Infrared film for underfloor heating: types of films, how it works, laying rules

Alexey Dedyulin
Checked by a specialist: Alexey Dedyulin
Author: Oksana Chubukina
Last update: March 2019

The warm floor in a house or apartment has long ceased to be considered an excess. Users appreciated the practicality and convenience of a unique heating system, new heating methods began to appear.

One of the most popular technologies is recognized as an infrared film for a warm floor, combining work efficiency, versatility of use and ease of installation. Different types of thermal film have a similar principle of operation and styling technology.

Advantages and disadvantages of "film" heating

In search of an alternative way of heating the premises, scientists drew attention to the heat transfer in the environment, which occurs due to the action of infrared rays. The interpretation of the natural process formed the basis for the creation of IR film.

The film coating emits infrared thermal energy. Long waves of radiation heat surrounding objects, which in turn accumulate and transfer heat to the air.

The use of infrared film for arranging a warm floor has become widespread due to several advantages:

  1. Universality. On top of the heating layer, almost any floor covering can be laid. Using the film, you can insulate the walls and ceiling.
  2. Easy styling. To create a system of underfloor heating, it is not necessary to dismantle the old base, but the procedure itself can be performed independently. Specialized equipment is not required.
  3. Adjust the heating temperature. A temperature regulator with a wide range of modes is connected to the heating system. Additional control settings are possible: timer function, dividing the room into different zones of heating intensity, etc.
  4. Mobility of a warm floor. Moving to another place of residence, the structure is easy to remove and spread on another surface.
  5. Compact system. The thickness of the IR coating (up to 0.5 mm) practically does not affect the floor height, which is especially important for rooms with low ceilings.
  6. Low inertia. The film quickly "turns on" and the effect becomes noticeable after a few minutes.
  7. The uniformity of heating. The room is heated throughout the entire volume; there are no "hot" and "cold" zones.
  8. Maintain a healthy microclimate. IR rays do not dry out the air and do not burn oxygen. Manufacturers of "film heating" indicate the therapeutic effect of infrared radiation. Air is ionized and cleaned of bacteria.

Due to modularity, failure of one part of the film does not lead to a malfunction of the entire system.

Warm floor
The heating film withstands significant dynamic loads. It can be mounted in public institutions with high traffic. The service life of the IR heating system is 15-20 years

Innovative technology has negative qualities:

  1. The electrostaticity of heated surfaces increases, and objects begin to attract dust more.
  2. After turning off the heating system, the room quickly cools.
  3. When installing it is important to consider the arrangement of furniture. Where bulky furniture and large appliances will stand, they do not stack IR film. Failure to do so may result in overheating of the system.
  4. The work of the warm floor leads to an increase in energy consumption.
  5. The coating is afraid of moisture and contact with sharp objects.

Laying of the “film” heating must be carried out carefully and in compliance with safety standards.

Device and principle of operation of IR film

The infrared film is made from a durable polymer. During production, carbon-graphite strips are applied to a flexible web. Semiconductor sections are connected by copper and silver tires.

IR film structure
The final coating of the material is a laminating film (PET), which protects the components from moisture, breakdowns and fire. Dense polymer does not delay radiation

Functions of the main layers of IR film:

  1. Carbon paste or carbon fiber cloth is a heating element that converts electricity to heat.
  2. Foil strips (copper tires with silver) form a heating circuit and evenly distribute thermal energy over the surface of the film.This element is controlled by the temperature sensor - when heated to the desired temperature, the flow of electricity stops.
  3. Lamination coating - a protective electrical insulating and heat-resistant layer (material melting point - 210 ° C).

Carbon nanostructure has unique parameters. Atoms of a substance formed in a hexagonal grid give the material the ability to emit in the IR spectrum.

The principle of the infrared film for the floor:

  1. Electric current is supplied to the system.
  2. The current passing through the heating elements (foil strips) is converted into thermal energy.
  3. Nanocarbon components are heated and generate infrared waves, the range of which is 5-20 microns.
  4. Rays fall on interior items, walls and furniture. From the heated elements, the air in the room warms up.

In addition to the film, the infrared floor heating system includes: temperature controller, temperature sensor, contact clamps and insulating materials.

Wiring diagram
The thermostat controls the degree of heating through sensors built into the floor. More complex heating systems are able to change the temperature regime according to a user-defined algorithm

With varieties of carbon heat-insulated floors used in the arrangement of residential premises, and the features of their installation next articlewhich we advise you to read.

Material Specifications

The infrared film data for a warm floor below are of an overview, averaged nature. The specific characteristics of the product must be specified upon purchase.

The proposed data is sufficient for planning the location of the paintings, marking the base, calculating the power. Based on the technical features, you can understand whether the IR system is suitable for operation in specific conditions.

Thermal film performance:

  1. The width of the roll is 50-100 cm. For domestic purposes, as a rule, coatings with a width of 50-60 cm are used. When arranging a bathhouse, office or industrial facility - 70-100 cm. The total energy consumption is almost the same, but a wider material will cost more.
  2. The strip length is 6-50 m. The maximum permissible value is determined by the manufacturer. In a long room, it is advisable to make a separate connection in half with the installation of two temperature controllers.
  3. Power supply from a network of 220 V. The household single-phase power supply network is used.
  4. Peak power consumption - up to 150-230 Vkv.m. The parameter depends on the manufacturer and type of film. On average, to maintain the room temperature at 21-24 ° С (30 ° С on the film surface), the energy consumption will be 25-45 W / sq.m.
  5. The melting temperature of the thermofilm is 210-250 ° C. Subject to all the rules for laying a warm floor, the surface temperature of the IR coating will never reach critical values.

After switching on, the film heats up to a maximum temperature in 2-3 minutes.

Film heating
The efficiency of long-range IR rays reaches 90-95%. The effectiveness of heating largely depends on the high-quality thermal insulation of the room. In order for the system to warm up the room, the thermal film area should be at least 70-80% of the floor surface

Types and features of the choice of thermal film

The structure and principle of action of infrared films are similar to each other. The main difference is the composition of the heating element and the maximum temperature of its heating. In addition to these parameters, when choosing, special attention should be paid to quality “Assemblies” of thermal film and the reputation of the manufacturer.

Varieties of IR films for underfloor heating

Depending on the type of heating element, films with a carbon or bimetal heating element are distinguished.

Features of the structure and use of carbon IR coating:

  • heating elements are made of carbon fiber (carbon paste with additives);
  • copies with graphite spraying are characterized by high strength and a long period of operation;
  • The coating is based on a wear-resistant, elastic and durable dacron film with good dielectric properties.

Carbon film is used for arranging horizontal and vertical surfaces.

Carbon infrared film
When laying a carbon-type infrared floor, a parallel wiring diagram should be followed. The film is combined with different floor coverings.

The disadvantage of carbon-graphite material is its high cost. As a more affordable alternative, you can use bimetal thermal film.

Features of infrared warm floor with "bimetal":

  • The heating element contains two metal layers: aluminum and copper;
  • basis of material - double elastic polyurethane film;
  • It is not possible to connect a ground wire to the system, so the connection of the elements is carried out through an RCD or an AVDT - this complicates the laying of a warm floor.

IR film with a bimetallic element can not be laid under ceramic tiles. With the rest of the coatings, she "gets along" normally.

Bimetal IR film
To extend the life of the warm infrared floor, it is not recommended to set the temperature of heating above 27 ° C. Regular overheating can cause film deformation.

According to the level of heating, thermofilms are divided into two categories:

  1. High temperature heat up to 55 ° C. Their use is relevant in rooms where underfloor heating is the main source of heating. Such material can be used for tiles, expanded clay coating, in the arrangement of infrared saunas or as a plinth heating.
  2. Low-temperature models are heated to 25-27 ° С. Optimum application - laying under a laminate, linoleum, parquet and carpet.

A variety of IR films are conventionally classified according to power consumption. The choice of this parameter is influenced by the purpose of the material and the heating area.

Specific Power Ranges:

  • 130-160 W / sq.m - heating a small area, laying under "light" flooring;
  • 170-220 W / sq.m - a film under porcelain tile and a tile, and also for spacious rooms;
  • over 220 W / sq.m - arrangement of the underfloor heating system in industrial buildings, car paint shops and infrared saunas.

When choosing power, you must take into account the height of the ceilings. The smaller it is, the more cost-effective and more efficient the heating will be.

Heating system
Medium heat film can be used as the main source of heat in regions with mild climates. In other situations, the infrared warm floor acts as local, additional heating

Signs of quality product

When choosing an IR film, experts recommend that you carefully examine it.

The quality of the coating can be determined by the appearance:

  1. The milky shade of the base indicates the use of a fireproof and high-strength polymer. A completely transparent base is a cheaper analogue that can be thermally deformed.
  2. Conductive strips should have clear boundaries. Transmission or damage is not allowed. The silver part can protrude 1.5-2 mm behind the copper bus, the minimum strip width is 1.5 cm.
  3. Copper and silver strips must be connected in a "dry" way - under the influence of high temperature (90 ° C) and pressure. The “wet” method is less durable - the elements are fixed together by conductive glue.
  4. The optimal arrangement of carbon-graphite emitters is solid or striped. Custom spraying variations are a marketing ploy. The effectiveness of the film with complex geometric shapes of the strips does not increase.
  5. Wide canvases are easier to lay. In addition, the risk of overheating is slightly lower compared to narrow counterparts.

The external lamination of the IR film should be made of the same polymer as the base. It is acceptable to use a coating of a smaller thickness.

Film quality
You should choose an IR film with a high silver content (from 70%). Metal reduces resistance and improves conductivity - the probability of sparking is minimized

Overview of popular IR film manufacturers

The widespread demand for underfloor heating triggered an increase in the number of manufacturers of IR films. The principle of operation of the proposed products is the same, therefore, the main criterion for choosing is the ratio of quality and price.

The following companies have proven themselves in the market: Caleo, Rexva, Heat Plus, Monocrystal, Devi, Ensto Electrification, Heatluxury, etc.

Caleo (Korea). The company has developed a line of thermal films - from simple solutions to ultra-modern systems with self-regulation.

The manufacturer offers four modifications of thermal film:

  • Line - budget low-power option for compact rooms;
  • Grid - high reliability at an affordable cost; introduced a patented technology for the use of anti-spark silver mesh;
  • Gold - models with a silver grill and a self-regulating effect - after heating, energy consumption is reduced by 20%;
  • Platinum- energy-saving films with variable power - power consumption is reduced by almost 6 times.

Caleo Platinum thermal film can be installed under furniture without the risk of overheating.

Rexva (Korea). The heating element consists of carbon strip strips with a high-strength polyester coating. Ultra-thin film is mounted under the finishing floor, on the ceiling or behind a wall panel.

IR film Rexva
An important difference between Rexva films and analogues is the minimum thickness of the air layer at the contact point due to an improved lamination process

Heat Plus (Korea). The company produces “striped” and continuous thermal film. The uniform application of carbon on a polyester basis allows you to avoid "dead" zones, to expand the heating area and the efficiency of the system.

IR film Heat Plus
The price of an IR film with a continuous heating element is several times higher than the cost of a traditional material. However, the manufacturer claims that the investment will pay off in a year

Monocrystal (Ukraine). A product of joint development by employees of NPK Monocrystal and Kharkov scientists based on Korean technologies. The peculiarity of the material - the presence of a thicker carbon layer allowed to abandon the use of silver paste. Such an alternative does not affect the stability of the electrical contact.

Monocrystal IR Film
An important advantage of Monocrystal IR film is its affordable cost. Manufacturer's warranty - 10 years. Technical characteristics of the material are not inferior to the products of Korean brands

To get a more complete picture of the thermal film from different manufacturers, you need to compare the characteristics of the products.

The Monocrystal assortment has high-power films - ЭНП-6.1 (250 W) and ЭНП-6.2 (300 W). They are specially designed for tiling.

One of the characteristic representatives of film heating systems is products of the brand PLEN, with the principle of action, varieties and styling of which we recommend that you familiarize yourself.

Rules for laying a warm floor

The process of installing a heated floor from a thermofilm is quite simple. However, obtaining an effective, safe and durable heating system is possible subject to a number of rules at each stage of the work.

The standard installation procedure includes a number of traditional steps, which are mainly used to install any type of carbon film floor:

If the verification reveals improperly made connections or incorrectly imposed bitumen insulation, we correct the errors, and then proceed to the assembly of the system.

Project development and calculation

Before installing the coating, a calculation is performed and a project for the layout of the film is created. The first step is to draw a plan of the room and highlight on the sketch the places for installing furniture - in these areas the thermal film does not fit.

Layout of IR film
To calculate the required amount of film material, you need to know the total area of ​​the room, as well as the total area of ​​low-standing and stationary interior items

When calculating, some nuances are taken into account:

  1. If the film floor is the main heating system, then the area of ​​the IR film should be 70-80% or more of the surface of the entire room. When a warm floor is an auxiliary source of heat, the area of ​​its coverage cannot be less than 40%.
  2. The distance between the wall and the thermal film is 10-40 cm. The minimum distance to the furniture is 10 cm.
  3. Cutting of the material must be performed so that the length of one canvas does not exceed 8m.

When calculating the capacity of the system, the amount of repair work, the heating option, the type of room and floor covering should be taken into account.

Power selection
The layout of the infrared film should reflect the direction of the paintings. Manufacturers recommend making a layout along a long wall - the number of cuts on turns will be reduced

Foundation preparation requirements

Preparing a place for laying includes the following steps:

  1. Strobing the walls under the wires and installing a temperature sensor. The wiring must be in a plastic corrugated pipe.
  2. Checking the evenness of the base. The permissible horizontal deviation is 3 mm. Small differences and chips can be removed with a thin layer of self-leveling floors.
  3. The surface must be clean. The rough floor must be vacuumed, washed and dried.
  4. Laying waterproofing film. The layer will protect the infrared system from moisture from below.
  5. Base insulation. The requirement is relevant when arranging a warm floor in a private house or in an apartment on the ground floor. A foil insulation is suitable as a heat insulator - installation is carried out with the metallized side down.

It is necessary to check the tightness of the joints of the floor and walls. Minor cracks can cause significant heat loss. All excavations, defects and chips must be “expanded”, cleaned and filled with construction foam.

To remove dust from a concrete base, it is better to use a primer. The impregnation is evenly distributed over the surface with a brush or by means of a spray. An additional plus - increased wear resistance of concrete

Installation and connection of the system

Laying the infrared film is performed in the following order:

  1. Mark for placement of paintings, taking into account the distance between the edges of the thermal film - 5-10 cm. Overlapping of coatings is unacceptable.
  2. Cut the film into strips of the desired length. The cut is performed along the cut line indicated by a dotted line or scissors.
  3. Lay the canvas according to the marking with copper stripes down.
  4. Fix the film to the base with tape - not a continuous strip, but in small squares.

During installation, it is necessary to minimize walking on the IR film, do not put heavy objects on the cover and do not drop the instruments.

IR film connection
A recess is prepared in the heat-insulating substrate to accommodate the temperature sensor, terminal and wire. The listed items must not protrude above the surface of the film.

The sequence of connecting the system underfloor heating:

  1. Connect the clamps to the ends of the copper bus.
  2. Install the wires, observing the requirement of parallel connection - left with left, right with right. To simplify the task, you can use wires of different colors.
  3. Install a temperature sensor in the center of the heating strip, deepening it into the insulation. The distance from the wall to the meter is at least 50 cm.
  4. Insulate all joints. On both sides of the terminals apply tar pads. By analogy, process the ends of the copper bus on the cut sections.

Finally, the wires are led to a temperature controller, which is then mounted on the wall.

The temperature regulator is installed at a height of at least 20 cm from the floor, optimally - 1 m.

Laying underfloor heating
Before laying the final floor, a test run of the system is performed. During heating, there should be no extraneous noise and sparking. Additionally, the uniformity of heating the IR film is checked

Work safety measures

When installing an infrared floor heating, the following safety precautions must be observed:

  • the heating film roll cannot be connected to power supply;
  • during installation of the coating, the network must be disconnected;
  • it is necessary to exclude the contact of thermal film with fittings and communications;
  • it is better to refrain from installing a film underfloor heating in places with a high risk of moisture;
  • Do not bend, wring and cut the heating cable;
  • film laying is carried out at plus temperature.

Warm infrared floors can not be placed near heating appliances: stoves, fireplaces, etc. For fixing the coating it is unacceptable to use screws and nails.

With varieties of electric underfloor heating, the rules and features of laying systems will introduce next articlewhich we recommend reading.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Video # 1. The principle of operation, technical and operational characteristics of the IR film in the underfloor heating system:

Video # 2.Types of infrared film and recommendations for the selection of material:

Video # 3. Rules and procedure for arranging a warm floor with thermal film:

The principle of operation of an infrared film is based on natural processes of heat generation. The material has a lot of advantages and was appreciated by consumers - the scope of application of IR film is multifaceted.

The most demanded coverage when installing a warm floor. Observing all technological requirements, it will turn out to independently mount an effective heating system.

Please write comments in the block under the text of the article. Tell us how to choose and assemble a film heating floor. Ask questions, share useful technological nuances, post a photo on the topic.

Was the article helpful?
Thanks for your feedback!
No (13)
Thanks for your feedback!
Yes (84)
Visitors Comments
  1. Sergei

    This option was chosen for the apartment, for us it turned out to be the most optimal solution. They put it in the living room, now in winter the problem with cold legs disappeared. We hired a wizard to install it. The main difference is that with the installation and connection, everything is simple. Installed in the shortest possible time, a laminate was made on top. As for energy - I will not say that he eats a lot.

    • Expert
      Alexey Dedyulin

      Even if you use it as an additional source of heating for something, it takes not so little electricity. But the thing is convenient, you can’t argue here.

  2. Anastasia

    We have long wanted to make underfloor heating in the kitchen and in the bathroom. We were recommended in the store to make using infrared film and said which manufacturer is better. The husband does not trust anyone, so he installed it himself, as it turned out, everything is simple. Turn off at night to save energy. And in the morning as soon as we get up we immediately turn it on, a couple of minutes and the floor is already warm. Very comfortably.