Floor Heating System Installation Methods
Selecting a floor heating installation method to suit your floor covering and construction
Reviewing our Cost & Control page may assist with your selection.
Thin bed floor heating
A 2.5mm cable is installed at 60 – 80mm spacing on either a concrete floor or over a timber floor that is lined with cement sheeting.
The cable is normally installed from a reel and is held in position by adhesive tapes or a thin plastic mesh, until being embedded within a 3mm self-levelling material, then tiled over.
In-screed floor heating
A 5mm cable is run at around 100mm spacing over a concrete floor or timber floor lined with cement sheeting. This is the most common method used for bathroom floors and the cable is installed after the surface is waterproofed. A sand/cement screed of around 25 – 40mm thickness is installed by the tiler and tapers to provide fall to the floor waste for drainage.
Concrete floor heating
Installation involves the attachment of a heavy duty heating cable to the concrete floor reinforcing mesh. This system does not provide fast response, as the mass of concrete takes several hours to warm up. However this is not a problem in well insulated homes on a concrete floor, where internal temperature changes are gradual. Although this is common with polished bare concrete, all of the usual floor coverings can be used.
Under carpet heating
This system is made with fluoropolymer insulated heating cables, sandwiched between two layers of specially reinforced aluminium foil. The uniform spacing of the heating elements, further backed by the aluminium foil, ensures even heat distribution. The heating element is connected to a power-supply cable, which exits the laminate mat from one corner.
Since the mat is laid over the underlay, the response time is excellent.
The mat material is sold in 500mm wide rolls of various lengths. The rolls can be cut to lay back and forth, allowing any shape to be heated.
The main central part of carpeted rooms is heated, planning to avoid fixed furnishings such as beds.
Timber floor heating
Heating beneath timber floors can be done in either of two ways, depending on the flooring method and base structure.
The temperature beneath all heated floors is regulated to 30C or whatever is noted in manufacturer’s specifications.
If the timber floors are over concrete, the floors are battened out at 450mm, then 4 runs of heating cable are laid between each batten space, with slots formed near the ends to allow the cables to cross between batten spaces.
Flooring is then fixed down to the battens in the usual way.
Suspended timber floors can be heated by having the heating cables supported on wire mesh beneath the flooring. Thermal insulation below this is absolutely necessary.
The process is straightforward if the installation can be done from above before the floor is laid. However, it can also be done from beneath, provided that there is sufficient access space.
A novel method for preventing your bathroom mirrors from fogging up, is to install a Heatec mirror warmer.
Installation is simple, involving sticking the heater against the wall before mounting the mirror.
They are usually wired to the lighting circuit, enabling the mirror heater to automatically commence warming as soon as the light is switched on.