A heating mat in the bathroom and shower? We explain if you can!

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Electric heating mat in the bathroom, in the wet area directly in the shower, powered by 230 V AC – when choosing the right heating mat, such an installation is completely safe and at the same time increases comfort during each shower. Sound encouraging?

Why is the heating mat under the tiles in the bathroom completely safe?

Due to the risk of contact with water, protective zones have been introduced in bathrooms. The installation of electrical consumers, as well as the wires themselves, in such places is limited by safety standards.

For example, the closer an electrical outlet is to a water source (faucet, bathtub), the stricter the rules it must meet. In particular, this applies to the degree of IP protection, that is, the tightness of the housing. This is why low-voltage electrical installation is often carried out in bathrooms. But how does this look in the case of a heating mat?

Underfloor heating is installed under the tiles. In addition, they are poured with a layer of cement-based adhesive, which provides additional mechanical protection. In practice, this means that the installation made in this way does not fit into any of the zones. In other words, the surface under the tiles is no longer a protective zone according to PN-IEC 60364-7-701:1999. For this reason, there are no contraindications to the implementation of electric floor heating in bathrooms, but….

Not every heating mat can be installed in a shower

Although the area under the bathroom floor does not belong to any zone, not every heating mat ensures complete safety of use. Especially if you want to install it directly under the walk-in shower, pay attention that the heating mat has such parameters as:

  • Full, 100% PE protective jacket consisting of aluminum foil and continuity wires, providing maximum protection against possible punctures or damage to the cable.
  • IP protection rating. Typical heating mats have IP protection X6, but for bathrooms it is worth choosing a model with higher protection parameters min. X7.
  • The conductor insulation, like the outer jacket insulation, must not degrade over time. It is also worth noting that it should not react with construction chemicals used in self-leveling screeds or tile adhesives.
  • Pay attention to the certificates it has and the standards it meets. The more such documents a manufacturer provides, the better researched the product it sells.
  • Bathroom mats have the additional mark of approval for wet areas. This is the most important mark recognizing high-quality heating mats that provide the highest degree of protection.

When choosing the right mat, you can suggest the product description or ask your advisor. In either case, be sure to inquire about the aforementioned aspects in order to get precise and reliable information and make the right choice.

An example of an ideal and safe shower heating mat: nVent RAYCHEM QuickNet-160

Heating mat for bathroom shower

An example of a suitable heating mat for bathrooms, including for installation in walk-in showers, is the QuickNet-160 model with a rated output of 160 W/m² from nVent RAYCHEM. It is designed for complete safety in wet areas. This is confirmed by numerous test results and earned certifications. Durable components, used for the insulation of the conductors and sheath, increase its resistance to mechanical damage to more than 1500 N. It is also worth noting the voltage for testing insulation resistance. In typical mats it is 500 or 1000 V DC. In the case of the QuickNet model, it is raised to 2500 V DC, which indicates a significant difference in insulation quality and this translates into a very high degree of safety.

Customers often do not pay attention to the warranty. So they can easily be tempted by a lifetime warranty on the components themselves – but in practice this ends with the delivery of a new heating mat. Meanwhile, nVent RAYCHEM, bearing in mind the high failure-free performance of its products, offers a “Total Care” warranty. This guarantee, is not limited to sending a new heating mat, but to repairing it at the customer’s home. It is worth trusting a company that is ready not only to detect where the fault occurred, but also to cover the costs of locating, repairing and re-tiling to the existing standard. Only such a guarantee is beneficial to the customer.

QuickNet-160 mat in promotional sets with WiFi thermostat and other nVent RAYCHEM products can be found at authorized distributor dolejsz.eu.

Installation of a heating mat in the bathroom

Underfloor heating in the bathroom is placed under the tiles over the entire available floor area (excluding areas where furniture will be permanently placed). The installation can be done in two basic ways:

  1. The easiest way is to lay the heating mat on top of the waterproofing, and then seal it with a layer of cement-based adhesive while tiling.
  2. In the case of large-format floor slabs, made of marble or stone, the mat is laid directly on the floor, poured with a self-levelling screed, and only on such a prepared substrate is the waterproofing laid, followed by the slabs.

Cement floors can also be found in modern interiors. Then the heating mat is protected with a self-levelling screed more than 15 mm thick, and then the floor is finished with microcement or paint for concrete floors.

How to properly protect the heating mat in the bathroom?

Underfloor heating in the bathroom is completely safe, but, according to current regulations, it requires a basic two-stage protection. The first is an overcurrent fuse. It reacts when the heating system draws too much current, which can result from a short circuit. The second stage is the residual current fuse, which detects the leakage of current from the circuit (puncture). It is allowed to use a residual-current module, combining both types of protection. Separate fuses are recommended for each heating mat (installation), depending on the power of the system. For typical bathrooms, the power should not exceed 3000 watts. In this case, an overcurrent protection of 13 A and a residual current protection of 0.03 mA is sufficient.

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