How to choose an electric floor heating: guidelines for choosing the optimal heating system

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

Comfort and coziness in the house largely depends on the optimal temperature regime. A convenient and effective way to ensure favorable conditions is the use of floor heating. There are two options for such complexes: a water circuit and electrical systems.

The latter are considered universal, as they are suitable for apartments, private houses and premises for various purposes. Such heating systems are easy to install and convenient to use.

Before choosing an electric warm floor, you should study the characteristics and features of various modifications, compare their parameters with the upcoming operating conditions. All these points are detailed in the article.

In addition, we made practical recommendations for the purchase of a reliable system, as well as the installation of a warm floor with our own hands.

General criteria for choosing the optimal system

The electric underfloor heating system can be used in any room, both as primary and secondary heating. It is important to choose the right model from the variety offered by manufacturers.

Before stopping on a specific model, you should decide whether it will be the main or additional heating. Also, you should immediately decide for which specific rooms you will need to purchase a floor heating system.

Underfloor heating system in the bathroom
In the bathroom, you can also lay the underfloor heating system. The main thing is that it has reliable insulation and water resistance of the heating elements

It must be borne in mind that for each room a separate system is bought with a separate thermostat. After all, the operating conditions for the bath, kitchen and loggia are completely different. As well as the requirements for temperature conditions. Therefore, the systems will be different.

Heating cables in the bathroom
Heating cables do not know how to regulate heating independently - they should be laid only in places free of furniture

The following parameters will influence the choice of the optimal equipment for arranging a warm floor:

  • room area;
  • general condition of the room - under repair or not;
  • prospective decorative flooring;
  • required system power;
  • is there an alternative source of heating;
  • how much is planned to spend.

Having answered all these questions, you can choose the most suitable option that will satisfy all the needs for heating the room.

So, if the area of ​​the room is small, there is basic heating and full-scale repairs are not planned, then it is quite possible to choose a worthy version of the electrical system. Moreover, it will be easy to install and absolutely will not spoil the original appearance of the room.

Radiators spoil room design
If the electric carbon-fiber heat-insulated floor is laid under the tile, then radiators that spoil the design of the room can be dismantled as unnecessary

When buying a set of underfloor heating, do not forget about the main selection criteria - the appearance of the goods and related documentation. Each bona fide manufacturer gives a guarantee for their equipment and always attaches instructions that contain recommendations for operation and installation.

If there is no guarantee and the seller finds it difficult to show a quality certificate, then you should not buy goods from him. There is a high probability of encountering a fake, the low price of which will result in a full-scale repair in 2-3 years.

As for the appearance, when choosing the right system, you should not be shy to check that the equipment specified by the manufacturer in the documents corresponds to what is actually offered.

You should also pay attention so that during a detailed examination there are no visible damages - scratches on the film or broken rods, damaged insulation on the wires and other malfunctions.

Underfloor heating system - kit
The underfloor heating system is usually sold as a set. The manufacturer puts in the box with a mat or roll additional accessories that are needed for the construction of the system

You should immediately select additional materials specified in the manufacturer's instructions. Often you can find recommendations to use proprietary thermal insulation, protective film and more.

Do not neglect such advice - as a rule, components from the same manufacturer are ideal and then the underfloor heating system will last its owner as long as possible.

The choice of an electric floor heating system is justified by the following advantages:

Options for electrical floor heating systems

The heat-insulated floor using electric energy as a power source is used more often than a water analog. Especially this option is more relevant in urban apartments as additional heating of individual rooms.

A comparative assessment of water and electric underfloor heating is given in this article.

Infrared underfloor heating
It is not necessary to obtain special permission for arranging an infrared warm floor

Electric floor heating, depending on the type of system, can be:

  • cable;
  • shielded;
  • film;
  • pivotal.

Cable systems. The main role is given to the heating cable. It can be unshielded and shielded. The first is used in technical rooms for warming individual structures, for example, to avoid freezing of pipes, and for other purposes.

Shielded cable is used in living quarters, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the loggia, etc. This heating option is produced by various manufacturers. Moreover, the products power, length and operating voltage may be different. The manufacturer points these parameters directly to the cable.

Mat heating cable
The heating cable, sold as a mat, is much more convenient to install. They buy it more often, despite a higher price than the cable

Film systems work thanks to the heating element represented by carbon or its mixture with other components. Different manufacturers of films differ in the type of application, power, expected load and the ability to self-regulation. They all relate to infrared systems.

Warm rod floors are characterized by high cost and long life. They can be used in any room and beyond.

According to the principle of heating, electrical systems are divided into:

  • convection;
  • infrared.

The first includes all cable models, and the second includes films and carbon rods. Infrared systems have the highest heat transfer - about 97-98%. The heat radiated by infrared floors heats all objects in their area of ​​visibility. Moreover, this radiation does not harm the human body at all.

Cable tie
The heating cable is always laid in a screed or tile adhesive. It is necessary to use special materials designed for underfloor heating

Electric underfloor heating: the rules of choice

Heating systems using electricity can be economical and not very. It all depends on the correct choice of a warm floor kit. If all factors of the premises are taken into account, then the maintenance costs will be insignificant. The main thing is to install the system according to the recommendations.

Film: when to choose it

The film refers to infrared systems. It can be continuous and segmented. It is delivered in rolls of various length, width and power. The load it is designed for can also vary significantly.

Solid carbon film
The continuous film is slightly thicker than the striped. But it is also more durable

Solid film is a newer invention. It can be used in rooms with a serious load - gyms, shops, etc. and of course at home.

There are special models designed for use in rooms with a special temperature regime and humidity level, for example, in infrared saunas. These are models of South Korean manufacturers.

A segmented heating film, depending on the appearance of the carbon heating element, is most often found:

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

Manufacturers specially developed the last option for screeding. Its special shape provides good adhesion to the base of the floor. The power of such models is greater than that of striped counterparts.

Carbon film perforation
Perforation on a carbon film allows it to be laid in a screed without performing additional steps to improve adhesion

The striped film is laid on a soft base - thermal insulation material. Solid can be laid on a rigid base. When buying, be sure to take into account the recommendations specified in the instructions - what basis should be provided before installing the film.

Many companies focus the attention of the buyer on the fact that it is not advisable to mount their equipment for tiles. Therefore, such films in the bathroom should never be used.

Film systems of various types
Film systems are available for various types of flooring. Moreover, manufacturers warn where it is more advisable to lay their carbon film

In most cases, carbon films can be laid in the kitchen, on the balcony, as the main and additional heating. Mounting the film is permissible not only on horizontal, but also on vertical surfaces - on the wall as an additional protection against cold. These are the so-called heating systems.

Another criterion is the possibility of self-regulation. Not all inexpensive films can do this. This parameter is inherent in continuous films. They are more economical and warm up faster. It is on continuous manufacturer gives a guarantee of 20 years or more. They are able to withstand significant loads.

Continuous self-adjusting film
A solid carbon film is not afraid to be covered by sofas, cabinets, chests of drawers and other heavy furniture

To choose the right film heating system, you need to take into account the area of ​​the room and the presence of massive furniture. Depending on the price category, choose the appropriate roll length.

If the means allow, it is more convenient to dwell on continuous sets, prone to self-regulation. In this case, any rearrangement of furniture is not terrible - the system will not overheat.

Do not forget about the need to buy a temperature sensor and a temperature controller. Also, they must be installed correctly so that the system works efficiently and consumes the minimum allowable amount of electricity.

Features of the use of the core floor

An electric rod heat-insulated floor is an expensive undertaking. These are mats in which the heating rods are parallel to each other. On both sides they are connected by wire.

Rod kit
The core kit is also supplied by the manufacturer with instructions and accessories that will be used during installation

It is important that the master does not damage this wire when laying the topcoat. Otherwise, the heated floor will be damaged - you will have to call a repair specialist. With good installation on the rod systems, manufacturers give a guarantee of up to 50 years of service.

The rods used as heating elements are of 2 types:

  • carbon;
  • galvanized.

Carbon rods flexible and can be bent in any direction. The main thing is that during installation they do not overlap. If one of them suddenly burns out, the system will continue to work quietly. Such mats can be selected for tiles, marble, laminate. They are stacked.

Galvanized Rod Mat
The galvanized rod mat is incredibly durable. Each twig can be bent if necessary without damaging it

The core carbon floor will cope alone with the heating of the room if it is additionally insulated from the outside. Also, such a system can be laid in the bathroom and in the living room.

Galvanized - the heating element is double insulated.Koreans give a 50-year guarantee on these rods. Even the Chinese have not yet learned how to fake this heating substance.

Mat made of galvanized rods is placed only in the screed. It can be used indoors for any type of coating. Also, it can be mounted in steps to prevent freezing of sidewalks, for heating the soil in greenhouses and for other household needs.

Installation of galvanized rods
The installation of a temperature controller and a sensor when choosing a rod heating option is mandatory

Prerequisites for the purchase of a heating cable

Another type of electric underfloor heating is cable. It happens in the form of a wire of a certain length or in the form of a mat, when a cable with a certain step is laid on a plastic mesh on top and fixed.

The heating cable requires dexterity during installation, especially if it is a skein, the wire from which to lay in a certain order. The undoubted advantage is an inexpensive type of heating. The cost of material for creating a system on your own is quite affordable.

When arranging warm floors, sometimes self-regulating heating cable.

Cable thickness - 5-7 mm. For cable, you can lay any power on 1 m2 by packing density. It is laid under the screed, and insulation should be put on the bottom - extruded polystyrene foam or foamed polyethylene with non-woven, on the reverse side of which a waterproof coating is applied.

Thermal insulation
It is important to properly install the insulation to avoid overheating and failure of the systems. Each manufacturer indicates in the instructions recommendations for the installation of their product

There is a novelty in the market with a thickness of 2-2.5 mm - this is the same cable as used in heating mats. With it, the thickness of the screed will be less. Top can be covered with tiles, linoleum, laminate.

The main disadvantage of the heating cable is that it warms up for a long time, it will take up to 3 hours, and the floor height will be from 5 cm.

Mat - the same cable, but smaller diameter. It is fixed to the grid. From the pros - it is sold already with a certain step and power per square meter.

Electric heating mat
When buying a mat, you won’t have to calculate anything yourself. Everything is indicated by the manufacturer. Roll width average 50 cm

The mat is placed under a tile or other type of coating. A layer of tile glue - from 1 cm. The floor quickly warms up and cools quickly. Manufacturers produce this type of system for a specific room area. Round down correctly, because You cannot cut the cable.

The heating mat must not be laid on the insulation. The mat can be used 10-12 days after laying the tiles. It is possible to fill the bulk floor from above. If the cable is mounted in a screed, then you can turn on the floor after 21-28 days, as soon as everything is completely dry.

The service life is an average of 15-20 years, subject to proper installation. Accidental damage to the mat is often encountered when tiles are laid on top. Then the whole system goes down.

The cable system of the warm floor can be equipped both within the city and outside the city. The main thing is that there is a constant power supply.

Thermostat system
When choosing this particular type of underfloor heating, it is important to remember that for each room an individual system with a temperature controller and a sensor should be equipped

Mount yourself or call the wizard?

The question of the upcoming installation of the underfloor heating system arises before its purchase.

There are 3 solutions:

  • order the installation service when purchasing the system;
  • find cheaper specialists on the side;
  • do it yourself.

All these methods have both advantages and disadvantages. The first is the most convenient and fast. He is good for everyone, because professionals will quickly and efficiently carry out their work, regardless of the chosen warm floor system.

Hardware Warranty
The warranty on equipment during installation by specialists will be maximum according to the manufacturer's warranty card

The negative point of this service is its cost.Not always the buyer is willing to spend a large amount on installation. Therefore, out of a desire to save money, he often finds cheaper craftsmen. This decision can sometimes result in even greater expenses.

The fact is that with improper installation, the customer will receive a warm floor, which will cease to heat in a short time. And you have to spend a lot of money on repairs. It is important to contact bona fide, experienced and responsible performers with positive recommendations.

The third option is the most reliable. When everything is done with your own hands, then every centimeter of the installed system is familiar to the owner. If mistakes were made during the installation process, they are immediately corrected, because everything is done for yourself and your family. Yes, and strangers do not have to pay for installing the floor.

The process of laying electric floors includes a number of standard steps that are performed in a certain sequence:

But this option also has a significant drawback - you need some knowledge about installing a warm floor and a couple of days of free time.

Another important point is the laying of a decorative coating. Regardless of what it will be, and who will be involved in the installation, you should carefully treat the electric heating system laid in the floor. Especially if a laminate or tile is planned on top as a decorative coating.

In this case, the involved tiler must be warned about caution.

Without skills to lay long
Without installation skills, independent work will not progress as fast as experienced craftsmen

If, at the stage of finishing work, the supply wires or some other elements of the heated floor were accidentally damaged, then the customer must be aware of this. You can not fasten the wires yourself and isolate such a twist. Be sure to immediately call a repair specialist.

The specialist has the necessary equipment
The specialist has the necessary equipment for the repair of a warm floor. His services at this stage will cost quite inexpensively - nothing needs to be dismantled yet (+)

Yes, and the customer does not have to look for the desired tile model or completely change the top decorative coating, if repairs are required to be carried out on a large area of ​​the room.

The specifics of installing electric underfloor heating under different floor coverings are described in the articles:

  1. Linoleum electric underfloor heating: system advantages and installation instructions
  2. How to make an electric heated floor for tiles: film and cable option
  3. Laminate underfloor heating: installation and installation of a film infrared system

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

On the pros and cons of cable and mat for the device of the underfloor heating system:

Video about installation errors of underfloor heating and repair methods:

About the types of cables and the features of their use for arranging a warm floor system in a video clip:

Connecting and checking the operation of an energy-saving rod electric floor is described step by step in the following video:

Having figured out the features of using various electric underfloor heating systems and comparing your requirements, you can easily choose the best option. As for its installation and connection, then all the work can be done independently.

If you have doubts about your own abilities, then with the purchase you can immediately pay for the installation service of the system by professionals.

Have something to supplement, or have questions about choosing an electric underfloor heating? You can leave comments on the publication, participate in discussions and share your own experience in using floor heating systems. The contact form is located in the lower block.

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Visitors Comments
  1. Victoria

    I have a private buty house, electric heating (electric heaters). It is impossible to heat a house quickly with heaters. We decided to make a warm floor. But what type of warm floor to choose? The main room is 12 squares, there is no electric boiler, you can use a lot of electricity - we have a special tariff plus powerful wires and a meter. The floor is wooden (boards). Is it worth it to initially fill the floor?

    • Marina

      I spent half my life in an ordinary private sector, where the electricity is constantly cut off. Therefore, the talk about conducting electric heating in our house quickly came to naught. But still there is not enough water on the gas boiler, because the floors still remain cold. As a problem, we ignored this for a long time, until we had children and small pets.

      We finally decided to make an electric floor heating in the bathroom, and in the bedrooms there is simply a laminate with a warm substrate. This decision was not immediately reached. First, we studied different options, weighed all the pros and cons. As a result, the choice fell on cable floors company Teplolux. Reviews on them were quite controversial, but in the price / quality ratio they completely tripled us. Already during installation, it became clear why some do not get warm in the room. It's simple: you need to put them directly under the tile, already on the finished screed. The rough floor is better to pre-fill, of course. Well, the generator doesn’t hurt. It will come in handy in both winter and summer.

    • Expert
      Alexey Dedyulin

      If you have loyal electricity tariffs, then it makes sense to mount an electric heated floor in the house. The floor will have to be poured, relevant materials on this issue can be found on our website.

      The only thing I can draw your attention to the temperature seams, or rather, their correct installation. They are relevant for large rooms, a quadrature of 15 square meters. I am enclosing a diagram for the correct installation of expansion joints.

      Warm flooring is a rather long-lasting project, both in finances and in time, especially if you plan to make the whole house with a warm floor. Do not save on a screed, as well as waterproofing, so as not to cause yourself any unnecessary problems in the future.

      Attached photos: