An important condition for the proper functioning of a warm water floor is the use of thermal insulation, which allows you to reduce energy costs and avoid heat loss.
The most modern and convenient type of insulation are mats for a warm water floor, represented by a wide range in the construction market.
The variety of thermal insulation materials is sometimes quite difficult to understand, is not it? Each manufacturer tries to demonstrate the best aspects of its product, sometimes keeping silent about possible shortcomings.
We will help you find the best solution for the insulation of the water floor. The article describes the different types of foam polystyrene mats, practical advice on their selection and installation. We also identified manufacturers whose products have won the trust of consumers and are in active demand.
The content of the article:
- What is the function of insulation
- Features of the material for the production of mats
- The main advantages of using mats
Types of polystyrene foam plates
- Rolled foiled insulation
- Expanded polystyrene insulation boards
- Polystyrene panels with foil and film
- Profile mats with "lugs"
- Recommendations for choosing mats
- Thermal Insulation Tips
- Manufacturers and models overview
- Conclusions and useful video on the topic
What is the function of insulation
When arranging a water heating system, the most important task is to minimize heat losses and direct all heat directly to the room where the structure is installed.
If you simply lay pipes on the main floor, then there will be very little sense from this system, since most of the heat energy will go down to the basement or to the neighbors on the lower floor.
To solve this problem, heat insulation is intended, which, on the one hand, is a barrier to the entry of cold air from basement (if the system is installed in a private household), and on the other - serves to preserve and evenly distribute heat throughout the room.
Properly chosen and installed insulation allows you to eliminate the loss of thermal energy and redirect the warm streams coming from the heating pipes, upwards, towards the room. In addition, the insulation prevents condensation from accumulating and prevents the formation of mold on the walls.
Choosing this or that material, it is necessary to be guided by its initial characteristics and features of the room.
The classic types of insulation that were commonly used before - ecowool and foam. Actually, the inexpensive cost of these materials still attracts very economical buyers.
However, progress does not stand in one place, and manufacturers offer more practical and convenient heat insulation materials - special mats for water floor.
Features of the material for the production of mats
Modern mats are produced from extruded polystyrene foam - a material that not only has excellent heat insulating properties, but also has a whole list of other advantages.
- Low vapor permeability (0.05 mg (m * h * Pa). For comparison, in mineral wool this indicator is 0.30. This means that polystyrene badly misses water vapor and does not accumulate moisture, is constantly in a dry state, and as a result does not contribute to the formation of condensate.
- Low thermal conductivity, and hence the maximum heat retention in the room.
- Sound insulation characteristics.
- Does not attract rodents and is not a breeding ground for the formation and development of microorganisms.
- Durability. According to the results of the tests carried out (alternating high and low temperatures from plus 40 to minus 40 degrees and exposure to water), the service life of products made from this material is up to 60 years.
The mats used polystyrene foam with a density of up to 40 kg / m3, therefore they perfectly maintain the big loadings.
This property is especially valuable when water floor deviceBecause a rather heavy construction consisting of water pipes, a layer of concrete and a finishing floor covering is laid over the mats.
The weight of the floor heating system per 1 sq.m. is about 200 kg, the thickness of the layers is about 150 mm. The main load falls on the lower layer. The high density of polystyrene provides the strength of the mats and allows them to hold on to their heavy structure (+)
The main advantages of using mats
Mats for water heating structures - a modern insulating material made in accordance with the accepted European standards for quality and safety.
The plates are made using the latest technology and combine all the advantages of traditional heaters, and at the same time are devoid of their inherent flaws.
Advantages of mats:
- have excellent performance;
- have good thermo and sound insulation properties;
- suitable for both semi-dry styling and wet screed;
- prolonged use does not deform or change dimensions;
- equipped with a locking system, thanks to which the plates are quickly and easily laid;
- most mats have a markup, which greatly simplifies the process of installing pipes;
- resistant to rotting, resistant to bacteria;
- do not swell from exposure to water;
- safe for humans, in normal temperature conditions do not emit harmful odors;
- maintain both high (up to + 180 ° С) and low (up to -180 ° С) temperature;
- have a long service life, which is up to 50 years.
It should be noted that the untreated expanded polystyrene is combustible and flammable material and produces toxic smoke when burning.
To reduce this property, flame retardants are added to the insulation during production, which makes it a self-extinguishing material. In domestic products such material is marked with the letter “C” at the end.
Types of polystyrene foam plates
There are four types of mats that are suitable for use in arranging water floors. Each of them has its own characteristics and is intended for installation in certain conditions.
Types of mats:
- The rolled materials supplied with the foiled layer.
- Polystyrene plates.
- Foamed polystyrene panels with foil and film coating.
- Profile mats with "lugs".
The choice of thermal insulation coating depends on the parameters of the room, the base on which the installation is made, the dynamic and mechanical load that the insulation must withstand. The plates have different heights, so it is also necessary to take into account the thickness of the future screed.
The selection of thermal insulation is largely determined by what kind of heating (primary or secondary) it is intended for (+)
Rolled foiled insulation
Insulation in rolls made from penofola thickness from 2 to 10 mm. On the one hand, the material is covered with aluminum foil or polymer film, the function of which is to direct the heat flow and heat distribution over the entire floor area.
This type of heat-insulating material can be attributed to the mats very arbitrarily, since it has low thermal insulation properties. This causes a rather limited scope of its application.
Foil insulation is used only when the water floor is used as an additional heating system and the main floor already has some degree of insulation.
Rolled insulation is the easiest and most inexpensive kind of insulation, but it can only be used under certain conditions.
Rolled material is not advisable to lay on the first floors of buildings and in the premises, the bottom of which are non-heated areas, since the insulation efficiency in this case will approach zero indicators.
A certain complexity is styling floor heating pipes on this insulating material. Additional fasteners are required: clamps, clamps, reinforcing mesh, etc.
When laying the cover, the sheets are end-to-end with each other, to ensure better sealing, the seams are glued with special foil tape.
However, despite the very modest characteristics, insulation in rolls under certain circumstances is the only possible option of warming, for example, with a small height of the room, when every centimeter is counted square.
Expanded polystyrene insulation boards
As insulation for the water floor, flat polystyrene foam mats can be used. The simplest and cheapest option is ordinary foam plastic, more durable and high-quality insulation - a plate of extruded polystyrene foam.
If you decide to stay at a more affordable foam, then when you buy it you need to focus on the density of the material. This indicator must be at least 35 kg / m3. With smaller values of the strength of the insulation may not be enough to hold the load of the heating system.
It is more preferable to use the second option, which has higher quality indicators. The best representative of this series is Penoplex. It has a closed cellular structure, is durable, and withstands loads well.
To improve the insulating characteristics on top of the mats can be laid foiled insulation in rolls.
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Hard extruded polystyrene foam is used as insulation and as a means of leveling the floor. Penoplex plates have standard sizes 60 x 120 cm, the thickness of the material varies from 2 to 10 cm
Since Penoplex is a versatile material, no marking is applied to its surface. Its function is successfully performed by the reinforcing mesh.
The water floor pipeline is attached to the reinforcing mesh, the cells of which serve as markings. Fastening is made with wire or polymer thread
For fixing pipes on extruded insulation, you can use plastic fasteners, the base of which is immersed in thermal insulation
Extruded polystyrene foam
Reinforcing mesh over insulation
Fastening the pipe to the reinforcing mesh
Fixtures for fixing pipes
The edges of the plate are equipped with special locks, which simplifies its installation. On sale also there is material with already put marking. The pipes are fastened with plastic clips, which are simply stuck into the plates in the right place.
Polystyrene panels with foil and film
This type of insulation is a foam polystyrene mats with foil and film layers applied.
They are available in either of two types:
- individual tilesequipped with a castle connection;
- in the form of panelsfastened together by a common film coating.
In the first case, when laying the tiles are fastened together with waterproof tape. In the second - mats are simply laid out on the surface.
On top of the panels there is a coordinate grid, whose pitch is 50 or 100 mm. The markup helps to understand how best to lay the pipeline, and allows you to quickly lay the pipe in accordance with the selected scheme.
The plates are produced 2.5 cm thick. The width of the mats is 100 cm, the roll length is 5 meters. In some models, a self-adhesive layer is applied to the edge of the panels for convenient mating of the mats.
For fastening pipes, brackets are also used here, laying is possible with a reinforcing mesh that is laid on top.
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Heat insulating rigid substrate designed to significantly accelerate and facilitate the process of floor heating
The foil outer side of the plate insulation is lined up in squares to facilitate the installation of pipes according to the project developed for the floor
The important moment - rigid insulation ideally eliminates the leakage of heat, and the foil plays the role of a reflector
Pipes to rigid foiled plates are fastened with plastic brackets with fixtures excluding the separation of installed elements
Foil thermal insulation substrate
Lined surface for laying according to the scheme
An important function of warming the heating system
Easy option for fixing laid pipes
Profile mats with "lugs"
The most perfect and most comfortable insulation. Mats are specially designed for installation of a warm water floor.
The material from which they are made, all the same - polystyrene, but thanks to the use in production improved technology of hydropellent stamping, special protrusions on the mats (lugs).
In the production of mats used polystyrene with a density of not less than 40 kg / m3, which copes with any loads
Lugs can have a wide variety of shapes: round, cylindrical, cubic, polyhedra, etc. The protrusions located at a certain distance from each other, provide reliable fastening and fixing of the pipeline in the desired position.
When using these mats virtually eliminates the possibility of displacement of pipes during their installation and subsequent pouring of concrete.
The height of the protrusions is 20-25 mm, which is quite enough for laying pipes with a diameter of up to 20 mm, which are usually used for underfloor heating. The total thickness of insulation depending on the model is 40-50 mm
Coating mats depends on the model and manufacturer. Some types of heat insulator are produced without any coating at all, you can buy models with a top film layer or a stretched waterproofing film. The quality characteristics of the product, this indicator does not affect.
For convenience and ease of installation, the heater is equipped with special locking connections, which among other things provide good tightness of the joints. Mats form a continuous surface without gaps and gaps on which any kind of screed can be laid.
Another undoubted advantage of the foam polystyrene profile mats is that they create an excellent noise barrier, insulation can significantly reduce the noise level to 25 dB.
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Polymer mats with relief simultaneously solve several important tasks in the device of underfloor heating
Bosses of polymer mats serve as guides, providing the opportunity to lay the pipeline according to the scheme with the required step
Polymer mats protect the system from heat loss, prevent the penetration of cold and moisture from the base
Mats with bosses will provide the required distance for laying reinforcing mesh in front of the cement filler screed
Lugs are located so that during the formation of turns of the pipeline there are no corners that impede the flow of coolant and increase the pressure in certain areas
In the case of the device of a heated floor with heat-reflecting plates that enhance its effect, mats will serve as the basis for laying these plates.
Pipeline installed in mats heat-reflecting plates produced by the traditional scheme
In the case of flooring on wooden bases, the function of mats with bosses is performed by a wooden flooring system of bar or thick plank.
Multifunctional mats with bosses
Guides for the implementation of the styling scheme
Insulation functions of polymer systems
The basis for the device screed on warm floors
Providing a smoothly curved corner
Laying heat-reflecting metal plates
Pipeline installation on plates and mats
Alternative to polymeric mats with lugs
Recommendations for choosing mats
When choosing insulation, you should pay attention to such various technical and operational indicators.
Main selection criteria:
- the ability of a material to withstand static and dynamic loads;
- pipe diameter;
- features of the room in which laying of a water floor is made.
So, rolled material, due to its low waterproofing characteristics, is not suitable for laying on the ground floors. It should also be used with caution in apartments where people live from the bottom, because in case of leakage of pipes, it will not be able to retain moisture, and water will flow directly into the neighboring apartment.
Sheet mats and foiled polystyrene blocks, in contrast, have good waterproofing properties, which eliminates the possibility of leakage. In addition, they relate to materials whose thermal conductivity coefficient is very low, due to which their use ensures the maximum level of heat transfer to the floor.
When organizing a water heated floor, such a characteristic of the material as load retention is of no less importance. The profile mats made of expanded polystyrene with a density of 40 kg / m3 perfectly cope with this. Flat plates and foiled mats also have a high density.
These heaters can be safely used for the organization in the apartment or in a private house floor heating system, which will be used as the main heating.
But the rolled material remains in the outsiders and on this position. Its density is not enough to withstand loads, so it can only be used for the organization of additional heating.
In the above diagram, it is clear from which quantities the total thickness of the water floor layers is formed, and what height of the room can it take (+)
Another parameter to be taken into account is the thickness of the mat. If the floor is already laid any insulation, you can use thinner plates. Also taken into account is the height of the room itself, the diameter of the pipes, future screed thickness and floor facing.
Thermal Insulation Tips
Despite what type of mats will be used for a warm water floor, it is necessary to lay a layer of waterproofing under it. This is necessary to protect the lower layer from the penetration of moisture droplets, as well as to create a durable barrier that can prevent flooding of the lower floors of the building in case of leaking pipes.
A waterproofing film can be a thick plastic film, bitumen coating or penetrating waterproofing.
If a film is used, it must be glued to the walls with a damper tape. The same tape is mounted on the entire perimeter of the room after laying the mats.
Installation of profile mats is carried out fairly easily, special locks contribute to the quick and high-quality assembly of thermal insulation material
The easiest way to install - using profile mats. They need to lay on a layer of waterproofing and fasten together with a locking connection. Then, in the intervals between the bosses, the pipeline is laid using the chosen method of installation, and the pipe is fixed in the desired position by lightly pressing the legs.
Installation of flat polystyrene plates also does not cause much difficulty. The panels are either sealed with locks, or simply glued to the waterproofing, and their joints are fixed with waterproof tape.
Lock connection allows you to fasten polypropylene plates to each other easily and very quickly.
Most of the questions on the installation causes rolled insulation. It is placed in such a way that the foil layer is on top. The heat insulator also needs to be glued to the base, and the joints between the tiles are connected with mounting tape.
Then markup is applied to it, and stacked pipes. The pipeline is fixed with clamps or clips.
For bonding the rolled material a special foil tape is used, which fixes the sheets and seals the joints between them.
The complexity of laying is that the thin and light insulation is very mobile. Therefore, it is necessary to produce its tie very carefully so as not to move the structure fastened on it.
It should be noted that when laying mats of any kind, only plastic fasteners can be used, metal parts can damage the integral structure of the mats and break their tightness. The installation of the piping system can be carried out only after all the insulation work has been completed.
Manufacturers and models overview
Mats for warm water floors are produced by many foreign and domestic companies. However, the leading positions are occupied by only four brands, whose products are in the greatest demand among buyers.
High quality and performance indicators have insulation of the German brand Oventrop. In the model range there are profile mats with bosses, plates for dry laying, assembly roll and folding insulators in polypropylene film.
Plates with bosses have dimensions of 100 x 100 cm, they are available in two types: with thermo-and noise-insulating properties, and also without thermal insulation
Another German manufacturer of heat insulation - the company Rehau, whose mats also arouse the increased interest of consumers. The main products are foam polystyrene mats with lugs, fitted with thermal and sound insulation layers.
The plates have a size of 145 x 85 cm and are suitable for laying a pipeline with a diameter of 14 to 17 mm. The total thickness of the insulation is 50 mm. Supplied with pipe retainers
Among Russian manufacturers, the company's most famous products Energoflex.
The model line includes several items:
- foamed polystyrene plates;
- thin rolled insulation with foil;
- plates from expanded polystyrene with lugs.
On all heat insulators a coordinate grid with a pitch of 50 mm is applied.
Foil plates are covered with a protective film, they are produced in the form of a roll or a book, have dimensions of 100 x 500 cm, insulation thickness is 2.5 cm
Excellent consumer and performance characteristics have insulants for water floor, manufactured by Russian trademark Ecopol.
The manufacturer offers smooth expanded polystyrene plates and mats with bosses. Panels are supplied with castle connection and are covered with film waterproofing.
Mats are available in three versions: with heat insulation of 20 and 30 mm and without heat insulation. The dimensions of the plates are 115 x 85 mm; the total thickness of the layers is 38 mm.
Conclusions and useful video on the topic
The video tells about the benefits of Ecopol mats.
How to lay the floor heating system, you can learn from the following video plot:
Mats made of expanded polystyrene - a modern universal insulation, they are great for arranging water floor.
The improved design ensures efficient and long-term operation of the heating system and greatly facilitates the process of installation of the pipeline, with the installation of which will easily cope even nonprofessional
Have experience with heat insulating mats in organizing a water floor? Please tell readers about the specifics of their use and share feedback on the operation of such systems. You can leave comments and attach photos in the form below.