Warmth and comfort is the main thing that should be in your own home. When you think back to your home, what's the first thing that comes to mind? That you can come home, relax and have some warm tea on the cozy sofa on the balcony. Maybe you want to wrap yourself up in a blanket or just read in your free time. All this is doubly pleasant when the room is warm and cozy, and this is possible with the installation of underfloor heating.
Features and Benefits
Repair and installation of old floors on the balcony has its own advantages and disadvantages. No one wants to invest their time in unnecessary ideas and renovations. But installing underfloor heating is a very smart move. Let's see why this is so
- The first advantage of insulation is that warmth means comfortable. And indeed, if the comfort of being in your own home comes first, why not make your home a little warmer? In classic-type apartments, floor heating is impossible - the heat rises, heating the space unevenly. Walking on cold parquet flooring is uncomfortable. Warm structures, on the other hand, create a complete warming up of the room from the very bottom to the ceiling, with a slight change in temperature.
- The second advantage is the ability to expand your apartment by increasing the living space. As soon as the warm floor is installed, it becomes possible to arrange the balcony area in several ways - stylize it as a living room, work or dining area. Any of these options is possible only taking into account the installation of insulation. Without it, the balcony can only serve as a warehouse or closet.
- The third benefit tells us about … saving electricity. Yes, it’s about saving. The fact is that the installation of special heating makes it possible to consume less electricity (such are the floors with water heating). This is a significant indicator in the winter season, when heat is not only a necessity in an apartment, but can also serve economic purposes.
And now - the disadvantages of warm floors
- long installation. When decorating the space with "warm nets", it is necessary to spend a lot of effort and energy. And most importantly - its time. Regardless of how deformed the floor on the balcony is, you will have to: clean, level, install, adjust and insulate. All these actions are also associated with the choice of the warmest coating, which will be written about later;
- cash spending. It is possible and even necessary to insulate the balcony, but the fact is that this cannot be done without financial investments. Whether it is various tools, covering materials and heated floors themselves - all this needs to be bought, and the purchase is not cheap. However, there is a mitigating circumstance: savings are possible with the very method of insulation and cutting.
- deformation. This minus is conditional - if you install the floor heating system incorrectly, you can significantly complicate your life. Floors can not only fail quickly, but also deform areas of space. Therefore, you need to take a responsible approach to the installation, selection of floors and their subsequent operation.
Underfloor heating design and operation may vary. It can be a cable type - it can consist of a single wire or a motherboard version, or it can be a completely unusual infrared (in the form of a film) version. Let's try to understand on the basis of what the choice should be made.
See below for more details.
Heating cable system
Differs in simplicity of design and does not require additional installations. It looks like a longitudinal cord. Warming up is carried out thanks to the electricity passing through the wire. This type of heating has its advantages:
- low power consumption;
- safety and security of materials. Due to the strong protection of the cable itself, for example, the covering of the screed on one side, and the presence of the wire in the insulation layer, oxidation is practically impossible;
- the heating system is very easy to operate and adjust.
The structure is in the form of a canvas, measuring 40-50 centimeters. A thin heating wire is fixed on a glass-metal mesh - this serves as a convenient form for installation. The benefits include:
- safety - floor heating mats are the safest construction. When using them, the heating system fully complies with safety measures;
- saving space. The floor height practically does not increase - together with all the insulation, the floor rises by only 1.7 cm;
- easy installation. The balcony has different shapes and the floor is sometimes different. The mats can be easily cut and deformed to fit complex parts, leaving the functional part intact. With this design, the wire is always protected.
The warm infrared floor option is an interesting alternative to classic types of heating. Installation is costly, but, on the other hand, it is chosen very often. And that's why:
- saving consumed electricity. Due to the unique heating system, electricity is not dissipated through the wires, but is accumulated in the system itself, giving off heat to the space to the maximum, using a minimum of energy;
- easy operation system. The system can be turned on immediately after installation - the design is as easy to use as possible;
- fast heating. You can adjust not only the temperature in the room, but also its warm-up time. Usually 10-20 minutes is sufficient.
Such a system is fundamentally different from an electric one - water is heated at its basis. It has the appearance of a cable that is laid in a "snake" along the entire perimeter. The installation of water structures is the least chosen because it can leak and deform. If it breaks down, it is necessary to disassemble the insulation structures to the base - this is expensive. Although, along with this, the water floor system has exceptional advantages:
- saving. The heating system does not consume electricity;
- security. With this design, all safety measures are observed. There will be no fire threat;
- long and high-quality heating of the room. This function is due to the fact that water keeps heat longer than wiring with electricity.
What to make the floor on the loggia and which one is better
If the floor is to be deformed, pay attention to several finishing methods. Depending on the budget, your capabilities and desires, you can mount heating on a balcony with conventional hermetic insulation (cold look), make them insulated or warm. In the future, based on your preferences, you need to choose one of the options:
- a flat floor with a screed, but without thermal insulation;
- leveled surface using heat materials;
- base with a dry screed, but without insulation;
- installation with a semi-dry type screed with insulation;
- construction with a wooden floor on logs and thermal insulation (it is possible without it);
- installation system made of wood using over linoleum;
- packing of expanded polystyrene with addition, but without lag;
- adjusting the room with concrete with further laying of tiles or laminate;
- installation of a warm floor structure and its installation. The heat exchange system can be electrically based or water based.
How to choose
It is easy to figure out what is acceptable for you - you just need to compare the shape of the balcony, its future functions and the type of openness.
For an open type balcony, it is better to lay tiles in the base. If a closed, glazed type of balcony with warm floors is important to you, then take a closer look at the wooden floors. However, there may be exceptions to the rule: the material can be used and vice versa - it all depends on your desire.
The following insulating materials are used in the construction of underfloor heating:
- mineral wool. It is easy to use and perfectly protects the floor from the cold. Cotton wool consists of glass material, which is processed in several ways: first, it is melted, then pulled, cooled and crushed. It is easy to insulate the floor with mineral wool, however, it is necessary to lay waterproofing on top, since at high humidity the material loses its properties;
- foam material. This is a cheap analogue of expensive heaters. It has excellent heat trapping properties. Styrofoam is sold in small slabs of varying thicknesses. It is installed between the gaps of wooden logs;
- penofol is a coating compound that combines foil and foamed polyethylene. In addition to retaining heat, penofol has waterproofing properties and absorbs unwanted noise. There are two types of material: single-sided and double-sided coated. In a private house it is used most often;
- penoplex. It is the most expensive floor covering. It does not let in steam, sounds, and is also resistant to all chemical and mechanical damage. Penoplex is also easy to use and install, the only drawback is its overpriced.
Let's analyze two ways of laying the floor on the balcony. From simple to complex.
The first is tiling. The procedure is simple:
- it is necessary to clean and prepare the surface for further use. Remove all irregularities, residual materials and prepare the walls by stripping;
- measure how much it is necessary to raise the floor and, based on this information, choose the necessary thermal insulation for the loggia. It must be laid on a waterproofing layer;
- after that, you need to pour the screed and lay the tiles on the dried surface.
This floor option can be done on an open balcony. It is better not to give up heating and use one of the electric options for underfloor heating. In order for the tiles to be laid evenly and neatly, experts advise using plastic crosses. At the last stage, they must be removed and the grout done.
Made of wood
This coverage method is more complex and costly. The installation procedure is as follows:
- clean the base of the floor from all previous materials of use, seal the cracks and all irregularities with a sealant in the base, between the corners and the parapet;
- install the screed;
- lay the transverse logs on the prepared base. The distance between them should be in two steps - the beams should not reach the base of the walls, so you can adjust the steps for laying the flooring. Wooden beams are stacked in several rows - this is necessary to level the room along the base;
- further - cover the logs with insulation materials. Treating the floor and walls first with a protective coating is the most reasonable thing. Thus, maximum heat transfer is created;
- install underfloor heating system and fix the temperature controller just above the base of the floor;
- and the last, creative touch remains - cover the structure with laminate, linoleum or wood.
Interesting solutions in interior design
Since the balcony is a limited space, its design must meet the requirements of functionality. To design such a space in a single style, you can use design tricks:
- appliances must be built in and easily regulated;
- hanging cabinets are needed, and tables and shelves are compact;
- if the use of boxes for tools and all kinds of departments is meant, then it is better to place them under the ceiling;
- when finishing, it is advisable to use moisture-resistant materials;
- luminaires must be installed around the entire perimeter. Built-in models, sconces and pendants will look harmonious and not burden the balcony space;
- curtains and blinds are preferable to curtains and drapes.
The design style can be any, the main thing is that you like it and match the overall interior design in the apartment.
If you decide to lay tiles on the balcony, then it is better to use an industrial or classic design style - dark brown shades of furniture with pastel tiles look as natural as possible. In this design, plants and small partitions with flowers can be installed in the corners - green will serve as the most natural accent.
When laying a wooden floor, country style or Provence will look advantageous. Delicate shades of pink in the overall design with the rich colors of the parquet create extraordinary combinations. And bright accessories, the presence of natural elements - will bring an element of romance.
For modern design solutions, for example, high-tech style, both tiles and laminate are suitable. To correctly illuminate the interior, you can install lighting around the entire perimeter of the floor. This method is able to expand the space. And the reflective surfaces and glass details, illuminated by built-in small lights, will also look unusual and bring coziness.