Recently, it is customary to install additional heating systems in the house. Underfloor heating often plays this role. They allow you to more effectively beat the room and make the stay in the room more comfortable. But the choice of a specific type of underfloor heating is quite difficult, because manufacturers represent different types of heating systems, including electric underfloor heating. Each such design provides for a specific heating method and has a number of differences. Therefore, it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of all these types and the rules for their selection.
Electric underfloor heating has many design features. So, this whole system includes several main parts. For film models, you need to make a special subfloor. In this case, electrical elements such as cables, mats, foil heaters are laid on a flat, smooth surface.
A separate element of the device of such a system is a thermostat. It allows you to control the heating parameters, independently turn on and off the heating. All heating elements and cables are connected to it, including the ends of the temperature sensors. An electric underfloor heating is laid under the floor coverings, but some structures can be laid on a screed, or you can do without using it, but on a solid foundation.
Not all models of underfloor heating include thermostats and sensors in their device. But this option can overheat and malfunction. That is why the best models are models, the device of which includes two heat sensors and a thermostat. The device of each specific type of underfloor heating differs, as well as its characteristics and cost.
The system also includes a residual current device. This is a device that is designed to protect against electric shock. The electric floor heats by generating heat in the heating wires. The heating elements have a special layer of insulation, which makes the system safer and more stable.
Advantages and disadvantages
All electric underfloor heating in general has a number of advantages. So, in comparison with other types of underfloor heating, they have a rather long service life and at the same time provide high-quality and reliable floor heating. The floor temperature is approximately 25 - 27 degrees. This indicator is comfortable for the feet.
Heat from electric floors is perceived upward slowly and low, evenly warming up the entire floor area. Thus, in the room does not form drafts at all, the temperature is evenly distributed… Another great advantage of electric underfloor heating is that they do not dry out the air. In a room with underfloor heating, air humidity is normal and permissible for human health.
An electric floor is much easier to install compared to other types. This is especially true for water heated floors, the installation of which is very difficult and is not allowed in all rooms. In addition, this floor perfectly copes with the function of an additional source of heating in large rooms when there is not enough battery power.
But in small rooms it can also be used as the main heating method, for example, in a bathroom, in a small kitchen, on a balcony or loggia.Such a floor will be able to evenly warm the air throughout the room with a small area. Another great advantage of electric underfloor heating is that they do not interfere with the interior layout and take up very little space. Floor coverings securely cover such a system.
The underfloor heating system as a whole is not bulky and rather compact. Electric underfloor heating does not have a harmful effect on floor coverings. They smoothly transfer heat to it, allowing it to warm up evenly. Thanks to this, it is possible not only to heat the entire floor covering, but also to maintain the required floor and air temperature in the room.
But now, not all warm floors are ideal. A number of electrical models have disadvantages. So, they are not suitable for installation under furniture, as they can overheat it. Wooden furniture without legs with a solid facade can dry out and lose its former luster. Therefore, it should be laid only after you decide where what furniture will stand.
After that, you will not be able to rearrange, since the covering will already be spread and a place will already be allocated in advance where it is possible and where it is impossible to put furniture. But in this case, this disadvantage does not have the carbon floors on a rod base. Another disadvantage is that every room requires the installation of a thermostat. On the one hand, this is convenient, since you can adjust the temperature for each room individually, but on the other hand, this is an extra cost.
Another negative quality is that electric floors consume a lot of electricity. This can cost quite a lot of money, especially if you consider that they will not replace the main heating in many rooms and thus you will not be able to save money.
How much electricity does it consume?
When choosing a floor heating system, it is important to take into account the purpose of the room in which it will be installed. For a kitchen or corridor, models with a capacity of approximately 110-130 W per square meter are suitable. m. For a private house, especially for its first floor, more powerful models are suitable - about 40 watts per square meter. m. For a bathroom, it is better to choose models with a capacity of 150 W per square meter as a heating source. On the balcony, you need to choose even more powerful warm floors - 180 W per sq. m and above. Thus, electricity consumption depends on which room you install underfloor heating.
The coatings also differ in energy consumption, depending on the type of their structures. Under equal conditions, cable underfloor heating requires a power of 120 W per sq. m, and matte - 160 W per sq. m, so the first is more profitable.
If such a heating system is installed in humid rooms, you will see an even greater difference between these indicators. The most economical is the carbon floor, but this only applies to those cases when it is used as an additional source of heating. This is due to the fact that it has a self-regulation system that does not allow overuse of electricity.
There are two main types of heating the room and floor:
Convection warm floor. They can be:
- conventional cable;
- in the form of mats.
Infrared warm floor. They are:
- rod (carbon) mats.
As for convection floors, they have a constant heating cable. It is laid in a zigzag manner or in the form of a spiral under a cement screed. Moreover, a distance of about 10 cm is left between each turn of the cable. There are resistive and self-regulating convection floors.
Self-adjusting models have a rather complex structure. They can independently determine where exactly in the underfloor heating system overheating occurs, automatically lower the power supply and turn off the power in this area.
A simpler device has conventional heating cable. These systems are easier to install. They are presented in the form of the following options:
- single resistive;
Such floors create electromagnetic radiation, and the two-core version makes it much weaker. The installation of the cable floor is rather complicated, since the cables must not cross with each other and must maintain an equal distance between them. In addition, all transitions must be smooth, no kinks are allowed. Floor coverings can be installed on them only 3 days after installing the warm floor.
More convenient option are mini mats with cable included… They are a ready-made and laid-out cable, fixed on thin mats, which is a fiberglass mesh, reminiscent of a thin carpet. Such a cable is ideally located and does not form kinks. That is why such a system is easy to install with your own hands.
The mat is rolled onto the finished cement screed under the floor covering. It should be especially noted that these mats are very thin. Their thickness does not exceed 4-5 mm, so they are not bulky and do not hide the size of the room. Manufacturers present models in rolls of different widths from 50 cm to a meter and even more. Moreover, the mats have a special base that can be glued by pressing, you do not have to use any adhesives.
When laying, a thermostat, temperature sensors and a device for automatic system shutdown are connected to the underfloor heating cable. However, some problems can arise when laying these mats. So, in some places, the mesh still has to be cut and carefully laid the cable so that you can put the second sheet without interrupting it. It is important not to damage the cable and place it at a safe distance of about 5 cm.
The next large group of warm floors is infrared electric floors. They only heat the flooring, not the air. That is why they maintain the required level of air humidity and uniform heating of floor coverings without harming it. This effect is achieved through infrared radiation. But in this regard, a number of buyers are wondering whether such radiation is safe. Many experts assure that it is completely safe for human health, even useful - infrared radiation is used even in medicine.
In addition, experts point out that infrared heated floors ionize the air and make it even more useful. In addition, they do not cause an allergic reaction, as the manufacturers assure.
As for the film models, they are thin insulating polyester films of small thickness. They are almost invisible. They are only about 1 mm thick. The infrared underfloor heating film includes two main layers, between which there is a heating element in the form of a carbon paste applied in stripes. But there are also better and more expensive models in which the paste is applied in a continuous layer.
Carbon paste conducts heat well and therefore quickly converts electricity into infrared waves. Copper conductors are located along the edges of the film, which allow the electric current to be evenly distributed over the heating elements. The bottom layer is a reflective heating backing that allows heat to be directed upward to heat the floor rather than the ceiling of the neighbors below.
From above, such a floor is covered with polyethylene, which allows for a greenhouse effect. Thanks to this, the heat is distributed as evenly as possible. This thin underfloor heating option is perfect for thick floor coverings such as laminate or planks. But when such a system is installed under thinner coatings, for example, under linoleum, manufacturers recommend additionally installing a plywood layer.
The infrared floor has the following principle of operation: electricity comes from the thermostat through wires that are connected with special terminals to the sheets. An important and difficult task will be the correct docking of contacts, which will allow you to achieve ideal floor heating. Contacts at the edges of the infrared film are tightly clamped and brought in with the right side.
If during installation you pinch this wire or unfold it incorrectly, then the system will quickly burn out and will last no more than a year. That is why, when installing such a floor, it is better to contact an electrician or follow his instructions.
Infrared underfloor heating is the most versatile of all options for electric and underfloor heating. It is perfect for installation under any floor covering, from natural parquet to warm fleecy carpet, you can put any rugs on it.
In thickness, an infrared warm floor is the thinnest in comparison with other types of floors. A huge the advantage of this type is that when installing such a floor, a concrete screed is not required. It can be easily laid out under the flooring material. In addition, it is now envisaged to install an infrared warm floor even on walls and ceilings. That is, this option can even replace the main heating.
Separately, the flexibility of such a system is noted, which opens up wider possibilities for planning and interior design of the premises. Film infrared floors can be installed independently, especially since manufacturers present models with special markings. It is in this place that the coating can be cut for its further joining.
But this type of warm floor also has some negative qualities. So, when installing it in concrete, you have to wait a long time, sometimes this period reaches a month, since it is necessary to wait for the completion of all chemical processes occurring in the screed.
Infrared floors do not have the highest heating temperature. This is because they are designed to be installed under natural surfaces such as wood. That is why they do not overheat above 28 degrees. When overheated, many coatings can deteriorate or deform.
In addition, the peculiarity of installing such warm floors is that they require a smooth and even surface. This is due to the small thickness of infrared heating systems.
Rod carbon the floors are no less interesting construction. Their bases are made of carbon fiber, which has a high level of heat dissipation. It converts electricity into infrared heat. The rods are connected in parallel to each other. Moreover, this is one of the most reliable floor heating systems, because if one of the rods is damaged, the rest will not be affected.
A carbon rod floor is said to be the most durable and can last for over 50 years. The big advantage of this type is the self-regulation system of the rods, thanks to which perfect temperature control can be achieved. The system itself increases the heating temperature in those parts of the room where there may be drafts, for example, at the entrance, or, on the contrary, reduces the power near the radiators and other sources of the main heating.
You can easily put any pieces of furniture on such systems without worrying that they will be damaged over time. There is also a reflective material underneath that allows heat to be directed upward. They can fill almost the entire area of the room.
Some refer to electric heating systems as water models that work using an electric boiler. Boilers are often installed directly on the heating system piping.
Which to choose?
When choosing a warm floor, it is necessary to take into account its characteristics, since different floor coverings are suitable only for a certain type of such systems. So, the laminate has low thermal conductivity, but it heats up quickly. A film is often installed under it, but at the same time a lot of electricity is spent on such heating, since the floor will need to be kept on at all times so that it does not cool down.
As for the tiles, they take longer to heat up, but at the same time they keep heat well after turning off the heating system. Therefore, a warm film system is perfect for her, which can first warm up this coating, and then turn it off, significantly saving energy costs. But laying any underfloor heating under ceramic tiles is rather difficult, since if it further cracks, then the heating system can also be damaged. It is better to put a fiberglass reinforcing mesh under it.
For new premises, a warm cable electrical system is more suitable, since, as a rule, only a rough finish is made in them before moving in, and therefore you can independently install the base and significantly save money, for example, on buying mats. Thus, you can make your own cement screed, but at the same time it will hide a few centimeters from the height of the room. But it will better retain heat and distribute it evenly over the surface. This will allow the floor to release heat more slowly.
The characteristics and method of installation of a warm electric floor is only suitable for a certain coverage. Thus, the cable system is installed in a wet cement screed and is perfect for ceramic tiles, porcelain stoneware, natural stone and laminate. It can also be installed under linoleum, wood and textile floor coverings.
The cable with heat-insulating plates is laid under a dry screed. The choice in favor of such a warm system should be made if you want to lay ceramic tiles, porcelain stoneware, natural stone, laminate or wood. Linoleum is an acceptable, but not ideal option.
As for the film floor, the carbon models are perfect for laminate and parquet, it is also permissible to install an electric slat floor under carpet and linoleum. They are mounted on a dry screed. The foil floor in the form of mats is placed under the tile adhesive. This system is ideal for installing ceramic tiles, porcelain stoneware and mineral stone. Acceptable for it is laminate, linoleum and textile coatings, and in some cases, wooden coatings.
The core film floor is laid on a wet cement screed. You can choose it if you want to make your flooring from porcelain stoneware, ceramic tiles, natural stone or laminate.
For different rooms
Rooms that are different in purpose require the installation of different types of underfloor heating. It is necessary to calculate the heat output required for each specific room. In this case, it is better to purchase models with a power reserve. The height of the ceilings must also be taken into account. If in the room they are higher than 3 m, then heating elements with a power of more than 150 W per square meter should be selected. m.
For the most ordinary rooms, for example, for living rooms, if you will install a screed on the floor, it is better to select a cable or rod electric underfloor heating. For bathrooms, it is better to select models with a higher heating power. Moreover, most often, a floor covering in the form of porcelain stoneware is installed in the bathroom, so a core heating system is most suitable for it. Cable underfloor heating is also acceptable. If you do not plan to install a concrete screed in the room, then the floors can be matched to laminate, linoleum or carpet, which are most often used in the bedroom or nursery.For such rooms, a film heating system is most suitable.
Calculation and installation
Before installing an underfloor heating system, it is necessary to calculate the area and power of the floor system. First of all, you need to decide on the required heating power, depending on what role you play with the warm floor. If it is necessary to ensure comfort and walking barefoot, then a floor with a power of 150 W per 1 sq. m, but if this is not an additional, but the main heating system, then you need to select models with a capacity of about 200-220 W per sq. m. Depending on the purpose of the premises, the calculation will also differ.
In the bedroom, you need to make heating about 180 W per sq. m, and in the bathroom - at least 200 watts. The heating rate for the living room is 150 W per m2, but if it has at least two external walls, then select underfloor heating options with high rates.
When calculating it is important to consider where you install such a warm floor. If there is another apartment below you in a panel house, then the minimum permissible indicators will be sufficient, but if there is a cellar, basement or other unheated room or ground below, then you need to select models with powerful heating. The floor installed on the balcony or on the veranda should have even more power, especially if these rooms are not heated.
The power of the electric floor is also calculated from the area of the heated room. But the calculation should be made by subtracting from the total area of the room those areas where the furniture will be located. That is why, before installing underfloor heating, it is necessary to make a layout and calculate where the furniture will stand and subtract this area from the total. It is also better to retreat a few centimeters from all walls, and this should be taken into account when calculating the area.
After that, it is necessary to calculate the total power for floor heating in all rooms. It is necessary to multiply the resulting area by the power required for a given location. But with such calculations, the numbers will turn out to be very impressive, do not be alarmed, this does not mean at all that you will spend exactly that much electricity. You will periodically turn off underfloor heating, especially for self-regulating models, which, by automatically turning off, allow you to save energy.
If the main heating system works well in the room and thermostats are installed along with the warm floor, then the floor will consume about a third of the power you calculated earlier. That is why, when installing a warm floor at home, it is important to pay great attention to thermal insulation, which will subsequently save energy consumption.
Underfloor heating installation differs depending on some features. So, for some systems, you must first carry out the installation of the screed and install them there "wet", and place the floor coverings on top. This installation option is suitable for cable underfloor heating, which have an additional layer of waterproofing and insulation.
The next option is to install an electric floor over the screed. In this way, the floors are prepared for the further laying of porcelain stoneware. This is an excellent installation option for apartments located on the second floor and above. The simplest option for installing an electric underfloor heating is to install the system directly under the covering. This method is only suitable for foil electric floors. This is the fastest and easiest option, which saves you time and frees you from the capital work of creating a concrete screed. This method is suitable for laying under linoleum or laminate. On the existing screed, a layer of polyethylene foam is covered, and then it is covered with foil. You can also install a layer of waterproofing on it, and only then install foil electric floors. All these methods have their own specifics and features.
But before carrying out the installation work, it is necessary to clearly draw up a plan for the arrangement of furniture in the room, plan where the heating elements and control elements will be located. When installing, try to move away from sources of main heating, such as radiators, fireplaces, radiators. It is important to correctly determine the installation method and carry out all the necessary calculations before proceeding with the direct installation of the underfloor heating system.
First you need to choose a location for the thermostat. Better to place it closer to the wall outlet. The thermostat can be overhead. Its installation is very simple, but at the same time it will be clearly visible. The installation of a mortise thermostat is more complicated and reliable. It is built into a special mounting box in order to hide it from prying eyes. This way you can hide it from pets and small children who might accidentally press the button.
For the mortise model of the thermostat, special holes are made in the wall and, first of all, the box is mounted where it will be placed. There you need to bring the power supply and insulate the ends. After that, you need to lay a strobe down to the floor and place wires there for further installation of the electric floor. The temperature sensors are guided using a corrugated pipe. The strobe must be placed not only on the wall, but also on the floor, at least 50 cm in length from the wall. The sensor is located in this place, and the corrugated pipe makes it safe and simplifies the process of its subsequent replacement. A sensor is installed in this place, fixed to the wire through the junction box. The edge of the corrugated pipe must be closed with a foam plug or sealed with electrical tape so that the solution does not get there during installation.
The installation of the sensor is complete. After that, you need to connect the wires to the terminals on the thermostat according to the instructions on the back of the thermostat. Then you can move on to connecting electric floor heaters - cables. They connect to the terminals on the back of the thermostat. After that, you should connect the wires responsible for the power. This part of the work should be done by a knowledgeable electrician, as this way you can avoid mistakes and protect yourself.
At the end of all these works, it is necessary to check the system for operability and stability and turn it on for a certain period of time. After that, you can pour a screed, lay tiles, or even immediately lay a laminate or parquet board in case you use foil underfloor heating.
How to ground?
Grounding an electric floor is an important process as every electrical appliance presents some kind of hazard that must be disposed of. In addition, water can often spill on the floor, so electric underfloor heating must be grounded. This is especially true for wet rooms, such as a loggia, bathroom, kitchen. To do this, it is necessary to select heating elements that will be enclosed in a high-quality protective shell. In addition, an additional ground connection must be made to protect the electrical coating.
It is better to carry out this procedure in all rooms, since not all heating elements have a protective metal sheath. So, for grounding, a metal mesh is laid over the heating elements on the electric floor. It must be connected with wires and connected to a special protective bus. Such a mesh, in addition to the protection function, will additionally make the floor more rigid and reliable, especially since the electrical systems have a small thickness. The metal mesh also allows you to evenly distribute the load on the floor covering.
When installing underfloor heating in a private house, additional contours must be made. It is necessary to install a grounding with a depth of 1.5 - 2 m.There should be jumpers between them at an equal distance of about 1 m.This way you can protect yourself and your household from an accident and make heating the house safer.
Electric floors can be controlled using a special device called a thermostat. It determines the connection of the system to the electricity network. With it, you can control the temperature of the floor itself and the air in the room.
Internal sensors play the main role in control. They are installed in the screed or, in its absence, under the topmost covering during installation. Other sensors measure the room temperature. They are not installed on the floor, but most often on the wall.
Manufacturers offer different electric floor control panels and simplify the complex process of interacting with this system. So, the simplest is electronic-mechanical regulator, which involves only the regulation of the heating temperature and has a button to turn off the electric floor. You can add and decrease the temperature with your hands using a rotating wheel. Such a thermostat greatly simplifies control, any person can handle it. In addition, there are far fewer cases of failure of such a system.
Digital thermostat assumes a more complex and total control of this system. It is a panel with buttons or touch controls. Additionally, it has a special control unit with electric sensors, which collects all the necessary information about the air and floor temperature and transmits it to the thermostat.
The following kind of controls are - programmable heat controller… It is the newest among such systems. It allows not only to set different temperature conditions for all rooms, but also to change the temperature of different areas within the same room. They can be controlled not only manually, but also remotely using a smartphone, leaving home. This way you can control the heating even when leaving the house.
All of these electric floor control panels can fit into different interiors, and some of them are more, and some less noticeable, everything will depend only on your decision.
Among the control systems, there are also simple thermostatsthat allow you to constantly maintain a predetermined temperature in the premises. When the values you set are lowered or raised, it turns on or off the electricity, thus independently maintaining the desired temperature in the room.
Some models of thermostats involve the installation of one of the programs that can take into account the time of day, as well as whether it is a weekend or a working day. These smart control systems can turn on the heating at the right time before the owners return home and turn it off when no one is home. But the modes are easy to configure and manually if you have changed plans. Thus, control systems for underfloor heating are interesting and diverse. They make it easier and more convenient to use.
Customer reviews show that many types of electric floors and brands that produce them have shown themselves to be exceptionally good. So the floors Rehau have a number of positive customer reviews and have served flawlessly for decades. While buyers point to the high price of these models, they point out that the systems are still worth the cost.
Another high-quality and popular option among buyers is a cable-type underfloor heating RehauSolelec. Its construction consists of two-core quality cables. Buyers write that such floors do an excellent job of heating the floor in even very humid rooms.Manufacturers present models that are shielded with a layer of Kevlar under a Teflon shell, the quality of which is especially noted by buyers.
Manufacturers also offer to purchase cable electric floors in the form of mats with a thickness of only 3 mm. Buyers write that such a warm floor is perfect for installation under a tile.
The Danish company representing electric underfloor heating is very popular among buyers. Brand name - Devi. It has been on the market for about 30 years. This manufacturer presents cable floor heating systems with different capacities, including models in the form of mats. They bought write that you can easily choose the right thermostat and sensors for them, which will qualitatively reflect the change in temperatures.
In addition, many buyers like that this manufacturer provides all the information about the quality characteristics of this warm floor and its compatibility with different floor coverings. In addition, the manufacturer guarantees a long service life of its products.
Another popular manufacturer of electric floors is "Teplolux". Underfloor heating from this brand is liked by buyers because it represents an excellent value for money. The manufacturer offers both cable and film types of electric floors. You can also pick up various accessories from him, including convenient and modern thermostats.
The rating of popular manufacturers includes floors from the brand T-technologieswhich are being created in Russia. This manufacturer represents film and rod heating systems that have a low price. It is this quality, as well as additional services, that buyers highly appreciate.
Buyers generally appreciate the work of Korean electric type underfloor heating. They write that when installing such a system in the bathroom, they instantly forgot about such a problem as the appearance and spread of mold and mildew. At the same time, they began to ventilate the bathroom less often and leave the doors open as the water evaporates on its own. In addition, the floor quickly ceases to be abnormally wet.
Many people write that the installation of an electric underfloor heating on the balcony made this room more functional, the laundry here began to dry faster. In addition, many have equipped a full-fledged storage system on the balcony. Infrared floor heating was most praised, especially models made of carbon rods. In second place in the ranking is the cable floor heating. But, of course, the option in the form of mats is more convenient, according to buyers, since it perfectly replaces convectors.
Successful examples and options
The most practical option when installing a warm system is to install thermal insulation coatings. This is a great way to increase the heat dissipation of any finishing material, even if it has low heat retention values. In addition, it is important to install an additional safety system. An excellent option would be to conduct a separate power line for the underfloor heating.
Drawing up a preliminary layout of all heating elements is considered a good option. In addition, it is better to additionally calculate the cable pitch so that there are no cold spots and the heating is the most uniform. You should not install underfloor heating under large furniture, especially some electrical appliances, such as a refrigerator, or plumbing fixtures.
In humid rooms, you need to install more powerful warm electric floors. This is a great option that will allow you to create a comfortable and warm microclimate in the room. When installing an electric underfloor heating, great attention should be paid to the installation of the screed. It insures the system against various breakdowns and external influences and accumulates heat well.But at the same time, if the floor heating system is damaged, you will have to break the screed and re-do the far from economical repairs.
When installing an underfloor heating system, it is important to take your choice of flooring seriously. It would be correct to purchase a laminate or other coating, the packaging of which has a special marking, which means that it can be installed on a warm floor.
When deciding to purchase this system, it is also important to consider the manufacturer that produces these floors. Try not to skimp on the purchase so that the system works as best as possible and lasts a long time. During installation, you must strictly follow all the rules and recommendations or additionally use the help of an electrician.
For information on which electric underfloor heating is better, see the next video.