Underfloor heating is a dream of many people. It is believed that it is impossible to make such a floor on your own. However, it is not. Even such a complex version of a warm floor, like a floor with water heating, can be done independently. How is described in this article.
One of the most effective ways to heat rooms is to organize a warm floor. In this case, the entire floor surface acts as a heating element. At the same time, the room heats up evenly. In addition to the effectiveness of this method, a huge positive aspect of the warm floor is its unconditional comfort. This is especially true for rooms where “cold” types of flooring are used – stone or tile. In addition, using a warm floor to heat small rooms, for example, a toilet or a bathroom, it is possible, although not significantly, to save usable space..
Generally speaking, there are two types of warm floors:
- Electrical. The main element is an electrical cord that heats up when an electric current passes through it. It is mounted on the surface of the existing floor. The floor covering is laid on top – tiles, laminate, linoleum or carpet, the last two require a leveling screed with a minimum thickness.
- Water – hot water flowing through pipes installed in the screed heats the floor surface.
When choosing one or another option for a warm floor, several factors should be taken into account.
Energy efficiency.From this point of view, water heated floors are more economical. This is due to the fact that water is heated, as a rule, by a gas boiler, and the cost of gas as an energy carrier is significantly lower than the cost of electricity.
Price.The cost of an electric underfloor heating consists of the cost of the cord itself of the required length, the cost of a temperature sensor, a thermostat and thermal insulation necessary for the heat to go only upward, without heating the entire thickness of the floor. To the total amount should be added the cost of a separate branch of electrical wiring necessary to provide the required power for the electrical heating elements. The cost of a water underfloor heating is the cost of pipes through which hot water will flow, thermal insulation and screed, into which these pipes are embedded. Pipes are connected to an existing gas heating boiler. An accurate calculation of the cost of all elements can give an answer about the advisability of using one or another type of warm floor in a particular case.
Manufacturability.Electric underfloor heating, in comparison with water, is more technological. To equip them, it is necessary to mount thermal insulation, fix the cord, install a temperature sensor in the right place, connect the electrical wiring and bring out the thermostat. Next, the floor covering is laid. To equip water floors, you first need to make a concrete screed, on top of which to lay thermal insulation, then mount pipes, which, in turn, are poured with a second concrete screed. The floor covering is laid on top of it. The obligatory main concrete screed imposes restrictions on the area of use of water-heated floors – these are, as a rule, only stone houses with concrete floors, or the first floors of any other houses with a solid reinforced concrete foundation.
Despite the low manufacturability of water-heated floors, significant savings in use makes them more preferable in places where their installation is, in principle, possible. How to make water-heated floors in your own home with your own hands will be described below.
Tools and materials
1. Concrete. Generally speaking, concrete work is the main one when arranging a water heated floor, not counting, of course, the installation of the pipes themselves. However, the calculation of the amount of materials required for their implementation is individual in each case. The main thing to remember is that the material should be enough for two concrete screeds – the base, at least 10 cm thick, and the finishing one, 5 cm thick.If the floor is made over the existing concrete floor, then the base does not need to be done, only the finishing one remains.
2. The pipe is made of metal-plastic. For the arrangement of a warm floor, a high quality seamless metal-plastic pipe with a diameter of 16 mm is used. When calculating, it should be borne in mind that for uniform heating of the floor surface, it is necessary to provide a new branch of the coolant every 5 m2 surface. That is, for a room of 15 m2 it is necessary to make three independent pipe branches. For every 5 m2 you should buy about 30 m of pipe.
3. Fasteners for metal-plastic pipes.
4. Thermal insulation – foil-clad thermal insulation. Should cover the entire floor surface.
Arrangement of a water-heated floor
1. We prepare the base for the concrete screed. On the first floor, so that moisture from the soil does not rise through the pores in the concrete to the level of the residential floor, we waterproof the foundation. Next, we fill the floors to the desired level. To do this, you can use any stone construction waste – brick fragments or old plaster. We fill in the last layer with gravel. We carefully align everything and ram.
2. Pour the first layer of concrete 10 cm thick. To simplify the process, install the beacons. Metal pipes can be used in their capacity; in this case, they will play the role of reinforcement.
3. Do not forget to bring sewer pipes in the right places.
We are waiting for the concrete to completely rise. The concrete screed dries in about four weeks.
4. We proceed to the foil insulation flooring. We fasten the joints with special foil tape.
5. We begin to lay pipes. In order for the floor to warm up evenly, it makes sense to do it in a spiral. To do this, starting from the point of entry, we move in a spiral with a distance of about 40 cm between the branches to the center of the room. In the center, turn around and go in the opposite direction, laying the pipe between the adjacent branches. Thus, we end up with a distance between adjacent pipes of about 20 cm.
6. The pipe is bent with the help of a special spring – there are generally two types of them: internal – in our case, does not fit – and external – what is needed. The pipe is fastened on special clips, screwed to the floor with a step of 80-90 cm.
7. We bring the ends of the pipes to the place where the gas boiler is installed. If the underfloor heating area is more than 5 m2, then we stack the next branch similarly to the previous one.
8. The pipes are laid, we proceed to pouring the second layer of concrete, approximately 5 cm thick. The pipes of the underfloor heating will reinforce this screed.
9. We connect pipes to the heating boiler.
The presence of collectors at the inlet and outlet is required. First of all, this is flexibility in adjusting the temperature of the zones. In the second, we get the ability to completely disconnect any branch from the coolant, for example, if it fails.
10. It is possible to use underfloor heating no earlier than the concrete completely hardens – in different conditions these will be different periods, but in any case, at least one month should pass. In the meantime, you can lay the floor tiles. As a result, you will get a smooth, beautiful floor, which is pleasant to walk on, and which will heat the entire room, and you can forget about wall radiators..