Heating mat or floor heating cable?
Electric underfloor heating is increasingly being chosen by us as the main source of heat in our homes. Especially in new buildings, when the cost of such installation is the lowest. However, the choice between existing solutions can cause some problems for those who are not familiar with this topic. That's why we help you choose the best method of space heating in your home.
How does electric underfloor heating work?
The electric current flows through cables or mats placed in the floor. However, the heating system has a certain resistance, that is, the resistance it places on the flowing electrons. The effect of this resistance is the generation of heat, which is transferred to the floor and heats the entire room evenly.
Today's technology allows better control of the amount of heat generated by each element of the heating system. Therefore, there are a large number of solutions on the market that are tailored to specific conditions. It is worth knowing the differences between them to choose the best electric floor heating for your home.
Floor heating mat
Heating mats resemble plastic nets. Their width is fixed at 50 cm, while different lengths of heating mats are offered. You can also distinguish between mats with one current input or two. In the latter case, there may be some problems with getting the cables to the electrical box.
Benefits and drawbacks:
What are the biggest benefits of installing heating mats?
- They are much easier to install. All you need to do is unroll the tape on the floor and connect it to the electrical system.
- Heating mats can be installed in any room.
- The only disadvantage of this heating system is its higher cost at installation and operation.
Method of installation:
After preparing the floor, take measurements of the installation to confirm that the mats are not damaged. Replacing them after the floor is finished can significantly increase the cost of the entire installation. When all elements are working properly, you can proceed to install the box and lay the heating mat on the floor. Great attention should be paid to the correct installation of the sensor. It is recommended to place it in a protective tube. This facilitates the possible replacement of this element when it fails. It remains to take two measurements - before and after finishing the floor.
Floor heating cable
Another solution for electric floor heating is the use of heating cables. This is as often chosen method of heating the floor because of the significant advantages and opportunities it provides. Why choose heating cables?
For heating cables, there are two solutions:
- Stop-resistance cables. Single and double-sided, which are in the insulation layer and surrounded by a shield connected to ground.
- Self-regulating cables. They are characterized by an additional semiconductor composite. Depending on the ambient temperature, the heating power of such a cable changes. Therefore, near the fireplace they will work less, while under the window where it is colder - with greater power. Thus, they will provide the same temperature across the floor.
Modern systems allow you to install electric floor heating under furniture. Even a small space above the floor allows the exchange of heat, and with the use of self-regulating heating cables - even in the absence of free space, the cables will not burn out.
Benefits and disadvantages:
Cables have different heating power, and it is necessary to calculate the spacing we must maintain during installation. On the other hand, they are easier to lay in irregular rooms. In the case of variable-resistance solutions, you also gain the certainty of even heating of the entire floor due to their adaptation to the ambient temperature.
Method of installation:
Similar to mats, also when laying heating cables, they should be inspected three times:
- before starting work,
- after laying the cables,
- after flooding the floor.
When laying the heating cable, it is important to pay attention to the distances between the different sections and from the walls. This is a certain complication, but it also allows you to run the cable more freely. Also in this case, it is a good idea to place the sensor in a protective tube.
Optimal choice of room heating
Choosing the best solution is not easy. Each type of electric floor heating has its own advantages and pros. Depending on the dimensions of the room, its shape and its purpose, the optimal heating method may be different. The energy requirements of the building also matter. That's why it's a good idea to seek advice from a specialist. The easiest way to do this is to call the service staff of a specialized store. We, too, will be happy to answer questions and advise on the best solution. If you have questions ask them in the comments at the bottom of the page.