Heating The Floor

The rooms that are built on a concrete floor are the coldest in the entire house. This is why most people resort to radiant heating systems that are meant to hinder the low temperature issued by a concrete slab and warm up the air in the room. Generally, there are two specific methods for heating a concrete floor: in-floor heating system or above-floor heating system. It is all about the needs of your house.


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If the house is just being built, you can embed, in the process, the in-floor system within the concrete, which has not hardened yet. The above-floor heating system is used for an existing home and is installed over the concrete slab, with some additional barrier layers for protection purpose.


In-floor system

This type of heating system is fitted, during the concrete pouring process, between the slab and the uppermost flooring elements. First of all, take heed of neutralizing completely the concrete’s cooling potential. It will cost you more but will ensure that the concrete does not steal the heat provided by the system. For that, install a layer of underlayment, as a barrier between concrete and heating elements. Typically, the underlayment is of cork or synthetic cork. Both provide trusted insulation, yet, synthetic cork comes with some extra benefits, and is slightly more expensive. It does not absorb water, boasts a greater heat resistance and protects against mold and mildew.


As you are done with the underlayment, kick off the installation of the heating system. You can do it in two ways. Mat format is more convenient due to its pre-engineered serpentine pattern, which has to be adjusted, only, to the size of the room. Yet, it is more expensive than the cable format. Floor heating cable is not fixed in any patterns, being loosed, meaning that it requires time and efforts to be installed manually. For security concerns, it is important to fasten well the cables, and ensure that they do not cross over each other. Noteworthy, both formats provide the same Watt power per square foot, so it all revolves around your budget, and time available for finishing the construction or remodeling of your house.


Above-floor system

If you decided to warm up the concrete floor of your home, where you live for many years, you can install this heating system under the top elements of the floor. Depending on the type of upper substrate, you can choose between TempZone and Environ systems. The first one targets tile and stone floors, while the latter is designed for carpet, wood, and laminate. TempZone comes in both mat and free cable formats. The mat is already serpentine patterned, using a mesh, which can be effortlessly cut to fit the space. Otherwise, there are small standardized mats available that do not need to be cut and fit well the limited space of your tile-floored bathroom.


The cable, though, is the free format and can be flexibly installed under the floor, at a height, convenient to homeowner’s needs. You will have an easier life, setting the cable in a pattern, thanks to available fixing strips and special membrane sheets. Environ comes with an additional aluminum foil for laminated surfaces, which prevents exposure of heat-vulnerable laminate, ensuring a gradual heating up process.

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