- Underfloor heating systems
- How to prepare the floor and install the system
- Calculation of IR film and power
- Laying laminate
The use of modern materials – infrared carbon heating films – allows you to equip a warm floor with your own hands within one day, without the involvement of specialists. In this material, we will consider the process of laying and connecting an electric underfloor heating under laminate and linoleum.
Underfloor heating systems
Additional floor heating allows you to significantly increase comfort in living quarters, stabilize the temperature, which will be maintained in automatic mode, in some cases – completely abandon other heating devices.
Of the currently existing three main types of electric underfloor heating for laying under laminate and linoleum, only one – the most modern and thinnest – carbon heat-emitting film is suitable. Cable systems, due to their size and distribution method, are used for casting in a screed, which guarantees the integrity of the cable, and also helps to distribute heat evenly over the surface of the flooring.
Heating mats are used for arranging a warm floor under a laminate, but are not suitable for flooring made of linoleum, since they have a profiled surface that will show through the linoleum.
All three designs have similar energy consumption and floor heating temperatures. Identical controllers and power units are used for adjustment and adjustment. The temperature of the maximum permissible heating is slightly different, but it all comes down to a single requirement – the floor surface in residential premises should not exceed 27 ° С, in non-residential rooms it is allowed to increase to 31 ° С.
How to prepare the floor and install the system
Arrangement of a warm floor made of infrared film materials is not particularly difficult for anyone who is at least a little familiar with electrical engineering and is able to connect contacts according to the attached diagram, as well as perform simple carpentry work to level the base of a wooden floor, on which laminate or linoleum will subsequently be laid.
First, you need to decide on the correct alternation of layers and the materials required for the installation of a warm floor. To clarify the recommendations for a specific underfloor heating system, refer to the instructions supplied by the manufacturer. In general, the construction looks like this:
- Rough wood floor.
- Vapor barrier / waterproofing.
- Heat-reflecting insulation.
- Underfloor heating elements.
- Underlay for finishing flooring.
- Floor covering (linoleum, laminate, parquet board, etc.).
The base is a rough wooden floor. This should be a restored surface made from a floorboard with working ventilation of the underground space, since a vapor barrier is lined on top of the base, preventing moisture from escaping from the floor into the room. Damaged areas are repaired with a special putty or by replacing individual boards. The surface is leveled with a scraper. For reliability, OSB or plywood sheets are laid over the base.
The vapor barrier membrane is lined on top of the prepared wooden base with overlapping strips of at least 10-15 cm and gluing the joints with tape. It is important to leave open the ventilation grilles, for which holes are cut in the vapor barrier and pasted with tape around the perimeter.
Thermal insulation with a thermo-reflecting layer is foamed polyethylene, polyurethane or EPS with a foil layer, which is oriented upwards during installation. This layer has the main function of preventing heating of the wooden base. Thermal insulation slows down the spread of heat, and a heat-reflecting screen ensures maximum efficiency from heating elements inside the room.
The components of an electric underfloor heating system are placed on top of a layer of thermal insulation. Collect it strictly in accordance with the attached instructions and in compliance with all necessary safety rules..
An important aspect regarding any electric underfloor heating: heating elements should be distributed only in a free floor area, where stationary equipment or furniture will not be installed, in order to prevent local overheating of heating elements.
This is followed by the usual process of installing the flooring.
Calculation of IR film and power
Kits of materials necessary for arranging a warm floor include all the contacts, wires, insulating terminals, temperature sensors and thermostats necessary for installation. But, before you go to the store to buy an infrared film, you will need to make simple calculations related to determining the amount of film required for laying a warm floor, and calculate the power of the heating elements that will be used during operation..
The area of the film must be at least 70% of the area of the room. The irrational use of expensive material is avoided by the fact that the infrared film is available in three sizes with a width of 500, 800 and 1000 mm. In length, it can be cut in running meters along specially marked lines.
In addition to roll film, there is another type of infrared film of the Zebra system. This is also a polymer film 1 mm thick, but consisting of many panels independent from each other, measuring 500×600 mm. There are 50 such panels in one set, which allows you to equip a warm floor on an area of 15 m2. The advantage of this system is that if one heating element fails, the entire system continues to function properly. With a warranty period of 25 years, it is a very economical and reliable means of arranging a warm floor under laminate or linoleum.
After connecting all the heating elements and reliably sealing the connection terminals with bitumen insulators, a temperature sensor is installed, which must be placed in a plastic container, and a wall-mounted thermostat block, with which you will regulate floor heating.
It should be remembered that if the power of the film heater you have installed exceeds 2.2 kW, and the current in the system is more than 10 A, then you cannot connect it directly to the electrical network of the apartment. In this case, a modular contactor is used. But you should not install it yourself. Better to consult a professional electrician.
You can install laminate or linoleum directly on the IR-foil heater. At maximum operating modes, it does not heat up above 35 ° C – the floor covering from them will not melt or dry out. However, the chosen floor covering must have the appropriate approval, which is marked on the packaging with a special icon or explanation that this laminate / linoleum is compatible with an electric or water underfloor heating.
It is necessary to provide for the possibility of thermal expansion of the floor covering. Therefore, before you start laying the laminate, be sure to place spacer wedges along the wall – they will create a gap of 8-10 mm between the wall and the laminated floor. The floor laid in this way will be “floating”, it will not warp from the expansion of the material during the operation of the warm floor system.
Laying the laminate is completed by installing the skirting board, which must be attached to the wall and does not press the laminate hard.
Work on the arrangement of a warm floor on a wooden flooring is not difficult. They are not associated with pouring leveling compounds and waiting for the screed to gain the necessary strength. All work can be done within one working day.
A high degree of automation allows you to significantly save energy, and when using modular zebra structures, replace, in case of failure, a separate heating element.