Underfloor heating in a log home

Types and characteristics of underfloor heating system “warm floor

The modern world has given us a lot of unique inventions designed to ensure comfortable living in the house. One such innovation is the underfloor heating, which has recently been used everywhere, it can be found in country houses and apartments. And this is no coincidence, this source of heat carries a lot of advantages compared to the classic heating equipment. Underfloor heating in a wooden house can be used both as an additional heating system and as an alternative to traditional heating equipment. In the article we will make an overview of all types of designs, consider how they differ from each other, and consider what kind of underfloor heating is better to use in a wooden house.

Choice of materials

Before installing heating water circuits in a wooden house, the floors must be insulated. Therefore, it is necessary to choose 3 groups of components:

Among widespread and available heaters for insulation of structures made of wood is best suited mineral (basalt) wool. It is permeable to water vapor, so it blends well with the wood, gives it the opportunity to “breathe” and does not cause rotting. Another thing is that when laying the mineral wool must ensure the exit and removal of these vapors, otherwise it will soak through and will cease to serve as a thermal insulator.

Minwool and shaped polystyrene boards

underfloor, heating, home

Tip. For insulation of the first floor cover is better to use basalt fiber density of 40-80 kg / m ³ and a thickness of at least 150 mm, and in northern regions. 200 mm or more. On the interfloor floor will be mineral wool thickness of 50-100 mm. Its task is not to let the heat intended for the upper rooms into the premises of the first floor and serve as soundproofing.

Polymeric insulators. foam plastic, polyethylene foam, and extruded polystyrene foam are virtually impermeable to moisture. Therefore, they must be used wisely, otherwise the wood in places of contact with the polymer will turn black and rot. The minimum thickness of materials for thermal insulation of the floors of the first floor. 100 mm, in the overlap is enough to lay 20-30 mm.

On warm floors without screed, arranged on wooden floorboards, are the following types of pipes with a diameter of 16 and 20 mm:

High-quality polyethylene pipes (eg, from brand Rehau) are not cheaper than plastic and are not inferior to him on the performance properties. Hence the conclusion: there is no fundamental difference between these types of polymer piping, they are equally good for warm floors.

Copper pipes are much more expensive than plastic ones, and it takes longer to install them. But, in terms of heat transfer, copper has no equals, and therefore is successfully used for underfloor heating of any buildings. An important point: do not use copper heating circuits together with aluminum heat spreading plates, these metals are absolutely “not friendly” with each other.

Since the thermal conductivity of aluminum is higher than steel, the plates of this material are preferred (excluding copper pipes). But keep in mind that high-quality aluminum spreaders are more expensive than galvanized by 1.5-4 times.

Note. of aluminum and galvanized plates from different manufacturers fluctuate in a wide range and can not be compared, because they are made of metals of different thickness. Hence the advice: try to buy thick-walled products, they are able to accumulate and transmit more heat energy.

Corrugated stainless steel is also an excellent option

Of recent materials of interest are flexible corrugated stainless steel pipes. They are durable, installed without welding or soldering, yet transfer heat well and can be used in lightweight stranded systems.

Calculation of the length of the pipe in each circuit, the step of laying and surface temperature is presented in a separate publication. Familiarize yourself with the procedure to determine the exact material quantities.

Uponor installation method

The method is widespread as the most simple and affordable. As a thermal insulating material here is mineral wool, pipes and plates can take at your discretion and financial capabilities. The method is based on laying 20 mm thick timber boards on the joists, at 2 cm intervals for subsequent installation of the underfloor heating, as shown in the diagram:

A ventilation gap is made between the thermal insulation and the base boards (not visible in the diagram)

Note. This scheme can be used in any residential buildings where wooden floors are laid on the joists, including over concrete subfloors.

To make the warm floors with your own hands according to this technology, you need the usual set of locksmith and carpenter tools, as well as special scissors for cutting polymer pipes. Arranging the floor heating on the first floor ceiling (above the ground or unheated basement), perform the work in this order

  • Flush with the bottom edge of the joists nail the skull planks of 25×25 mm. Lay the rough flooring on top of them with 20mm thick planks, as shown in the drawing below.
  • Cover the flooring together with the joists with waterproofing film (technical name: diffusion membrane), waterproof side down. Leave at least 10 cm overlap between the planks and use double-sided adhesive tape to seal the joints.
  • Lay the mineral wool slabs on top of the waterproofing membrane so that they do not crumple, otherwise the basalt fibre will partly lose its insulating properties. The thickness of thermal insulation shall be at least 5 cm less than the board height in order to provide a ventilation gap between the wool surface and the future wooden flooring to remove moisture.
  • Place the vapor barrier film on the joists. Polyethylene must be tightened and fastened to the wood with a stapler, so it does not sag in the gaps between the beams.
  • Across the joists nail boards 2 cm thick, 30 mm away from the wall. Depending on the pitch of the pipe (15 or 20 cm), leave a 20 mm wide gap between the planks for the heat spreading plates.
  • Insert the metal plates into the slots and lay the heating circuit pipes along them, inserting them into the Ω-grooves. To make the pipe turn, shorten the ends of the boards at this point by 10-15 cm.
  • Run the pipe ends along the walls to the heating pad, connect them, and check the system for leaks. Finish the flooring.

Method of laying water heating floor on wooden planks is shown in detail on the

Work on the intermediate floor is performed in the same order, only the boards of the roughing floor can be nailed directly to the floor joists from below. By the way, you can use OSB boards instead of wood, at the same time hemming the ceiling of the first floor.

Important! Do not confuse the diffusion membrane with a vapor barrier film, otherwise the wool will be saturated with water and will cease to be an insulator. Waterproofing at the bottom of the “pie” protects the wool from wetting from the outside, and the upper film prevents the penetration of water vapor. In the floors it is vice versa. the vapor barrier is laid at the bottom, the membrane. on top. To remove moisture from the insulation serves ventilation hole 5 cm and hole made in the walls of the wooden house.

In addition to simplicity and low cost, this method of installation of water heated floors has one drawback. the pipes can only be laid “in a snake”, which is why the premises of a wooden house should be divided into several heating circuits to achieve uniform heating.

Guidelines for the installation of polystyrene system

This method of laying underfloor heating circuits allows you to perform the work much faster and easier, since it involves the use of two-layer boards of polystyrene foam with guides in the form of protruding bosses. Different densities of polystyrene are used for the boards. the upper layer is stronger, the lower one is softer.

Make under this scheme of pipe wiring for floor heating is quite simple

The technique is suitable for any floor with a flat surface, such as OSB plywood (as in the houses of SIP-panels). Warm water flooring on a flat wooden floor is done by the following technology:

  • Cover the joists with OSB sheets and fasten them with galvanized self-tapping screws. If you are working on a wooden floor of the first floor, between the beams it is worth laying a mineral wool insulation, as described in the previous section. The polystyrene system is not thick enough to fully insulate the building from below.
  • Fasten the dampening tape on the walls around the perimeter of the room.
  • Lay the polystyrene boards on the prepared surface, fastening them between each other with the locks.
  • Install the scattering plates in accordance with the scheme and pitch of laying pipes, fixing them between the bosses. Uncoiling the pipe from the coil, insert it into the recesses of the plates.
  • Cover the heating circuits with polyethylene film, overlapping and gluing the sheets.
  • Assemble the floor base of gypsum fiber board (GFB), where you will later lay the final flooring (laminate is a popular choice).

The details of the work are shown in the video from the Russian manufacturer of polystyrene foam systems. company “Rusteplopol”:

Tip. Before laying the finishing coat connect pipelines from the circuits to the manifold distribution-mixing unit and test the tightness (pressurization) pressure 4 bar.

The advantages of shaped insulation for warm water floors are obvious. easy and fast installation, the ability to lay pipes, not only the “snake”, and the snail. There are also disadvantages:

  • high cost;
  • the material can sag from heavy mechanical loads;
  • Because of the gaps between the bosses, a small part of the heat is wasted by useless heating of the air under the flooring.

Other ways of laying pipes

The base for the heating loops, where you can insert the metal plates can also serve other products:

  • Styrofoam boards with ready-made grooves;
  • Factory wood kits with notches for routing piping;
  • polystyrene sheets with a density of 35 kg/m³, where the grooves are cut out by hand with a special thermo knife.

In addition to polystyrene foam with bosses, in the trade network there are polymer plates with ready-made recesses. This option is suitable for installation on a flat surface, as well as inside the floor flush with the joists, as shown in the diagram:

Insulation boards can be placed in between the joists

Note. Disadvantages of the option. the need to cut grooves in the joists for the passage of pipes and fixing the polymer on the corners, so it does not adhere to the wood. That is why it is better to lay the boards with cavities on a subfloor made of OSB plywood or levelled boards.

Set of wooden elements (left) and polystyrene foam with grooves for pipes (right)

A big plus of wooden sets for the device of water underfloor heating is the ability of the coating to bear without deformation the heavy load of cumbersome furniture. Products with cutouts for the plates are mounted on the joists along with the insulation as described above (Uponor brand technology). Set of wooden floor heating has only one disadvantage. the high price of materials.

Homeowners who have time can save on polystyrene system, buying a thermal knife to burn out the grooves and conventional high-density foam. The technology is simple: plates of insulation are spread on a leveled surface, and then you need to burn the route of the pipeline in them according to the scheme. It remains to install the heat distributors and insert the pipes.

Burning grooves in polystyrene with a thermal knife

Common flooring systems

For the installation of insulation and pouring screed to the subfloor has the main requirement it must be rigid, less prone to warping, shrinkage and displacement. This is ensured in different ways, depending on the flooring system.

When working with the floor on the joists the main obstacle is a fairly high distance between them. With a considerable thickness of the board, the upper plane is constantly distorted at different times of the year, such a base is not securely fixed screed. In this case, the practice of pulling the surface of the sheet material, which prevents the formation of local displacements, causing delamination of the concrete mass. At the discretion of the builder the flooring can be performed either over or under the thermal barrier.

with floor framing numerous and often arranged ribs ensure the immobility of the whole plane. Strengthening of the rough floor is required in case of the calculated operational load of less than 100 kg/m2. In other cases, you can pour the screed directly on top of the boardwalk. The recommended step of installation of the frame elements under the underfloor heating is 3540 cm with a board thickness of 25 mm.

How to make warm floors in a wooden house: variants of the device and installation

Underfloor heating is a 20th century invention. Our great-grandfathers did not have electric heating cables or gas boilers. Nevertheless, they came up with their own way of heating. They used the walls of the buildings for this. Making masonry, they left channels in them for the movement of hot stove gases.

Today we don’t need to use these gimmicks. It is possible to make a warm floor in a wooden house with a minimum of effort and money.

Choosing a heating system is very simple:

Both heating options have earned positive reviews. They are equal in terms of comfort and heat output, but not equal in terms of energy cost. Electricity is much more expensive than gas, so the heating cable for underfloor heating is best used in small rooms: bathrooms, kitchens and hallways. For bedrooms and living rooms, a liquid system of pipes, gas or solid fuel boiler is optimal.

That underfloor heating is better than radiators is written and said a lot.

We will only note its most important advantages:

  • Optimum heat distribution. The comfort temperature zone coincides with the living space (from the floor surface to a height of 1.7 meters). When the radiators are working, the air under the ceiling is heated the most.
  • Radiator heating system activates the movement of dust to a greater extent than underfloor heating.
  • In terms of interior aesthetics, underfloor heating is superior to radiators.

Step by step instructions for the installation of electric underfloor heating

Electric floor heating for a wooden house is the best option for organizing an autonomous heating system. Despite the opinion of skeptics that wood. an unsuitable material for the arrangement of electric heating design, heating floors have long been firmly used in wooden buildings. It is important to take a competent and professional approach to the device of the system, taking into account the requirements of fire safety and the peculiarities of wooden buildings. In the article we will tell you how to make a warm floor in a wooden house correctly, what installation methods exist, which systems can be used in a private house made of wood, and what is better to give up.

Any work has its subtleties and limitations, here is a list of points that you need to consider:

  • The maximum length of the working circuit is equal to 70 meters, if the pipe of such length does not allow to cover the entire area of the room, it is necessary to organize a second heating circuit;
  • Reliable waterproofing. In a wooden house, the presence of excellent insulation from moisture ensures that your floor will last a long time without repair. Waterproofing should be done in several layers.

Underfloor heating for wooden houses in 3 variants

To describe all options in one article is not realistic, so I will give you 3 step by step instructions, and you can decide which of them is more suitable for your situation.

Option Water screed floor

At first glance it may seem that such a heavy thing as a concrete screed for wooden houses is contraindicated. However, about half of all wooden houses are built on reinforced concrete poured foundation and in such houses you can easily arrange a classic underfloor heating.

Poured concrete foundation is a good base for underfloor heating.

If you are dealing with a concrete slab, you first need to lay a layer of waterproofing over it. In the budget option is technical polyethylene, but ideally it is desirable to put a membrane “Tekhnonikol” or at least a roofing felt.

Membrane “Tekhnonikol” is currently considered one of the best waterproofing coatings.

Concrete is a cold thing, and in order not to heat it in vain, over the waterproofing is laid a continuous layer of extruded polystyrene foam. The brands “Penoplex” and “Tekhnopleks” have proven themselves in this respect. Do not worry about durability, this insulation can be laid even under the airfield boards.

Until the pipes are laid, I recommend immediately fixing around the perimeter of the room dampening tape. Concrete will expand slightly when heated and this tape compensates for such fluctuations. These tapes are made of polyethylene foam and it is not a problem to buy them.

Damper tape compensates for thermal fluctuations of the concrete slab.

Next, it’s time to lay out the heat loop of metal-plastic pipes. You can attach such pipes to the insulation in several ways.

Another great option is to use a metal grid. Pipes are attached to it with plastic clamps.

This option is also good because your concrete screed will be reliably reinforced.

According to absolutely all masters the best is the mounting carpet with bosses. The pipe is placed between the plastic protrusions and securely fixed there.

By the way there is a sheet of insulation, which is already stuck on such a mounting carpet.

When the floor heating circuits are installed, they need to be connected to the system and the boiler needs to be started up. After a couple of days, if there are no leaks, you can pour the concrete screed.

The screed itself can be poured in two ways. The first way is cheaper, here you need to install metal beacons on top of the warm floor, after which the cement-sand mortar (1:3) is applied and leveled on the beacons with a plastering rule.

Screed on the beams is longer, but costs much cheaper.

The second method is faster and of higher quality, but at least 2 times more expensive. It uses a special self-levelling mixture for filling screed. You just need to dilute it according to the instructions on the packaging, and pour it on the floor, then it aligns itself.

Self-leveling mixture is considered the fastest and best way to arrangement of the screed.

But that’s not all, you can also pour a warm floor in the screed on the second floor of a wooden house. True, this option is only possible in the presence of very strong floor joists. Plus, the screed itself must be reinforced with a steel mesh, otherwise it will crack over time. Scheme of such arrangement with all dimensions is given below.

Scheme of arrangement of a warm floor screed on the beams of the floor in wooden houses.

Option of dry laying water radiant floor

  • If you are not sure about the strength of the beams of flooring, then there is a dry, lightweight option. Here, too, extruded polystyrene foam is laid between the beams of the floor;
  • A layer of waterproofing is placed on it;
  • After that, perpendicular to the beams nailed crate of plank section 100×20 mm or 150×20 mm. The purlins are nailed with a pitch of 20 mm;
  • To increase the heat output of the floor we will use special inserts, bent from a thin metal sheet. Buy such inserts are not a problem and the price is penny;

Step-by-step steps for the arrangement of a dry floor heating.

  • The width of the groove in such inserts is just about 20 mm. That’s why they fit perfectly between the floorboards;
  • Next, you need to mount the pipe wiring contour and lay it in the grooves of the inserts according to the conceived pattern;
  • After testing the system, a layer of polyethylene foam is laid on top of the floor, and the laminate is already mounted on it. In this case, it is not desirable to put a floorboard, as wood is a heat insulator and heating efficiency will be reduced by about half, compared to laminate.

How to install dry floor heating in a wooden house with your own hands.

An electric underfloor heating in a wooden house

Electric floors in a wooden house with their own hands can be mounted a maximum of 2. 3 days. You just have to decide on the type of heating element. There are only four types.

The thickness of such a film is about a millimeter. The uniqueness of the idea is that infrared radiation warms the floor covering only partially, the main energy is directed to heat everything on the floor.

Here we are dealing with an analogue of infrared film, only the heater is made in a different form.

Underfloor heating in a suspended wood floor | Insulation | Screed

From experience, I can add that if you do not want to deal with concrete screed, the best option for electric floor heating in a wooden house will be the use of infrared film. Detailed, step by step instructions on the arrangement is given below in the video in this article.

Infrared film flooring for a wooden house is considered one of the best options.

What to insulate floors in a wooden house from below, depending on the type of foundation

What to insulate the floors in a wooden house below, the choice of insulation depends on the type of foundation and the first floor floor slabs. For insulation of floors of the first floor of houses from a bar, log, frame boards or other types of timber are used moisture-resistant, breathable and corresponding to the norms of sanitary and fire safety insulation. The right characteristics have the right characteristics:

Optimal results are reached by placing an insulating layer underneath. In this design does not reduce the height of the ceilings inside the premises, the lower wreaths, floors and beams of the first floor are protected against freezing, and the dew point is shifted to the floor surface.

The latter reduces the risk of rot processes to a minimum, with the correct laying of layers insulating pie floors in a wooden house does not need to update for decades.

The choice of insulation depends on the type of foundation and first floor slabs

Heat insulation technology and materials depend first of all on the type of foundation of the house or bath. In particular:

Floors in buildings with pile or pole foundations are insulated only with beams, using any breathable heat insulators such as rock or mineral wool, including loose materials, provided the installation of double decking and protection of the layer from moisture, internal condensation accumulation and blowing out. With unlimited budgets and high elevation of the beam, the easiest and fastest way to insulate them is to spray foam insulation between the beams.

Wooden houses with strip foundations are insulated with insulation on the ground or beams. In the first case, the preference is a compacted polystyrene foam or EPPS, in the second. mineral wool, rock wool or bulk insulation (foam glass, closed-cell polystyrene foam, ecowool, sawdust pellets).

Floors on foundations with low or buried cross dikes are insulated in a similar manner to strip footing.

Slab foundations, if possible, are insulated with extruded polystyrene foam at the stage of embedding. Floor heating systems (water pipes or cables, laid at the concreting stage) and roll-fed insulation materials (cork, foamed PE) also help reduce the level of heat loss in such buildings.

Wooden houses with a basement are insulated from below with sprayed PU, roll insulators, EPPS or hydrophobic mineral wool. Board materials in such cases are held in place by a counter-batten.

Technical requirements when installing an electrical system

Owners who have decided to arrange an electric underfloor heating in a country house, should follow the rules, compliance with which will eliminate the likelihood of risky situations and problems during operation.

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When installing a conductive floor heating system, you need to keep in mind that:

  • Heating cable laying should be even, providing equal parameters on all parts of the floor.
  • The presence of a thermostat, equipped with temperature sensors of the entire floor structure and air cushion, will eliminate overheating and spontaneous ignition. Limit value automatically controlled by the thermostat for wooden floors 40 ° C.
  • A waterproofing membrane is required to avoid the effects of humidity, as it is an excellent conductor.
  • Flooring thickness of hardwood (beech, oak) must not exceed 24 mm, the thickness of pine or larch lumber must not exceed 22 mm.
  • It is not recommended to install electric cables in places where there are heavy pieces of furniture, the weight of which often causes damage to the electric cables in the long term.

It is impractical and undesirable to lay synthetic or natural carpeting over the floor heating system. They will perform the function of insulation, due to which the generated heat will not fully flow into the heated rooms.

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