Substrate under the water floor heating: the popular options and installation

Competent arrangement of the heated floor involves the most efficient use of thermal energy. To increase the efficiency of the heating system, various heat-saving techniques are used.

One of the main aspects is a warming substrate under a water-heated floor, redirecting heat fluxes from the water circuit to the clean coating. We will understand in detail the features of each type of insulating damper, the subtleties of choice and installation of litter material.

The content of the article:

  • The value of the insulating substrate
  • Requirements for litter material
  • Types of substrates: evaluation of properties and characteristics
    • Polystyrene plates - a universal solution
    • Cork material - environmentally friendly use
    • Features of the foam polyethylene damper
    • Heat reflecting metallized substrates
    • OSB and particleboard - "dry" technology laying
  • Substrate selection by base type
  • Styling technology: a set of basic rules
  • Conclusions and useful video on the topic

The value of the insulating substrate

Insulating material is an intermediate layer between the subfloor and the water pipe with heat carrier. The main purpose of the substrate - the preservation and redirection of heat flow upwards, that is, in the living area of ​​the room.

In addition to the task of preserving heat, the intermediate layer performs a number of equally important functions:

  1. Waterproofing. In emergency situations, a waterproof substrate will hold water, protect the lower layers of the underground "cake" and prevent water from leaking to the basement. In addition, it will eliminate the ingress of moisture from the screed to the final flooring.
  2. Thermal insulation. The layer acts as a barrier between the elements with different temperatures. Otherwise, contact with a cold floor will contribute to condensation and reduce the characteristic qualities of insulation.
  3. Uniform distribution of heat. The substrate minimizes the likelihood of obvious temperature differences - there are no excessively warm or cold zones. This feature reduces the negative thermal effects on the finishing flooring, appliances and furniture.
  4. Sound barrier. Most lining materials absorb the sound effect of walking on the floor and improve the overall sound insulation of the room.

The substrate softens the shock load on the base, distributing the point pressure - this helps to preserve the integrity of the screed.

Substrate under the water floor

The insulating layer, due to the low thermal conductivity of the material, gives a heat-reflecting effect - the main flow of heat energy rushes up. In the absence of a substrate, the efficiency of the heating circuit decreases sharply, and energy bills increase (+)

With arrangement of a water floor, the substrate is usually placed on the insulation for maximum heat retention - the “thermos effect” is implemented, reducing heat loss.

Substrate with bubs

The pad with bubs facilitates installation - you can use different options for placing the heating circuit by choosing the optimal places for connecting the system and installing control sensors

Requirements for litter material

The characteristics of the substrate are selected depending on the type of the rough base, the finish coating and the operational characteristics of the water floor. However, there is a basic list of properties that any type of litter material must comply with.

Strength and elasticity. As a rule, the heating circuit is embedded in a cement-sand screed. A considerable load on the substrate themselves have water system pipesespecially made of metal.

Substrate requirements

Lining material should not be permanently deformed, sag and change its thickness. It is important that the substrate has the ability to restore the original shape after removing the loads.

Low thermal conductivity. It is optimal if the heat capacity of the material is combined with its small thickness. The water floor system reduces the height of the room, depending on the type of substrate, the size of the "cake" can be 5-15 cm.

A positive effect gives the ability of the substrate to heat, which ensures the presence of foil film with reflective properties.

High waterproofing properties. An important characteristic is the percentage of maximum water absorption. The material should not absorb and pass through the moisture.

Waterproofing properties

Allowable water absorption coefficient - no more than 2-4%. The use of such a substrate is permissible if the material is able to dry completely without dismantling the floor - solely due to natural ventilation.

Resistance to temperature changes. The stated properties of the substrate must be maintained at different temperatures. When choosing, it is important to evaluate such indicator as permissible operating temperatures. The limit value is not less than + 70 ° С.

In addition to the indicated requirements, the substrate should not release toxic, harmful substances. A definite plus - low price, ease of installation.

Practical substrate

Practical in use - puzzle puzzles. Mats are assembled into a single canvas according to the type of designer - this makes it possible to easily adjust the heating circuit to the configuration of the room

Types of substrates: evaluation of properties and characteristics

Various heat-insulating materials in varying degrees meet the listed requirements. More than others, plate polystyrene is close to the ideal. However, in some situations it is wise to use alternatives: foiled polyethylene foam, cork substrate or moisture-resistant chipboard.

Polystyrene plates - a universal solution

Styrofoam - the result of the industrial foaming of polystyrene. The finished product contains 2% of the main component with auxiliary additives and 98% gas. The air is enclosed in hermetically sealed cells, which allows the material to keep the temperature well.

The thermal conductivity of polystyrene foam with a thickness of 10 cm is equivalent to a layer of wood of 0.35 m, reinforced concrete and brick walls - 4.8 m and 1.5 m, respectively.

Polystyrene plates

The production of extrusion foam panels allows to obtain a substrate of high physical strength and density. Closed cells and minimum pore volume ensure water resistance of the material

Technical and operational characteristics of polystyrene foam:

  1. Thermal conductivity is 0,028-0,034 W / m * K. The value of the indicator is directly proportional to the density of the insulation.
  2. Permeability varies between 0,019-0,015 mg / m * h * Pa. The extruded material is molded by extruding the polymer melt through a slit nozzle.
  3. Moisture absorption dense polystyrene is 0.4%, which is 10 times less in comparison with conventional foam. The thermal conductivity of the substrate is maintained even with constant exposure to moisture.

Strength extruded polystyrene compressing with a linear strain of 10% is 0.25-0.50 MPa, depending on the type of material.

Forms of polystyrene foam plates

Foam lining mats are available in a convenient form for assembly. Perhaps smooth execution of a covering and with pimples for fixing of a heating coil

Weaknesses of polystyrene foam: relatively low sound insulation ability and flammability. The substrate is afraid of solvents, acetone, turpentine and kerosene - under their influence the material is deformed.

For thermal insulation, you should not choose non-pressed or autoclaved polystyrene foam. These varieties are more fragile.

Extruded or extruded foam mats will be suitable as a substrate for a water-heated floor, their thermal conductivity is approximately equal. Popular with consumers enjoys Penoplex heat insulation.

Cork material - environmentally friendly use

Cork pad is made of crushed, pressed wood bark granules using different binders. The main argument in favor of such a substrate is naturalness and absolute environmental friendliness. The material is hypoallergenic and harmless to health.

Additional benefits of cork:

  • resistance to deformation - after short-term shock loads returns to the original form;
  • porosity provides high noise absorption properties;
  • good thermal insulation characteristics;
  • convenience of cutting, styling.

The cork damper is realized in the form of rolls and separate sheet panels. Products differ in the thickness of the lining: rolled material - 2-4 mm, cork mats - 4-10 mm.

Cork backing

Substrate characteristics: compressive strength under pressure of 7 kg / sq. Cm deformation up to 10%, material moisture - about 7%, sound absorption coefficient on a ten-point scale - 8.5

Disadvantages of cork substrate:

  • moisture vulnerability;
  • requirements for waterproofing the subfloor;
  • sensitivity to large static loads.

The classic version of the cork substrate is better not to apply under the water floor system. For these purposes, suitable cork covering, where the role of a binder performs rubber. In addition to hydro resistance, the damper has improved sound and vibration insulation characteristics, but it cannot be called completely natural.

Cork backing

Bitumen-cork substrate (2) in contrast to the rubber-cork (1) is not suitable for residential premises. The material is characterized by excessive toxicity, flammability

Features of the foam polyethylene damper

The simplest and most affordable solution is a polyethylene foam substrate. The material is produced by extrusion of polyethylene granules, followed by heat treatment and pressing. The output is an elastic web filled with a multitude of air pores.

Depending on the characteristics of the structure, foam polyethylene substrates are classified into two groups: unstitched and stitched.

Unstitched polyethylene foam consists of gas-filled cells up to 3 mm in size. The thickness of the substrate ranges from 0.8 to 6 mm, the width of the roll is 1-1.5 m.

The main advantages of such a substrate include:

  • high moisture resistance - water absorption not more than 1%;
  • small thickness;
  • low cost.

However, the disadvantages of unstitched polyethylene foam more. The material is short-lived, wears out quickly, is pressed under the weight and eventually loses its flexibility. The coefficient of thermal conductivity is 0.55 W / (m ° C), which indicates insufficient heat retention.

Types of polyethylene foam

Crosslinked polyethylene foam (2) has a molecular structure much more dense than unstitched cloth (1). In the manufacturing process, cross-links are formed, reducing the size of air pores.

Crosslinked polyethylene foam has the following features:

  • phenomenal strength;
  • increased density - 33 kg / cubic meter, the same indicator of unstitched polyethylene - 25 kg / cubic meter;
  • high level of noise absorption - up to 18 dB;
  • low level of thermal conductivity - 0.031 W / (m ° C);
  • output format in rolls and mats, the thickness of the finished product - 1-20 mm.

The life of the substrate reaches 15 years.

Crosslinked polyethylene foam

Minus "stitched" modifications: high cost. The most popular brands of foam polyethylene substrate: Polifom, Tatfoum, Penolon-R, PPE-Izolon, Izolon-500

Heat reflecting metallized substrates

Foil substrates are widely used. Moreover, different materials can be used as a base: plate extruded polystyrene foam, its non-extruded fellow polystyrene, cork material or polyethylene foam.

In each case, the metallized film improves the initial technical characteristics of the base and adds reflex qualities to it.

The reflective outer coating is made of aluminum and lavsan. The thickness of the foil layer determines the degree of heat reflection of the insulation.

Foil substrate

Lavsan or metallized film increases the efficiency of the "water floor" to 94-98% and provides a uniform redistribution of heat. The coating is resistant to deformation and tolerates high loads.

Lavsan is resistant to aggressive environment - the material retains the reflectivity and functions of a hydro-barrier with prolonged contact with a concrete screed.

Worthy representatives of the heat-reflecting substrate on the basis of polyethylene foam: Penofol, Isoflex, Ecofol. Foil insulation based on polystyrene foam - Sunpol.

OSB and particleboard - "dry" technology laying

Wood-shaving materials play the role of a substrate in the arrangement of a heated floor using Finnish technology. The method eliminates the solid concrete screed.

Chipboard substrate

The essence of the method: the water circuit is laid in the prepared channels. The stiffness of the base is provided by solid chipboard plates or a system of rails fastened to wooden logs

The floor on a wooden base has a number of features:

  • ease of assembly;
  • high strength characteristics;
  • environmental Safety;
  • versatility - suitable for finishing various floor coverings.

The weak side of the chipboard substrate is moisture susceptibility. To increase the hydro and thermal insulation indicators between the pipes and the wooden base it is recommended to lay a thin substrate, the best option is foil polyethylene.

Substrate selection by base type

The physical characteristics of the decorative flooring significantly affect the choice of linear parameters and the physical qualities of the substrate. The greater the weight of the finish, the stronger and safer the damper should be.

Ceramic tile. Water tiled floor settling on concrete technology - the circuit is mounted under a monolithic coupler. This method is associated with significant loads on the lining material.

Water floor under the tile

Suitable substrate with a high carrying capacity, such as extruded polystyrene foam. It is possible to use both smooth mats and overhang

Laminate. The main criterion for the choice of substrate for a warm water floor with a laminate coating is the highest heat saving index, since the panels themselves do not transmit heat well.

Laminate flooring

The light weight of the laminate does not exert significant pressure on the “water system”. This makes it possible to use different types of lining, including soft

The optimal solution is heat-reflecting insulation with a low degree of thermal conductivity.

Linoleum. Installation of roll coating is carried out on plasterboard, OSB or sheet plywood. The panels have an impressive weight, which means that the requirements for the strength of the substrate are tightened. It is recommended to give preference to polystyrene foam, cork options or lining of cross-linked polyethylene foam.

Read more about the device underfloor heating under linoleum is written in this article.

Styling technology: a set of basic rules

Installation of the substrate is not any difficulty, the work can be done independently. The main thing is to follow simple and clear rules.

Laying the substrate

The order of laying depends on the form of execution of the lining: roll insulation, individual modules or puzzle boards, fixed between each other by means of a lock joint

General requirements for mounting the substrate:

  1. Accurate calculation. In advance it is necessary to determine the amount of material, taking into account the dimensions of the lining. Optimally, if the insulation is placed with the minimum number of joints.
  2. Preparation of the subfloor. The base must be flat. You should not especially rely on the ability of dense material to mask irregularities - any product will eventually take the form of a base.
  3. Waterproofing. Natural components (cork substrate, chipboard, OSB) require pre-installation of a hydro-barrier. It is enough to lay a dense polyethylene.
  4. Piling. Rolled sheet material is rolled out without stretch, it is obligatory to overlap the walls. The placement of the plates occurs close to the vertical surfaces protected by 10 cm of damper tape.
  5. Docking. Cloths of rolled insulation are overlapped and fixed together with building tape. Slabs and mats are grouped end to end.

When arranging a warm floor under the laminate, it is necessary to take into account the orientation of the panels - they are placed with a roll substrate mutually perpendicular.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Choosing a substrate, it is better to give preference to products of famous brands. Among the popular brands, both domestic and foreign companies have recommended themselves well.

The device of a heat-insulated floor by means of extruded Penopleks expanded polystyrene:

Placing the substrate of polystyrene "Izolon-500" under the floating underfloor heating:

General recommendations on the choice of insulation for laying the water circuit:

The value of the insulating substrate under the warm floor is difficult to overestimate. The efficiency and profitability of the heating system largely depends on its quality, as well as its compliance with the floor covering and the technology of placing the “water coil”.

Looking for a substrate under a water-heated floor? Or have experience in the installation and use of a certain type of insulating litter? Please leave comments on the article, ask questions and participate in discussions. Contact form is located below.

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