Infrared carbon warm floor: operating principle and laying rules

Alexey Dedyulin
Checked by a specialist: Alexey Dedyulin
Author: Antonina Turyeva
Last update: July 2019

To increase comfort in the country or in a city apartment, floor heating systems are now actively used. A favorable microclimate is able to form an infrared carbon warm floor. If desired, the owner of the house can easily cope with the installation, if he knows how to mount and connect it.

We will tell you how to equip an infrared heating system on your own. In our article, carbon-based floor heating options are described in detail, and technological features are given. Based on our recommendations, the assembly of an infrared warm floor will not cause the slightest difficulty, and it will work perfectly.

What is IR floor heating?

The infrared heat-insulated floor is able to make the house more comfortable for its inhabitants thanks to the correctly selected temperature regime.

Moreover, it can become the main type of heating if carbon fiber material covers about 60% of the area of ​​each room where heating is required.

Additional heat source
If the system is planned to be used as an additional source of comfort, then its laying on 40% of the useful area is enough

The principle of operation of IR heating

IR floor heating made of carbon heating elements passes current through itself. As a result of this process, infrared radiation occurs in the range of 5-20 microns. It transfers its energy to objects in the room, bypassing the air. The decorative floor covering and all furniture will heat up from the radiant heat, warming the air.

Room with IR floor heating
In a room with an infrared floor heating, first of all, objects located below are heated. Therefore, at the level of a person’s head, the air will be slightly cooler, which will prevent the occurrence of a headache

Moreover, the floor will always be warm thanks to the film or the system of rods laid under it.If this is the only source of heating, then you can not worry about over-dried air. And infrared rays are not capable of burning oxygen.

Real good and imaginary harm to infrared radiation The article is devoted to which we advise readers to read the site.

Varieties of carbon systems

The growing popularity of infrared underfloor heating contributes to the emergence of competition in the market, which positively affects the price of goods. High-quality systems of underfloor heating from carbon materials are being improved, companies produce improved models that allow you to get the maximum benefit with minimal energy costs.

The following carbon-based warm floors have proven themselves: Excel, Rexva Xica, Caleo, HOTmat, EcoOndol, Green Life, Ecoheat, Unimat, MONOCRYSTAL, HandyHeat, Q-Term, TEPLOGO, POWER PLUS.

Affordable carbon film prices
Most of the market is owned by South Korean manufacturers offering affordable prices and a large selection of carbon film

By the method of laying IR, underfloor heating is mounted:

  1. wet way;
  2. dry.

A wet method is when a screed or a layer of tile glue is poured over a laid system. It will be possible to use the finished floor only after complete drying. With dry installation heating film nothing is poured. Therefore, wait a full month for commissioning.

Dry styling
With a dry installation method, it will be enough to wait a few days, if it is provided by the manufacturer of the decorative coating

In appearance, infrared floors are:

  • film;
  • pivotal.

The films are very thin - 0.3-0.4 mm. They are sold in a roll, the width of which depends on the model and the manufacturer. It can be a range from 0.5 to 1 meter. The carbon heater layer is applied by the printer to one side of the film.

Copper tires pass above and below the roll.
On both edges of the roll are copper tires. This layer is protected on both sides by polymer film layers.

By the method of applying heating elements to the surface, these films are distinguished:

  • solid;
  • striped;
  • in the form of bee honeycombs;
  • with perforation.

A continuous carbon film is the most perfect - it has the fastest heating rate and the most efficient energy consumption.

Solid carbon film
Accidental physical damage to the area of ​​a continuous carbon film does not affect its performance

Perforated IR film was designed to provide strong adhesion to the surface when pouring screeds. In places of perforation there is no heating element.

Perforated version of IR film
The perforated version of the IR film is convenient to use for laying ceramic tile flooring.

Striped - the most popular among buyers. On the market you can find a huge number of proposals that differ in width and length of the roll, in the composition of the heating layer, the duration of operation and other characteristics. Its undoubted advantage is that it is convenient to cut during installation without touching the carbon strip.

The rod IR floor is a series of flexible rods connected in parallel by a heat-resistant copper wire. Inside each is a heating element consisting of amorphous carbon, graphite and silver.

Warm floor rolled up
The heat-insulated floor is rolled up and packed together with the accessories necessary for its laying. Also, each manufacturer encloses instructions with recommendations for installation and operation

The infrared heating system in the form of a rod mat has the ability to self-regulate. She is not afraid of a large sofa, which will always stand in the same place. The rods located under the furniture will never overheat.

Rules for laying carbon fiber underfloor heating

The effectiveness of any IR floor heating model depends on the correctness installation and connection. Even the highest quality and most expensive system will not work if you ignore the manufacturer's recommendations given in the instructions.

How to lay a core mat?

It's nice to return home and take off your street shoes to feel the warmth underfoot. That's right enough for this lay IR floor heating. The most expensive option is the core. But it is characterized by a long service life - from 25 years. And the manufacturer’s warranty pleases - about 10 years.

The most purchased is Unimat core mat. The manufacturer immediately provides detailed installation instructions for the system and all components. This allows you to easily do your own styling without wasting time searching for the right materials.

The rods are parallel
The rods located in parallel in the form of a rope ladder ensure the system is operational even if one or two of them fail.

The rod-type warm IR floor has the ability to independently control the temperature inside the system. This eliminates the risk of overheating and failure of individual rods located under heavy and voluminous furniture.

For proper installation, you must first level the base of the floor. Then determine the place for the installation of the temperature controller and temperature sensor. It is important that these 2 elements are in an accessible place and are not blocked by heavy furniture.

The temperature sensor should be placed in a groove cut into the floor. Previously, it is placed in a corrugated pipe with a metal probe and a plug. Small debris remaining after making the strobe must be removed.

Then it is necessary to spread the heat-reflecting material with the foil part up.All joints of the individual parts of the roll must be carefully connected to each other with adhesive tape. Also, using scotch tape, a construction stapler or glue, you have to attach this layer to the primary floor. Now you can start laying out the mat from carbon rods.

Correctly begin to unwind the roll from the installation side of the thermostat. To turn the mat in the opposite direction, you must cut the connecting wire exactly in the middle between the 2 rods. This can be done until the entire area for laying the underfloor heating system is covered, but no longer than 25 linear meters.

Do not allow rods to cross
Crossing of individual rods of the IR mat must not be allowed. This is an important installation rule.

It remains to carefully fix the installed structure with tape and cut holes in the heat-reflecting material over the entire area. This will ensure reliable grip when pouring screeds or applying tile adhesive.

The next step is the connection and insulation of the carbon heating system. It is important to adhere to the recommendations given by the manufacturer in the instructions and use the materials that come with the underfloor heating kit.

It is necessary to connect the strip of carbon mat with mounting wires, stripping the insulation at the connected ends. For their reliable fixation, sleeves in a heat-shrink film are attached. Each sleeve is put on the bare wire of the mat and the connecting wire and clamped by crimping pliers.

The insulating film on top of the sleeve assumes its working condition after applying a technical hair dryer. Another insulating film is put on top, which also shrinks with a hairdryer. Such a double insulated joint is strong and reliable. It is not afraid of moisture.

All sides of the mat are connected
Similarly, all remaining sides of the mat are connected to the connecting wire. The edges are insulated with an end film, seated with a hairdryer and crimped with ticks

The next step is to connect the ends of the connecting wire to the terminal strip thermostat according to the scheme attached to it. It is important not to confuse the power wires with the ground and ground wires. You must remember to connect the temperature sensor.

The most crucial moment remained - to test the performance of the carbon mat. To do this, set the desired temperature and turn on the system. Wait 15-20 minutes and evaluate the result. If everything is in order, then you can proceed to the final stage - pouring screed or coating with tile glue.

The following photo gallery will present the process of installing floor heating rods:

To build a system of carbon rods, you need to make a plan in advance, for example, like this:

The plan of the device rod IR floor
When drawing up the layout of the rod system, it should be remembered that the rods should not intersect or touch each other. The maximum length of the core strip is 25 m (+)

After carrying out the layout of the carbon heating, we proceed to the final stages of the device:

Basics of mounting a heating film

Film IR floor heating is laid according to all the recommendations specified by the manufacturer in the instructions. installation technology is similar to the rules for laying a core mat. The main distinguishing feature is that the future layout of the furniture should be considered. There is no need to lay a carbon film under the furniture.

It is important that the IR panels do not overlap each other. It is necessary to maintain a distance of 5-10 cm between them. The same rule applies to the laying of the core mat - you must not allow the intersection of two or more rods with each other.

When the heat-insulating layer is laid out, the carbon film is laid out and attached to it, there is no need to cut holes for better adhesion of the screed. It is only necessary to isolate the cut points of the copper bus with bitumen insulation, closing all silver contacts throughout the cut.

Connecting bands
It remains to connect the strips between each other and to the thermostat using the wires that come with the kit

There will be some differences - on the copper bus, contact clamps are installed, in which it is necessary to put the ends of the connecting wire, stripped from insulation.

Tight wire connection
They are tightly crimped from the side of both the embedded wires and the copper bus. Each such connection is insulated on both sides with special insulation that comes with the underfloor heating kit.

Another difference from the installation process of the rod version is that the temperature sensor does not fit into the groove, but is attached with adhesive tape directly to one of the heating strips, if it is a striped film. The sensor must be carefully immersed in the insulating layer by cutting through the appropriate cell. This will further exclude irregularities when laying a decorative coating.

Similarly, cuts are made at the locations of the clamps and all the paths of the wires. Stacked wires are sealed with tape.It remains to connect the system to the thermostat using the circuit shown in the instructions. If the IR floor power is more than 2 kW, then it should be connected to the electric network through a separate machine.

After connecting, you need to carefully check the performance of the system, the quality of the connection of individual elements and the heating of all the bands, including it in the network. If everything is done qualitatively, you can complete the installation by laying on top of the heating film a special substrate under the laminate or protective plastic film.

It remains to lay the decorative coating and enjoy all the benefits of adjustable heating. Film underfloor heating is most often covered with laminate, linoleum or carpet.

Laminate can be mounted immediately
If the coating is hard, then it can be immediately mounted on top of the protective layer, taking care not to damage the heating film

In the case when the decorative coating is easy to deform, it is necessary to lay a dense protective layer - plywood or sheets of another material with a thickness of 3-5 mm. They need to be firmly fixed without damaging the layer with the heating film.

Plywood protective layer
Only after an additional solid protective layer of plywood will it be time to lay linoleum or carpet

Having completed all the steps correctly, you can use the IR film underfloor heating for about 10 years. The service life of each manufacturer indicates in the instructions. It is 10 to 50 years old.

Pros and cons of carbon flooring

Infrared warm floor has its positive negative sides. Before deciding on the feasibility of its purchase and installation, you should analyze in more detail all the features of this system.

What is wrong with carbon heating?

The use of carbon rods or films when arranging a system of underfloor heating in a house or apartment has the following disadvantages:

  • high cost;
  • fakes
  • complex repairs;
  • need for additional warming.

Original systems offered by bona fide manufacturers are quite expensive. Especially when it comes to rod carbon mats. A large amount is able to lay out not every buyer who wants to equip an infrared warm floor in his home.

From the first drawback, the second smoothly follows - the appearance on the market of a large number of fakes. They differ in low price and dubious quality.

At fakes, rods quickly burn
The acquisition of low-quality fake, but cheap systems turns into a headache for the buyer - the rods quickly burn out, reducing the total heating area

The complexity of the repair is the need to remove all the decorative coating in order to get to the underfloor heating system. There is no other way to replace a broken site. If the tile is laid on top, then this further complicates the repair.

The need for additional insulation of the house or apartment will be in the case when infrared heating is the main one. If energy saving work has not been carried out, then the warm floor will spend a lot of energy on maintaining the desired temperature in the room and may not be able to cope with this task.

Warming a house, cottage or apartment can significantly reduce costs not only with infrared, but also with other types of heating. In such a room, it is easier to maintain a comfortable temperature with underfloor heating, spending a minimum of energy on their work.

Advantages of infrared warm floor

A warm floor made of carbon film or rods has a number of advantages. It:

  • quickly;
  • easy;
  • available;
  • economically;
  • beautiful;
  • safely;
  • without repair.

The first paragraph implies the installation speed of carbon fiber underfloor heating. If the laying area is small, then all the work can be done in 1 day. If you invite the masters, then everything will take even less time.

It is easy to equip an infrared warm floor system - a simple set of tools, as well as materials that come with a carbon film or rods, is enough.

DIY installation
It is not necessary to attract a specialist at all - installation will be within the power of every diligent owner

The price of film material is affordable. If we compare the cost of all parts and accessories necessary for arranging water or steam heating, then infrared wins significantly here - you do not need to buy pipes, radiators, a boiler and other expensive equipment.

Using carbon fiber underfloor heating is beneficial both as an additional and main source of heat. If the system is installed correctly and the house / apartment / cottage is insulated, then the energy consumption will be minimal. Costs will directly depend on the area covered by infrared film or mats.

The beauty of this type of space heating is that after laying the warm floor is not noticeable in the room. It does not occupy useful space, such as heating radiators. The thickness of the entire system, taking into account the insulating layer, is less than 2 cm.

The infrared warm floor is completely safe. It is not afraid of water and can be laid in the bathroom and in the kitchen. If a section stops working, then nothing will happen to the whole system - it will continue to heat up in normal mode.

Carbon film floors are built in kitchens, living rooms, in bedrooms, living rooms, children's rooms. They are laid under linoleum and under the laminateused in the device of underfloor heating under floor tiles.

Striped Carbon Film
If one core or strip of carbon film stopped working, then you can do without repair - the whole system will continue to function

All heating elements are located in parallel, which eliminates the possibility of damage to the entire system at once. This is convenient, because the loss of one working strip will not fundamentally affect the operation of the entire system.

Features of operation and repair of the system

Warm floor made of carbon film or rods certainly makes the room more comfortable. Therefore, adherents of this type of heating are becoming more and more. But questions about the likelihood of breakdowns and possible repairs concern potential equipment users.

Rules for using underfloor heating

In order for a warm floor made of carbon material to serve the entire period declared by the manufacturer, you must adhere to the rules for its operation. All this is described by the manufacturer in the instructions for a particular product. It is important that the underfloor heating system has all the documents and certificates of conformity confirming its quality.

Features of the film
The accompanying documentation for the film and core carbon floor will state how to use it

After all, each manufacturer has its own technical characteristics of the material. But there are general rules, compliance with which is advisable not to be neglected.

Firstly, it is necessary to withstand the time after installation recommended by the manufacturer. This means that you can use a warm floor only after the specified period. For example, in rod mats laid under tiles, the waiting time is from 28 days. Only after complete drying can you begin to use infrared heating installed in the floor.

Secondly, it is important not to ignore the installation requirements specified in the instructions. If the system is not equipped with a temperature controller and a temperature sensor, then you must definitely buy them. Otherwise, nothing worthwhile will come of the idea of ​​arranging infrared warm floors.

It is important to install the temperature sensor in accordance with all the rules. Also, furniture cannot be placed on top of it - this is fraught with malfunctions in its work and the receipt of inaccurate information about the temperature regime in the whole room.

Thirdly, when using film material, it is better to abandon placement under voluminous furniture - cabinets, sofas, chests of drawers. In the case of the core floor, you do not have to worry about the future arrangement of furniture - this system is more advanced and capable of self-regulation.

Fourth, you can and should clean. Cleaning should be carried out in a room with underfloor heating as it did before installation. The material laid under a tile, laminate or parquet is not afraid of wet cleaning and processing with special products designed to care for the decorative flooring.


The question of a possible failure of the carbon fiber underfloor heating worries not only real, but also potential users. Although the manufacturer guarantees from 10 or more years of trouble-free operation of the system, thoughts about repair come in advance.

Due to the features of the infrared floor device, when a certain section fails, the whole system will not be affected. Damage will only affect the lack of floor heating under a broken segment. All other coverage will work as usual.

When several sections of the system ceased to work, the functioning of which is extremely important for the consumer, then repairs are to be carried out.

Repair of an infrared heat-insulated floor
The complexity and cost of repairs will depend on the type of material used in the arrangement of the infrared warm floor

If we are talking about the rod option, then when buying high-quality original equipment, the warranty is about 10, and the service life is from 25 years. But in the case of acquiring a cheap analogue, after 1-1.5 years it is possible to observe the failure of individual rods. As a result, 3-4 years after the start of operation, half of the warm floor may cease to be so.

To fix everything, you will have to completely remove the decorative coating and change parts of the mat or completely dismantle the entire system. This is a rather time-consuming process, because the installation was carried out “wet”. Therefore, choosing a carbon-fiber core heated floor, you should carefully check the accompanying documentation so as not to buy a fake.

Repairing an infrared film heating system does not require a huge investment of time and money. In this case, it is necessary to remove the laminate or linoleum and replace the part that has failed. Such actions are easy to do if the installation of the carbon film was carried out in a dry way.

Perforated Carbon Film
If a carbon film with perforation was used, on top of which a screed was poured or tile glue was applied, then in case of failure of a large number of sections, a major overhaul of the floor

We offer you to read the rules and principles of the device infrared heating country house. They are detailed in our recommended article.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Video # 1. Step-by-step video on laying a carbon film under a laminate:

Video # 2. Features of the installation of a carbon rod heat-insulated floor are given in the video instruction:

Video # 3. Performance test of infrared continuous and striped films with a carbon layer:

Video # 4. Installation technology of a continuous film of a warm floor:

Video # 5. Prohibited and allowed techniques for laying a warm infrared floor:

Having dealt with the main types of carbon fiber underfloor heating, you can choose the most suitable option for your home. Features of installation are described in detail in the instructions, which makes it possible to carry out work with your own hands. Pretty simple rules for installing such a heating system can do without calling installation experts.

Want to talk about your own installation of IR flooring? Do you know the technological nuances of installation that are not described in the article? Please write comments in the block below, share your impressions and photos on the topic of the article, ask questions.

Was the article helpful?
Thanks for your feedback!
No (13)
Thanks for your feedback!
Yes (83)
Visitors Comments
  1. Dmitry

    Well, if you cover 60% of the room with an infrared carbon floor heating, then you can stay without panties, it will cost such a pretty penny. I agree, now because of the growing popularity and the emergence of new players on the market, their price is gradually decreasing, but here the technical issues of installing IR warm floors appear. Due to the fact that many of our builders have their hands growing out of the wrong place, not even in every new building they can be installed technically, not to mention Khrushchev and Brezhnevka.

  2. Arthur

    I did not see the figures for the maximum specific power consumed during the operation of the floors, and, accordingly, for its (operation) high cost or, conversely, profitability. As for central heating in multi-storey buildings, I don’t know if there is a way to completely refuse it (in warm regions) and switch to autonomous. I have not heard of anything like that.

  3. Pavel

    There are no problems installing neither in the apartments of the new layout, nor in Khrushchev or Stalin. And quite inexpensive.

    And if you apply the resolution of the Ministry of Energy on special tariffs for the use of electric energy for heating and hot water supply in residential buildings (apartments) that are not equipped with central heating and gas supply systems in the prescribed manner, then the costs of maintaining the system will not affect the family budget too much.

    It will be possible to pay off energy sales at reduced rates if there is a separate (additional) individual device metering electricity consumption.