House floor heating systems are gradually gaining popularity. Many townsfolk try to create comfort in their houses and apartments by any means, and the heated floor grid is one of the solutions to this problem. Advantages of such home radiant heating systems are quite a lot. With its help, there is a uniform distribution of heat throughout the entire height of the room, plus constant warmth under your feet, which is an optimal condition for young children. We add that it is possible to carry out the laying of underfloor heating even with your own hands, since nothing is complicated in this.
Today there are two main types of heated underfloor, which differ from each other by the type of coolant. And, accordingly, they have different design and ways of laying, besides they consume different kind of energy. There are water and electric floor heating. Let’s look at how to properly install underfloor heating systems of different types.
Water Floor Heating System
Let’s start with water floor heating system. Why is it more popular than electric? The only reason is the unreliable work of domestic power transmission networks. It’s no secret that almost all district organizations responsible for supplying electricity constantly conduct shutdowns for one reason or another. And if there is no electricity, then there is no heat in the house. Therefore, electric floor heating is best used as an additional type of underfloor heating.
But back to the water analog. This type of underfloor heating can be operated from any heating boiler operating on different fuels. The system is not so important that it will heat water, which is a coolant. Temperature and circulation are important. Therefore, the heated underfloor is connected to the circuit so that it becomes a separate highway.
And now we will find out on what basis it is possible to pack such a system – concrete or wooden. With urban apartments everything is clear – there are concrete slabs between the floors, but in private houses it is often mounted a wooden floor or a heated laminate floor.
Mounting on concrete base
Concrete slabs of overlap, unfortunately, do not differ an equal surface, therefore we advise them to be leveled first. The easiest option is to fill the screed. To do this, you can use ready-made dry self-leveling compounds. Mix them with water and pour on the surface of the floor, which after drying becomes smooth.
Advice – before pouring spread the floor waterproofing material, lay the lap overlap and fix the edges with adhesive tape.
After the screed has dried, it is necessary to lay the underlay on top of it. It is made of different materials. Optimum variant – a substrate from a synthetic polymeric material. It is stronger, cheaper and lasts longer. By the way, this material belongs to the category of rolls. And it is intended mainly for leveling the surface. Filled with a screed floor will still have small differences, and the substrate can hide the surface drop to two millimeters. In addition, it softens the surface and provides additional insulation.
In the radiant heat installation process there is one important point that concerns the heating of the floor. Today, experts agree that it is necessary to insulate it. The fact is that the heat loss through the floor is from 15% to 25%.
But first you need to choose a thermal insulation material. There are many options, but we recommend using expanded polystyrene. But consider – if your apartment is located on the first floor, and the basement in the house is not heated, then the thickness of the thermal insulator should not be less than 30 millimeters. If the premises under your house are heated, then this figure can be reduced to 5.0-7.0 mm.
Now you can mount a piping system. Do you know what the drawback of this type of heating is? The fact that when the coolant enters the system, the temperature of this section will be greater than at the outlet. Therefore, specialists offer several schemes for laying pipes. The optimum option is a dual pipe, when the coolant supply and return circuits run parallel to each other in parallel. Such a scheme ensures radiant uniform heat distribution throughout the floor area.
For a water-heating floor system, select a plastic pipe with a diameter of 20 millimeters. And what is the optimal distance between pipes? The exact answer to this question you will find only if you calculate the capacity of the system.
Everything will depend on the necessary heat. For example, you have high ceilings in the house, which means that to warm up such a room will require more heat energy. Where can I get it? There are two options:
- Increase the temperature of the coolant, and this is the cost.
- Reduce the distance between stacked pipes, that is, increase the length of the contour.
The second option for the initial costs will be costly, but during operation everything is quickly compensated. Hence, the distance between the turns is determined by the consumed temperature.
We return to the montage. The heating pipe system is laid, and it remains to place the reinforcing mesh over the pipes, which can be metallic or synthetic. And the last stage is the pouring of the screed. On this the installation process can be considered complete.
Attention! After the circuit of the heated floor system is mounted and connected to the main flow of the coolant, it is necessary to test the system. Open the valves and run hot water into the circuit. Pay attention to the joints, where leakage may occur. If everything suits you, you can continue to work.
Mounting for heated wood floors
This process is not more complicated and not easier described, it is just a little different. What do you need to know in order to properly mount?
- First, the plank wooden floor must be high-quality and even. No cracks between the boards, no cracks and defects. If the condition of the individual floorboards makes you doubt, change them to new ones, do not spare money or labor.
- Secondly, pay attention to the distance between the lags. When installing an underfloor heating wooden floor, this figure should not exceed 60 centimeters.
- Thirdly, be sure to insulate the wooden floor. How to insulate and what materials to use at the same time, decide for yourself. There are many ways, and among them there are cheap, but very high-quality ones.
And now the most difficult. According to the scheme of laying pipes it is necessary to make grooves in the wooden floor with a size of 20 × 20 millimeters – this is the width and depth of the groove. It will not be easy to make the rounding of the grooves, which transfer the pipes from one turn to the other. But you can cope with this, and if there are difficulties, invite a carpenter who will do it for half an hour. By the way, on our site there are materials, where all methods of underfloor heated wooden floors are dismantled.
Now the groove must be covered with foil. This material will reflect the heat that is directed down on the boards. Therefore, the wood will be heated to a lesser extent, and the main heat will go up into the room. And one more nuance – the pipeline can pop out of the groove in the process of operation. To prevent this from happening, it must be attached to the boards with special metal plates.
The heated wood floor is ready, however, it must now be tested, after which it is possible to carry out further work on the finish.
Underfloor Electric Radiant Heat
Preparatory work for the installation of an electrical analogue is practically the same as for a concrete base. Again – waterproofing, screed, insulation. If the electric floor heating system is installed in high humidity rooms, the insulation will have to be covered with another layer of waterproofing.
Today, manufacturers offer 2 types of electric heated floors – heating cable and electric heat mats. In the first case, the cable is a long wire, which will have to be laid as a heat main. In the second case it is a film with an already installed heating element.
Electric heat mats are much easier to install. They should be simply spread out on the surface of the floor, after which all it is poured screed. With a floor heating cable a bit more complicated. Here it is necessary to lay it strictly according to the chosen scheme. It can be a snake, circles and stuff. After a certain distance, the cable is fixed with special plates to the base. It is not so important – it is concrete or wooden floor.
Particular attention should be paid to the installation of temperature sensors and the correct connection to the A/C mains – all this is done through the thermostat. For the sensors you need to use special corrugated hoses, which in case of failure of this device will allow easy to get them from under the floor. That is, everything should be extremely simple and convenient.
The thermostat itself is installed in a wall cabinet near the floor or in a niche that is specially cut in the wall. Both variants are used equally often.
Attention! The thermostat is only connected if 3 wires are connected to it – from the temperature sensor, the AC mains and the heating element.
And lastly – when the thermostat is connected to all the wires, it is necessary to do a test run of the system to determine if everything is working correctly.
- Safe for children
- Warm and nice
- When installing an electric floor heating, determine in advance where furniture and other massive objects will be placed. These areas do not need to be erected.
- The distance from the elements of the electric heated floor to the walls of the room should be at least 15 centimeters.
- The end of the corrugated hose, which remains under the floor screed, must be well insulated so that the liquid solution does not get inside.
- If a single-core cable is used for underfloor heating, two ends of the thermostat must be connected to it. It is necessary to take this circumstance into account when drawing up the laying scheme. This means that 4 wires will be connected to the thermostat.
- Make sure that the branches of the cable are not in contact and do not intersect. The bend of the cable must not be less than 5 centimeters. Be sure to check the cable for resistance. This indicator is in the product passport. A slight deviation to the lower side to 10% is entirely acceptable. In the package there must be a warranty card – write down the resistance index.
- In order for the electric floor heating system to work more efficiently, experts recommend installing an aluminum foil over the entire floor area.
- If, for some reason, the first layer of screed can not be laid, the electric heating cable can be fixed to a metal mesh stretched on the floor.
Conclusion on the topic
We examined how to install a heated floor – the installation and fixing of the system. This can be done on different flooring types. Of course, these processes are not as simple as they seem at first glance. But reliable information and small skills of working with various tools will help to build independently any warm floor in your own home. And the experience will definitely come. It is important to get started, taking into account all the nuances that were discussed. And all at you will turn out.