Heating mat or foil - I already know!
Electric underfloor heating is becoming increasingly popular among residents of single-family houses and apartments. They choose one of the available solutions. Most often it is a foil or heating mat. These solutions are so similar to each other that it can seem very difficult to choose between them. So check out a comparison of the two ways of heating your home.
Heating power of mats and foils under floorboards
It would seem that the more power, the better. But not in the case of electric floor heating under floor panels. This is because such an approach can lead to serious problems with the functioning of the installation. Why?
In underfloor heating, the idea is to distribute heat evenly over the entire floor surface. For this reason, it is undesirable to obtain high temperatures. The maximum temperature of the floor itself must not exceed 27°C, otherwise walking on it will not be comfortable.
To achieve such a temperature range, a safe 90 W/m² is completely sufficient. In certain situations, it is even advisable to use heating mats with even lower wattage. Meanwhile, especially in the category of heating films, one can meet with increasingly higher ranges of available power, reaching as high as 220 W/m². Such an installation will not be unsafe and will not be able to operate even at half of its capacity.
Low occupant comfort at high floor temperatures is just one of the consequences of using heating films that are too powerful.
- Do not install more than 90 - 100 W/m² under floor panels!
- Overheating panels may discolor and deform, and the soundproofing subfloor will quickly melt. In extreme cases, there may even be a fire.
Installation of heating mat vs. heating film
The installation of heating mats and film proceeds in a fairly similar manner. Heating mats are unrolled and laid in such a way as to cover as much of the floor as possible.Heating elements in both cases can not touch each other.
- Both solutions perfectly adapt to the shape of the room.
- In the case of heating mats, the cut line of the support mesh can run anywhere, when laying foil, on the other hand ? in the indicated gaps between successive heating areas.
- The floor under the panels must be very very even. For this you need a self-leveling screed. Only on such a floor are foils and floor panels laid. On the other hand, heating mats are poured in the self-leveling screed so that they work optimally. This makes them a much better, safer and more durable system.
- After laying the heating mats, all you need to do is connect the wires in the right way to make the system work. To weld all the ends in the case of heating foils requires a little more skill, but it should not take much more time.
- In the case of heating foils, it is worth remembering that it is a floating floor, which can affect mechanical damage and connections during use.
- Heating foils have a much shorter warranty period than heating mats.
Components for installation of heating film under floor panels
Just at the sight of the number of components and tools to install the heating film under the panels can scare you. Unfortunately, for some non-technical people, installing it on their own can be problematic. For the installation of the film, you should also have additional tools such as clamping pliers and a punch, and make accurate electrical connections of each strip of film.
Heating mat under floor panels simple installation
A much better solution is to pour the heating mats with a self-leveling screed. This will ensure durable and trouble-free operation of the heating for many years.
Unlike foil, heating mats are supplied in ready-made surfaces / installation grids. The heating surface should be carefully calculated in advance and buy the appropriate length of heating mat. Heating mats must not be shortened or lengthened, unlike heating foils which we cut at the installation site to the appropriate length.
- Floor panels
- Soundproofing insulation
- Self-leveling screed 12 - 15 mm
- QuickNet-90 heating mat
- Grounding agent
- Concrete substrate
Heating cost for both solutions
Electricity consumption is directly related to the power of the installation. A 120 W/m² heating film will consume twice as much electricity as a 60 W/m panel mat? However, it is not worth investing in electric underfloor heating under floor panels with a power of more than 90 - 100 W/m², which means that in terms of the amount of bills the two solutions will not differ much.
What will be the difference in price when buying the installation?
The price of a good quality heating mat is at a similar level to that of a branded heating film, along with the necessary underlay, insulation and specialized tools. Although the prices of individual components of the installation may seem different, you will pay a very similar amount for the whole. It is worth searching for attractive offers. In the case of our offer, it can be heating mats with WiFi thermostat included. The price in such a case will be more bargain than if you buy the mats separately.
Which system will work better in your home?
Mats and heating foils are very similar floor heating solutions. The cost of such installations is strongly similar to each other, while the method of laying is almost identical. However, it should be noted that connecting the heating film requires more skill and practice, while the durability of this solution lags far behind heating mats. Particularly those who want to lay under-panel heating in their home themselves should choose heating mats, which are easier to install.