I recently had the opportunity to do a field installation of a brand-new product called HeatBoard. This revolutionary design is the innovative idea of Cory Rundle of Providence Flooring and Paint of Kingsport, Tn.

Cory has taken a product that is already available throughout the market and has creatively come up with a new purpose. This product addresses and provides solutions for three separate issues in one easy to work with panel. By cutting evenly spaced grooves into GoBoard (a JohnsManville product), the result is a product that provides an underlayment, thermo-break and installation base for electric floor heating system cables, at the same time.

HeatBoard is installed as per regular manufacturer’s instructions. A base of modified thin set is keyed-in and troweled onto the tile substrate. The board is then embedded into this wet thin set if installation is over concrete or other hard surfaces. Or, if over wood substrate as in my case here, secured with proper fasteners. The convenient size of 30”x36” is light and easy to carry. The installer determines the best layout for the are to be covered and then lines up the grooves from board to board. This will be the guides for the floor heat cables. The groove spacing is 3" o. c. in center of each panel and 1-1/2" from each side so that adjacent panels will have the continuous 3" spacing which is ideal for most floor heat systems. No special tools are required to cut HeatBoard. A standard utility knife will be enough for the installer the installer to fabricate the panels to fit any size room. No airborne dust or debris will be generated so the jobsite stays clean and free from any harmful contaminants.

Once the HeatBoard has been installed, the floor heat cables may be run immediately. No down time or delay between operations. Once the cables are run and tested by either alarm system or multi-meter the floor coverings may be installed. In my specific case I installed a 6 x 24 porcelain tile. I chose to “backfill” and “skim coat” my floor right after the cables were in. I had left over thin set from the panel installation portion of the job so instead of wasting good materials I “keyed-in” the Heatboard and allowed this to dry. The smooth surface of the HeatBoard did not use up much material as is the case with other un-coupling type floor heat systems. This was a cost savings as well. The thin set dried very rapidly so I was able to get on my floor right a way and snap lines for my tile installation. I allowed my tile to dry overnight and next day fired up the system to check. I was very impressed with how quickly the floor got up to my desired temperature and the even distribution of the heat throughout the whole room. These to benefits will also save energy and be a savings in the cost to run.

ALERT! Without planning to do so, I needed to replace four tiles the next day after my installation. My homeowner’s son stepped onto my wet tile and moved them. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this repair was easily and safely done because I used HeatBoard. The cables were completely covered and protected below the surface. I was able to clearly locate and see where they were so I could carefully remove my tiles and clean the thin set for the repair. Had this been installed with another method the chance of collateral damage to the floor heat system would have been greater.

More information can be found on this product at heatboardsystems.com.