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What coating is suitable for underfloor heating

Underfloor heating is heated with water and electric heating elements. The temperature of the heaters at maximum power reaches 60 degrees, so the adhesives for parquet and laminate softens and the reliability of attachment becomes lower. The heaters are mounted on the thermal insulation, so all the heat goes upwards, to the coating.

Laminate flooring

Laminate is a material with low rigidity. It is laid on the prepared base. screed or plywood substrate that is more than 16mm thick. With a thickness of 15 mm, made of wood-fibre boards (wood-fibre board) laminate and plywood substrate on thermal insulating properties equal to the insulation of cellophane foam thickness of 8 mm.

Underfloor heating made of laminate heats up 15 to 25 percent slower than underfloor heating made of tile. Mounting laminate on the concrete screed is carried out by the method of floating floor, high humidity of the room or water spillage will lead to a shift in the pattern of the coating. The mounting on the plywood is done with the laminate flooring fastened with self-drilling screws, it improves the flooring strength and reduces the likelihood of pattern shift when the humidity increases. Service life of laminate on a warm floor. 10-15 years.

coating, suitable, underfloor, heating


Floor tiles and porcelain tiles. high-strength materials with good thermal conductivity, so the floors with this coating heats up faster than others by 10-35 percent. Tile adhesive is not afraid of high temperatures and humidity, does not wear out over time. The service life of the coating is limited by the reliability of the heating elements. Damage to electric underfloor heating will require removal and replacement of individual tiles.


Performance and thermal properties of the parquet is similar to the laminate. Parquet expands when exposed to moisture more than laminate, so you must carefully monitor the humidity in the room. When exposed to temperatures up to 40 degrees, parquet loses moisture and shrinks in size. That’s why you must install parquet below 8 percent humidity. Otherwise, after a week of using the floor, there will be large gaps between the slats of parquet, which are difficult to eliminate. To combine a warm floor and parquet requires plywood substrate thickness of over 20 mm, which increases the cost of heating.

Linoleum and carpeting

Thin linoleum and carpeting are inferior to tile in thermal conductivity, but superior to parquet. For installation of these materials the screed is filled with self-leveling compounds. Linoleum and carpet on a warm floor have the lowest cost of all coatings. Stores sell linoleum with imitations of ordinary and artistic parquet, solid wood, marble, cork flooring.


Of all the materials for covering cork has the lowest thermal conductivity.


Laminated and painted plywood has the same thermal insulation properties as parquet and laminate. For laying plywood requires a screed thickness of more than 6 cm. For laminate and parquet 3 cm is enough. When using plywood over 20 mm thick, it is laid directly on wooden or aluminum rails. This method can be used for a temporary covering of a warm floor.

Massive board

Solid wood is similar to parquet and laminate in its thermal conductivity. Thanks to the larger size in comparison with parquet, the planks are laid on concrete without glue, using the floating floor method. Such laying is not reliable, but it allows to reduce expenses for heating with use of infra-red heating elements. The best way to install solid planks on the warm floor. fastening with self-tapping screws to the plywood underlayment.

3D solid flooring

Poured flooring is similar to tile in its thermal conductivity. Low thickness, smooth surface of the coating, application of 3D and ordinary drawings make the poured floors indispensable for covering the warm floor. High durability and immunity to high and low humidity increase the service life of the floor heating up to 20-25 years. When using high-quality heating elements that meet the requirements of the manufacturer of heat transfer fluids, the use of voltage regulators, water and electric floors with poured 3D flooring will work without repair for the entire period of operation. The cost of poured floors is equal to the cost of laying decorative and artistic parquet.

You must spend a lot of money for a heated floor. The cost per square meter ranges from 30 to 150 dollars. At such a cost of work an attempt to save on materials will lead to the need for repair in 3-5 years. When planning the construction of a warm floor, select the material for the coating in advance. This will help to optimize the technology, eliminate unnecessary operations and avoid overspending of the material.

You can read an article about the technology of laying an impregnated floor with a pattern.

Linoleum under a warm floor

A variety of linoleum is great, some major types are five, but for floors with heating are used only two: these are natural linoleum. Marmoleui and materials made of PVC or, as they are also called “vinyl”. Which is better?? Of course natural, but they are expensive. Vinyl. a more budget-friendly option.

However, even in these groups are not suitable materials on the foam or “shaggy” basis. These coatings have low thermal conductivity, that is poorly conduct heat, and we do not need this. Therefore, the linoleum on the floor heating choose as thin as possible. Here’s the other side: the thinner the linoleum, the more even and clean should be laid surface. Even a grain of sand under a thin coating will be visible, over time in this place will form a microscopic bump. And if there are several bumps, you get a rough surface, which will not add joy. So, as always, the best solution is in the middle. the average thickness of the linoleum on a smooth base or without a base.

Linoleum is a budget flooring option for a warm floor. Good behave semicommercial vinyl flooring

There are also special recommendations for installation: be sure to sustain the coating for a few days at room temperature, but even better to spread linoleum, and, without fixing, to keep it for a few days with the included heating floor. During this time it will take “working” size and no problems with expansion/shrinkage will arise in the future.

How to fix linoleum on a warm floor? Better. with an even layer of mastic over the entire surface. This way the heating will be more uniform. And. so there’s no air trapped under the flooring and it won’t “wiggle” and swell.

How to choose a coating for underfloor heating

According to their design, heating floors can be divided into electric cable, carbon fiber, flexible infrared and water. All these heating systems can be combined with the finishing materials that perform the role of external floor covering. These are: linoleum and parquet, plywood and laminate, cork and carpeting, tile, polymer and vinyl materials.

The following recommendations for choosing a finish are appropriate for all types of underfloor heating:

    For underfloor heating systems in the bathroom or kitchen, tiles are the best choice. It is resistant to dirt and moisture, is highly reliable at an affordable price. Due to the huge variety of material, you can choose a tile with the desired texture for any interior.

Infrared equipment

This type of floor heating is fundamentally different from the water subspecies. Installation takes no more than one day. And most of the time is devoted to the competent distribution of areas that require increased attention.

Underfloor Heating Pros and Cons. All You Need To Know About Underfloor Heating Pros And Cons

The rest is done in a few hours. Simplicity of construction does not mean availability of materials. Only suitable for infrared heating:

Of course, each has its own advantages. They all have one thing in common. Versatility due to the initial manufacture of quality materials with high thermal conductivity. The temperature of a warm floor rarely even reaches 21 degrees Celsius.

Usually everyone exhibits a standard 20. Proper installation will eliminate heat loss. An insulating layer keeps moisture out and directs the flow of radiation strictly upwards.

Rapid heating/cooling involves temperature fluctuations. So the material must initially be resistant to such things.

The room must be carefully insulated with appropriate substances. Then it warms up effectively due to the exclusion of losses.

Of all the available coatings, only ceramic tiles are demanding to install. Preference should be given to models with the presence of self-regulating rods.

Such mats are used even in places with high humidity. Some are successfully combined with porcelain tile. But you have to think about the heat reflective substrate. The total thickness of the floor heating remains at 2 to 6 cm.

Features of soft coatings, laminate, parquet

Infrared floor heating, unlike water heating, can be quickly repaired. Installation of not hard final flooring excludes a serious fixation. The only difficulty will be to ensure the required rigidity. The parameter is achieved by installing a protective layer. Even plywood or particle board is suitable.

Then children/adults can even jump without fear of breaking the structure. After all, the material itself has some rigidity. And do not forget about the presence of a waterproofing layer. Solid polyethylene will prevent even the slightest penetration of moisture on the carbon heater.

The permissible thickness is 5-8 mm. This is quite sufficient if adequately protected. The mechanical effect is also damped by a special laying device. That is, nothing is attached to the panels themselves. An additional layer has points of support in the right spaces.

The details are considered at the planning stage. They are marked on the graph for the concentration of heat in specific places.

What materials must not be used

Regardless of the type of underfloor heating, some materials are not recommended for use as a coating. This category includes:

In addition to the above products, do not put a parquet floor made of natural wood on the warm floor. Heat tends to dry out the wooden surface and cause cracks. Also natural bamboo flooring is not recommended for this reason. If you ignore this rule, the floor finish will need to be repaired or replaced after only one year of use.

Cork boards are also not recommended for such a design. Such a layer will take a long time to warm up, and already at 28 ° C, the product will begin to deform and delaminate.

When choosing a floor covering for this type of heating system, materials containing the following substances should be avoided:

When heated such products emit substances that are not safe for health.

Important performance characteristics of materials for TP

Choosing a floor covering for warm floors, you must pay attention to some of its important parameters, as well as special installation conditions.

Thermal conductivity (heat transfer)

One of the key characteristics. Ideally, its value should be as high as possible to reduce the inertia of the heat transfer process from the heating elements of a warm floor to the facing surface. The best thermal conductivity has ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles, natural stone, and similar finishing materials with high density. At the same time, the heat transfer capacity, even in the volume of the same type of flooring material from different manufacturers, can differ significantly. After all, in the production of different types of, for example, the same ceramic tile uses a variety of combinations of raw materials, as well as specific technologies. As a result, differences in the thermal conductivity of ceramic coatings can have some influence on the difference in the cost of exploitation of TP with them.

In addition, choosing mineral finishing materials for a warm floor, you should take into account that their high rate of heat transfer, being an advantage when heating in the heating season, is sometimes perceived as a drawback in the warm season. Cold ceramic surface, intensely dissipating heat, can cause tactile discomfort.

The coefficient of thermal expansion

Consideration of this characteristic is especially important if the lining is used for piecework. It does not matter if it is a synthetic material (laminate, PVC tiles) or if it is of natural origin, e.g. if you have selected parquet for the underfloor heating. The higher the coefficient of thermal expansion, the larger elements in the assembled finish are preferred. Otherwise, alternating thermal deformations will lead to the fact that the joints of areas of floor lining will appear noticeable cracks. Or, alternatively, as the coating heats up, it will swell. For the same reason, roll materials or large-format materials with a large coefficient of linear expansion should be installed correctly, observing the established values of thermal gaps in places where they adjoin the walls or utilities protruding from the floor.

Installation method

It also depends on the selection of the power of the underfloor heating. For example, a tile laid only on a layer of glue will warm up much faster than on glue and a thick screed. If the coating is a laminate, whose thermal conductivity compared to ceramics is already lower by at least 20-25%, and even lay it on a substrate of plywood, but not glued to the screed, the heating efficiency will be quite low.

Types of underfloor heating

Almost any type of flooring can be used with almost any type of system “warm floor”. In general, there are two large groups of floor heating, differing in design: water and electric.

Water underfloor heating

Hot water flows through the pipes and heats the floor

Floors of this type are installed, as a rule, in private homes. But sometimes owners make the mistake of thinking that the floor heating can be used as the main source of heating. Firstly, it is not possible to heat the room with a floor heating system, and secondly, using a system with a higher temperature than allowed for the floor covering (max 28 °C) will deform it. It is important to remember that the floor heating is only an additional source of comfort. To create and maintain the desired temperature in the room use batteries or convectors.

There is one more nuance in the operation of water underfloor heating. To heat water in the house, you install a special boiler. By the time the water reaches from the boiler to the underfloor heating system, it will have cooled a few degrees. Therefore, in order to know the exact temperature of the coolant, the temperature sensor must be installed in the area of operation of the floor heating, not at the boiler.

And the main advantage of water heated floors is their fire safety. They will not be harmed by short circuits and violations of the integrity of the wiring.

Electric underfloor heating

The principle of their work is based on heating the metal elements under the base. Therefore they should be used with extreme caution in wooden homes.

Electric floors are divided into two main types:


Cable flooring. an old and proven system

The floor is mounted on the rough cement-sand screed and poured with concrete (leveling material) in the area of operation. This provides adequate safety. in case of power surges, at worst, the system will burn out in the concrete, but there will be no fire. Cable flooring can serve for more than 20 years if the rules are observed.


Infrared film warming floors are sold in rolls and simply rolled out on the surface of the substrate

Mounted directly under the flooring. Few people know, but the film floors come in two types:

  • Convective. Developed specially for quartz-vinyl tile. There are copper heating elements in the film, which transmit the heat to the floor on the principle of auto glass heating systems.
  • Infrared. With a complex design: around the perimeter of the film are sewn two rails, and between them are placed graphite strips. Here the principle of operation is similar to infrared saunas or infrared lamps.

Coating for water underfloor heating. Which floor is best??

In this article, we will discuss in detail the installation of a water underfloor heating under the perfect finishing coat for a warm floor. Today, with all the richness of the choice of construction methods of houses and the choice of building materials, the problem surfaced: how not to spoil all the beauty of repair hanging on the wall battery?

Many have already learned that underfloor heating can help in this situation. That is why today floor heating systems are gaining popularity. It is beautiful, or rather the floor heating system has no effect on your interior. Underfloor heating is economical. Heating costs are reduced by up to 50 percent. Underfloor heating is great. You can walk around in your underwear and barefoot all year round.

About all the advantages of a system of underfloor heating, it must be understood that everything must be done properly. And competently select the final coating for underfloor heating. Since not all subfloors are suitable for installation on top of the underfloor heating system.

There are several types of basic flooring:

  • Laminate and parquet board, which is 6-12mm in size. The materials are laid on plywood or glue.
  • Laminate is another type of flooring, whose dimensions are 0.7-5mm in height. Does not require fixing, it is enough to lay it on the adhesive basis.
  • Ceramic tile is a kind of flooring that is used more in bathrooms. Product thickness 5-12 mm. It is fastened on the glue.
  • Carpeting is a popular type of material with a pile thickness of 4 mm. The pile is made of fabric material, and the thickness of the main coating is 6mm.
  • The size of a parquet board is no more than 20 cm. Basic boards are well laid on glue.

Underfloor heating has many advantages, including: improved climate comfort, absence of draughts and increased efficiency of heat dissipation. All these undeniable advantages explain why its installation enjoys incredible popularity.

At the moment this type of heating is widely in demand not only in the kitchen, but also in the living room, bedroom and other types of premises.

Water is used as a heater for a reason. It warms up quickly enough to the desired temperature, besides it is cheap.

If you follow the main rules of operation of a warm waterborne floor, it can heat the room for 50 years in constant operation. In addition, such a floor is very easy to repair.

In general, the warm water floor has a certain scheme of installation, which includes a prepared base. It serves as a platform for installing a thermal and waterproofing system, on which the pipes with a heat source (mainly water) are bred.

The top coating. concrete screed. Each listed component of this structure has its own purpose. Take, for example, thermal insulation, whose main task. to send heat to the right place for heating the room. Most often, in order to achieve this task, as an ideal material is used a board made of high-density polystyrene foam, which has a thickness of 200 mm. Also read our article on installation of electric underfloor heating.

Watch a video of underfloor heating installation with basic mistakes:



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