had a reassuring situation where I cut the cable with my trowel during an installation and all I needed was one of their repair kits and everything was fixed. Their guy said that even if I hadn't noticed the cut before laying my tiles, they can use a machine to see where the breakage is, remove the tile and fix the cable without having to take out all the tiles.

    Hope this helps!

    Good luck bud in your project!
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