Got a situation with trying to heat an acrylic shower pan that will be used as a changing table top for my buddy`s handicapped son... (See pic). We are using the Ditra heat system in the rest of the bathroom floor, but Ditra says no to covering the wire with anything that will contain the heat... they say the wire will ultimately burn out without a way to dissipate as it can with a typical floor application. We want to use the acrylic pan instead of tile for many reasons, not the least of which is comfort of his son. We are considering an airspace between the pan and the heat, or louvers in the edge of the pan, with holes in the deck that the pan will be on, to create a `draft`up and through the area to move the heat out of the way... but my friend is worried it might move too much heat away...
Hoping someone has working knowledge of the Ditra system, can give they`re two cents... Yep, I have talked to the local rep of atypical installations and he said that he`d never had this question and there will be warranty issues, but seems open to helping further, but I think it`s on me to bring the ideas...
I appreciate any input you brilliant folks can come up with !! Thanks again, BB
Can't you tile the top of the cabinet over the heating elements.
If you are worried about burning it out could you tile a piece of substrate as a heat disburser and lay the tiled substrate loosely on top of the heating elements so you could replace the heating element?
You could silicone around the perimeter to keep it reasonably watertight.
Is the heating strip quickly responsive to be able to help keep the water warm or would you have to turn it on a while before?
The bottom of the shower pan is hollow isn't it? How about laying the pan upside down. Pour in a wet bed of lightweight concrete in the pan, lay in the heating system, then a piece of cement board under that. When cured you can mount it to the cabinet. Just brainstorming, no idea if it would work.
Have you considered bypassing all of that, and just getting a heated changing pad to place on the top?
They are readily avaliable in different sizes/materials. It may also help with making the table as useful as possible for as long as possible, since as his needs change you can change the pad you are using.
I once had a buddy who lived in a cold climate who took a heat cable for pipes and routed it into the bottom side of a wood toilet seat because he got tired of a freezing toilet seat. Worked like a charm and he loved it. Maybe you could do something similar.
Thanks y`all for your responses so far... Not sure yet what we`ll do but we`re planning to set up a test situation before we decide...
My friend is concerned about the heat not rising through the acrylic pan because of the insulating properties of the acrylic itself. This was never a thought for me, but I`ve learned to trust the hunches of others..
I`ll let you know the results for anyone who may be interested... and thanks again for your time and info.
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