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Radiant Heat FAQ's


How much does a heated driveway cost?

For heated driveways and other snow melting projects the following variables contribute to the cost:

  • Square footage of heated area- Some projects can be accomplished by heating tire tracks or a portion of the driveway rather than the entire surface.

  • Geographic location- Warmquest uses regional snow melting standards and data provided by ASHRAE to ensure a system is effective and efficient in your location.

  • Surface being heated- Concrete, asphalt, pavers, etc. Installation methods and costs vary depending on the surface.

  • Installation method- A retrofit installation via sawcut may be a more affordable option than demolition and a new pour.

  • Activation device- Warmquest has a variety of options when it comes to activating your system. Your choice of manual switches, temperature sensors, moisture sensors, timer switches, and telephone activation all play a role in the final price.

Can I heat a gravel driveway?

Gravel driveways are not suited for snow melting systems.

  • Gravel driveways lack a solid surface to protect the heating element. As weather and use move, displace, and wear on gravel, the cables would be damaged, shift out of place, or otherwise fail.

  • Installation in asphalt, concrete, and in a sand bed under pavers provides material to conduct the heat. Cables laid under gravel would be substantially less effective at distributing heat to melt snow and ice.

 Can I add heat to an existing driveway?

Heating an existing driveway or sidewalk is accomplished by installing the heating cables into saw cuts which are then sealed. Retrofit installations are an effective way to improve many existing surfaces, including driveways, sidewalks, stairs, loading ramps and docks, entryways and more.

 What are the operating costs for a heated driveway?

Our team can calculate the hourly cost to run your snow melting system once they know the product being used, the area being heated, and the local price per kilowatt/hour.

 How can you heat metal stairs?

There are several options for heating metal stairs. For metal stairs with concrete steps, cable is embedded in the concrete much as it would be installed in cement steps.

For steps constructed entirely of metal, select products can be installed on the bottom of the step and insulated to drive the heat upward.

Alternatively, our portable snow melting mats are perfect for metal stair treads.

 Can I add heated floors in an existing home?

Electric radiant heat is well suited for existing structures. ZMesh can be installed beneath most floor coverings and is not embedded in thinset. If you have access to the floor joists ZMesh can be installed from below for a retrofit installation. Heatwave, Floorizwarm, Tuff Cable, and Cozy Heat can all be installed in thinset mortar beneath any floor covering.

 What type of flooring works with radiant heat?

This question is best looked at from a different perspective.

What type of flooring do you want? We have products to heat nearly any floor covering, from hardwood to carpet, tile to linoleum.

This question often comes up when discussing heating wood floors. We have found that as long as the installation of both the radiant heat system and the floor covering follows the manufacturer's instructions, that wood floors can be heated effectively without damaging the wood. A key element of this is making sure the wood acclimates before installation.

We recommend checking with your flooring manufacturer before installation to ensure everything will work smoothly.


How do you pour a heated driveway?

Once the heating element has been installed, the surface of the driveway is poured. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Never cut the cable! Shovels and other tools are often used in the pour process. Do not allow tools to damage the cable.

  • Make sure the cable does not shift as it is covered.

  • When pouring asphalt, apply a layer by hand before using heavy equipment.

See the installation manual for specifics, and always read the manual prior to installation.

 What kind of carpet pad should I use with radiant heat?

In our experience any non-conductive carpet pad will work great with our systems.


Does ZMesh cause any floor buildup?

No, because it is "paper thin" no floor buildup or construction alteration is required. This is not the case with other types of radiant heat systems.

 What is ZMesh?

ZMesh is a 9" or 12" wide bronze wire mesh that resembles screen door material. It is used to add warmth to cold floors, total space heat and melt ice and snow off roofs.

 Does ZMesh use a thermostat? How is it activated?

Each system uses an attractive programmable thermostat. The thermostat can be programmed to measure floor temperature, air temperature, or it can be set to be on at desired times.

 How is ZMesh secured to the floor?

With a wood sub floor, the ZMesh can be directly nailed or stapled through. With a concrete sub floor, the ZMesh can be glued down. Whoever is installing the flooring on the ZMesh can do so as if the ZMesh were not even there. Plastic lathe (not metal lathe) should be used when using tile on top of the ZMesh.

 What kind of flooring material can I install over ZMesh?

Virtually any floor surface can be installed directly over the ZMesh, including tile, slate, marble, hardwood and carpet.

 How does ZMesh and radiant heat affect hardwood flooring?

The ZMesh, and the heat produced by it, have no effect on hardwood, or any other type of flooring.

 What if I want to heat my existing floor, can I still use your floor warming system?

Yes, if you have access to underneath the existing floor, we can install our system in the floor joists.

 Does your system come with a warranty?

ZMesh comes with an industry leading 25 year manufacturer's warranty.

 How long has ZMesh been in use?

ZMesh was first used over 20 years ago. Since then thousands of ZMesh systems have been sold worldwide and are still working perfectly.

 Can I use ZMesh under a metal roof?

It is not recommended that you use ZMesh underneath a metal roof. We recommended that Tuff Cable be used instead.

 Is ZMesh installed in thinset or cement?

No, ZMesh cannot be installed in thinset or cement. It can however, be installed directly beneath most floor coverings.

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