What electric floor under a tile is better

Installation of electric underfloor heating under the tile with their own hands

Before you start installing the underfloor heating system, you need to make a plan of its layout on paper.

Of the total area are excluded floor areas on which will be placed appliances or furniture, also create a buffer zone between the electric heating system and the heating pipes or other heat sources, if any.

As a result, most likely, you will get an irregular shape, inscribed in a square or rectangular shape of the room. Consider the place of installation of the thermal controller. Sometimes you have to lay a dedicated electrical wiring line with a suitable capacity for the underfloor heating.

Preparing the ground

Installation of electric underfloor heating begins with substrate preparation. Any system is laid on a clean flat surface if necessary perform a complete removal of the old coating and level the floor with a screed. Lay a layer of waterproofing material on the base with the overlap on the wall.

Along the perimeter of the floor on the wall attach damping tape, it will compensate the thermal expansion between the floor and wall. For waterproofing use foamed polyethylene with foil coating, conventional or extruded polystyrene foam with a thickness of 20-50 mm.

Tip! If the installation of the floor heating is provided on the veranda or loggia before waterproofing lay a layer of insulation, it can be mineral wool or polystyrene foam thickness of 10 cm.

Peculiarities of installation of cable or rod floor heating under the tile

Installation of termo-mats under the tile is different in that it is installed without insulation. It is also allowed to install it on the old tile. Solid flooring is laid on the foil base. Further installation is carried out according to the same scheme.

The installation of underfloor heating begins with the preparation of the subfloor. After that the thermo regulator is installed. The temperature sensor is placed in a corrugated tube with a diameter of 9-16 mm, and to pipe it was flush with the floor for it make strokes. Work in the following sequence:

  • It is recommended to apply a layer of deep penetrating primer on a clean and even base, which will improve the adhesion of the floor with tile adhesive.
  • When the primer begins to dry, begin to roll out the roll of thermo-mat, placing it in accordance with the prepared scheme. This will be a trial, rough laying.
  • In the process, in order to turn the strip, you have to cut the mesh. This should be done very carefully, so as not to damage the cable.
  • When the thermal mat has covered the entire area, it is rolled up again.
  • The next layout will be the final, finishing. As the smearing process, from the underside of the mesh remove the protective tape, exposing the adhesive layer, so that the newly rolled up roll glued to the entire surface of the floor. If the adhesive base is not provided thermomats are glued to the floor with pieces of masking tape.
  • Connect the electric floor to the network through a thermostat.
  • After that thermal mats are covered with tile adhesive, which layer should not exceed 7 cm.
  • When the screed is dry, you can start laying the flooring on the minimum layer.

Important! Do not turn on the floor heating until the tile adhesive is completely dry.

Types of electric underfloor heating under tiles

We recommend two types of electric underfloor heating under a tile: electric mat and heating cable. But this is far from small. Cables are of different types, even though they are all heating or heating cables.

Heating cable types and their properties

Cables for underfloor heating are of two types. resistive and self-regulating. For the manufacture of resistive use materials that give off heat when current flows. Usually it’s a metal alloy in a polymer heat-resistant shell. Resistive heating cable for underfloor heating can be single and double stranded. A single-core has to be connected at both ends, a double-core only at one end. This is the main difference between them.

There are resistance and self-regulating or smart floor heating cables

What are the disadvantages of resistance heating cables?? The main one is that they can burn out if overheated. And they can overheat if you put something on the floor for a long time, which will reduce the heat dissipation from this area of the floor. So you have to be careful with it.

Self-regulating cables are so named because they automatically cool when the temperature rises. In fact, they are not cables, but plastic matrixes connected in parallel. The polymer is used with special properties. The higher its temperature, the higher its resistance.

The difference between the connection of single-core and double-core heating cables

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An increase in resistance leads to a decrease in current, and this in turn leads to a decrease in temperature. This regulates the degree of heating on a segment of such a cable. Seems ideal. Except that it is not very reliable and often burns out. Therefore, despite the disadvantages, most often under the tile it is placed resistive cable or mats made of it. They are cheaper and more durable.

How to lay a heating cable and what is a cable mat

Heating cable is usually laid in a loop on the surface of the floor, not occupied by furniture. The step of laying the cable is determined by the required heating power. When installing, the loops are attached to special clips. That is, the very process of laying and securing takes time. And the cable is filled with a 3 cm screed. That is, if you want to lay a heating cable under a tile on the floor, you must pour screed. And wait 28 days before turning it on for the first time. To lay the heating cable directly under the tiles is not possible. It doesn’t provide for that.

Under-tile heating cable floor heating. The heater is rolled into the screed, and then the tiles are laid on the screed with tile adhesive

A cable mat is a polymer mesh, onto which a heating cable is glued in a serpentine manner. These pieces can be of different lengths and wattages. And the width is usually 60 cm. So you can choose the right size for any room. When laying, the mat is simply rolled out on the floor. And the floor is ready for laying floor tiles.

The cable mat is the easiest to lay

Tile adhesive is applied to the under-tile mat and the tiles are laid on it immediately. No additional layers or work. So under the tiles, this type of heater is ideal.

Other types of electric floor heating tile

Still under the tile on the floor you can lay a film and rod heater. But in this design, they have more disadvantages than advantages.

If we consider all the options for a warm floor, only the infrared film is not suitable for laying under the tile

Is it worth using infrared film flooring?

Filmed floor heating strips of carbon paste rolled into the film. When installing under tile, an adhesive is applied to the film, and the film is placed on top of it. So it’s like laying a cable mat. But this type of heating is worse in terms of durability. The heater itself is the separator between the base and the layer of adhesive. It turns out that the tiles lie on a layer of adhesive and are not connected in any way to the floor underneath them. And this leads to the fact that over time, the vibrations destroy the upper layer. The layer of glue, and behind it, the tiles crack.

Even a special peorized foil is better not to put under the tiles

Manufacturers, in an attempt to adapt this material for installation with tiles, make a film with through holes. This variant provides some degree of adhesion to the substrate. But it only works when the substrate is heavy and stable. Something like a monolithic board. That is, when the vibrations capable of destroying the point bonding occurs very rarely. And there are no guarantees. The film floor is ideal for laying under laminate, but it’s not very good even with holes under tiles.

Rod infrared flooring: it’s all about design

This heater is supposed to be very good under tile. These are carbon rods connected by wires. The rods are connected in parallel, which increases the reliability of the heater. If one of the rods burns out, the others work. This side seems fine.

A rod floor heater is installed in a layer of glue. Provides excellent adhesion between the finish and the substrate. The area of the heater itself is small is thin rods. And the space between them is filled with glue. So on this side it’s also okay.

The problem is that this type of heater often fails. Specifically, the rods burn out at the attachment points to the wires. It seems to be no big deal. If one or two bars are not working it’s not a problem. The others work. But gradually the others stop working. When a few burn out, more current goes to the others, which leads to overheating of the connection and they just can’t stand it. And while this problem is not solved.

How to choose an electric underfloor heating tips and the best manufacturers

Tiles are quite often chosen as a floor covering. it is durable, not afraid of moisture and does not deform over time, in addition, it is easy to clean dirt. True, it has a drawback: it is uncomfortable to walk on it barefoot, especially in winter. You can correct this problem by laying underfloor heating under the tiles. Experts recommend laying electric underfloor heating, as its installation is quite simple, it does not cost too much and consumes little electricity. And here’s how to choose the right electric floor heating under the tile, we will figure out in the article.

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Variant #1 water underfloor heating

Features of the arrangement technology

The pipes themselves can be connected to a separately standing boiler or centralized heating. This type of heating is applicable as the main source of heat, as well as an additional.

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The technology of installation of the water floor includes a number of steps:

  • Laying on a prepared basic base of foil insulation;
  • Laying of reinforcement mesh for fixing the water pipes;
  • Installation of the system of metal-plastic pipes;
  • Pouring sand-cement screed;
  • Laying tiles on the adhesive.

A thermal insulation layer is designed to minimize the consumption of thermal energy for heating the underlying surface. Foil insulation, reflecting heat, will redirect the flow upwards to heat the room.

Especially relevant is the observance of this condition when designing a warm floor in the rooms located on the first floors, under which unheated basements are located.

Advantages and disadvantages of this system

Properly executed concrete screed, hiding under the contours of the water pipes, performs two functions:

  • Serves as a solid base for laying hard surface such as porcelain tiles or tiles.
  • Acts as a powerful accumulator of thermal energy.

Being heated by the metal-plastic pipes, laid in it, the concrete screed evenly distributes heat, transferring it to the ceramic tiles.

A significant disadvantage of this type of floor is its thickness. Only the cement screed “eats” 30-60 mm of height. In standard apartments, which are not characterized by high ceilings, the “stolen” centimeters will immediately notice.

In addition, the screed is poured for more than a decade. And provide access for visual inspection and maintenance of the heating system is not possible. In the case of leaks and repairs will need to dismantle not only the tile coating, but also the concrete screed.

electric, floor, tile, better

Experts do not recommend installing it in multi-storey buildings of Soviet constructions, because used in those days the interfloor ceilings are not provided for increased loads, which will create a massive heat-accumulating screed.

Planning to connect the water floor to the centralized heating system, be prepared that not many companies give permission to take heat from the heating risers, because it can upset its balance. Yes, and when connecting the system in addition to the basic costs will require the installation of expensive adjustment equipment.

This is due to the fact that the water temperature in the heating radiators and underfloor heating circuits are significantly different.

But for the owners of private homes, a water heated floor is the ideal solution. After all, they are not bound by spatial restrictions and to install the system does not require the passage of any harmonization procedures. It is enough, following the manufacturer’s recommendations, to install the equipment. And then maintain pressure in the system and circulation in the loop, as well as control the temperature and quality of the coolant.

You can calculate the parameters of water floor heating with our online calculator:

Supply temperature, o C.
Return temperature, o C.
Pipe pitch, m.
Floor covering
Screed thickness over the pipe, m.
Specific heat power, W/m 2
Floor surface temperature (average), o C
Specific heat transfer fluid flow rate, (l/h)/m 2

In this video you can see the typical mistakes during the installation of the system of water underfloor heating:

Cable electric floors

Cable systems are formed by elements in the form of single-core or double-core heating cable sold in coils. The single core is cheaper, but it is also more difficult to install it: the cable must return to the thermostat.

Heating elements are not placed under plumbing or heavy stationary furniture: this causes overheating of the cable, and heating is not required there.

The main advantage of the cable type of floor heating is the possibility of forming an arbitrary heating zone.

But there are also serious disadvantages:

  • Prior to installation, complex calculations are made in order to draw up a correct cable layout.
  • Under the tile requires a thick layer of screed (3 to 5 cm) covering the elements of the system. Such a design increases the load on the floor and reduces the height of the room.
  • If the heating element is damaged, the underfloor heating system will fail. It requires a large and expensive repair.

The following conclusion can be made: electric cable flooring is the best option for new buildings, which in any case require leveling the floor with screed.

Rating 2021 best electric underfloor heating under tiles

There are several good options that are in demand and recommended by experts. All of them have been tested in real conditions and have proven their effectiveness:

  • Teprolux PROFIMAT is a heating mat, which is a two-wire shielded cable on a polymer grid. Thanks to the thermostat can adjust the system as you wish. Thanks to the multi-wire design, the risk of breakage is minimized. Practically no electromagnetic radiation, since an aluminum-lavsan band jacket is used. Efficiency is high due to the double-core cable, while energy consumption is moderate. It should be noted that if you buy a complete set for a room not more than 15 square meters, the manufacturer gives a lifetime warranty on it.
  • Devi is a heating cable that is made in Denmark. It can have a polyvinylchloride or Teflon sheath, there are both single and double stranded versions. Depending on the power required, the optimum stacking ratio is selected. Due to the good heating performance cable can be used as primary heating. It starts to heat the room within 15 minutes after switching on. To ensure maximum efficiency is mandatory use of a thermostat, it is purchased separately.
  • Wirt are heating mats, which are manufactured in Belarus according to the German technology. 15 years manufacturer’s warranty is a proof of high quality. The basic element is a double-wire cable fixed on a glass fiber base by the stitching method. The set comes with a thermostat, which is also important.
  • LAVITA. thermal film produced in South Korea, which can be 50 or 100 cm wide. The carbon fiber strips are laminated with technical polyester on both sides. The elements are connected by copper busbars with silver paste contacts, such a design ensures complete water tightness. These infrared floors have a service life of up to 50 years and resist loads well. Power consumption is also small, which is important when you often use the heating system.
  • Warmstad. heating mats consisting of double-wire cable with a diameter of 4 mm and a durable polymer base. Two conductors with differently directed currents almost completely extinguish electromagnetic radiation. The area of mats ranges from 0.65 to 14 square meters, which allows you to choose the best option for any room. The modules can be installed with tile adhesive and have an affordable price and a 15-year warranty, so they are reliable and long-lasting.
  • Heating cable Teprolux TROPIX has two wires and different cross section depending on the required power. Electromagnetic radiation is dampened by an alumino-lavsan band. Once filled in the screed, the system works for at least 50 years, so you don’t have to worry about its reliability. Thermostat to be purchased separately, any type of device will do.


electric, floor, tile, better

To learn about the features of products from a particular manufacturer, it is worth reading reviews from users on specialized resources.

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Installation of such warm floors requires certain skills and knowledge, so it is better to entrust the design and calculation to professionals. When miscalculating a good heat output from the water floor will not be, and the ceramic tile can eventually delaminate.

Important features of the installation of water underfloor heating systems:


  • To reduce heat loss should always use a foil insulation, and already on it to put a wire mesh and water pipes.
  • Pipes are laid without strong kinks, the length of one pipeline should not exceed 100 m.
  • When connecting to a stand-alone boiler in the house should calculate its power consumption with a reserve. Otherwise, when working “at the limit” it can quickly wear out.
  • After laying pipes must be checked for possible leaks and only then filling screed and laying tiles.

Choice of heater wattage

Depending on the type of room in which you plan to install electric underfloor heating, its power will depend on. First determine the usable area, that is, the area under which the underfloor heating will be laid.

If this type of heating in the room is the main, it must occupy at least 70% of its area. On average, 110-220 W/m2 are needed for heating the room. For the bath and the loggia will need more power, for the kitchen or living room it can be less.

It is best when the heating system will work at 75% of its capacity, this will significantly increase its service life.

Calculation example

Cable specific power should be within the range 100-160 W/m 2.

If you take the minimum, the power of the floor heating should be 1.4 kW, and in the case of the maximum 2.24 kW.

If using cable, it is recommended to install it as main heating.

If a cable with 20W/m capacity is purchased, you will need 70 or 112m of cable to heat the room. The cable is sold in fixed lengths, and to gain the required length, it is connected with special couplings. The calculation of heating mats and infrared film is carried out on the same principle.


This is the easiest and cheapest type of heater, it looks like an ordinary wire. The cable is fixed on the floor with clamps, and then the screed is poured. If the cable is thin, it can be installed in a layer of tile adhesive. Single-core or double-core cable can be used, they differ from each other by the way they are connected. During the installation of the first variant, it is necessary to create a closed loop, that is, bring both of its ends into one point.

Regardless of the type of cable used, it works on the same principle: during the passage of current, the cores are heated and give off heat to the screed, after which it is evenly distributed throughout the room.

In the bedroom, it is recommended to install a two-core cable, and in the room, where people are seldom, you can do with a single wire, it will help save the budget, while buying the necessary materials for installation. If you want to install electric underfloor heating with your own hands, you must first study the features of the installation system.

Thermo mats are the same heating cable, but it is already laid and fixed on a fiberglass mesh, which greatly simplifies and speeds up the installation process. Mats are placed on the prepared rough surface, and then fixed with tile adhesive and covered with the floor material. If there is a need, then the grid can be cut and turned to the required side, but it is necessary not to damage the cable.

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