What kind of wiring is needed for foil floor heating

Doing with your own hands installation of infrared film heated floor

Installation of the film floor heating is notable for its simplicity and lack of serious repair procedures. All work can be performed independently, you only need to study the technology of laying the cloth and learn the criteria for selecting accessories and related materials. Before installation should perform preparatory work and purchase all necessary materials and tools.

kind, wiring, foil, floor, heating

An Installation Guide for The Warmup Foil Underfloor Heating System

Proceed with the installation only after checking the completeness of the floor heating and fully mastering the sequence of operations. This ensures optimum results, quality installation and performance of the foil floor heating. Consider the features and procedure for laying infrared film underfloor heating with your own hands.

Underfloor heating is divided into two groups: water and electric, one type of which is an infrared film. The name “film” material received because of its appearance. This is a two-layer polymer film, in which the carbon heating elements with a unique nano-structure are built in. It is they who emit infrared radiation that heats the surrounding surfaces.

Heating elements look like a black strips of width 15 mm, connected by copper and silver contact bars. The structure is additionally protected from damage by a layer of polymer. The system has a number of advantages:

  • The film works in a temperature range favorable to linoleum, so it is an infrared floor heating is considered an excellent choice for installation under this type of coverage. Optimal for linoleum is considered to be about 150 230 watts per square meter. Infrared film provides these parameters.There is a risk of overheating when installing other options. Even if its consequences are not immediately obvious, over time will manifest itself as deformation, softening, bulking.
  • The film can be laid in rooms with a non-standard layout, on balconies, loggias. Its small thickness allows to use in buildings with low ceilings.
  • The installation process is simple because it does not require “wet” work on the pouring of the screed. The system provides uniform heating of the room, perfectly amenable to automatic regulation and can be integrated into a smart home system.
  • Infrared underfloor heating has a long service life. Most manufacturers give a warranty of 15 to 20 years for efficient operation.

A significant positive point. easy disassembly of the system. If necessary, it is enough to remove the floor covering and lay the film on a new base or in another room. Electricity consumption when using a film system is 30% less than when using an electric heating cable in the same area.

Important questions about installation

Under most finishes: parquet, laminate, tile (about additional conditions we mentioned above). The only negative side note: If the material is soft, like linoleum or carpeting, a protective layer of plywood or wood-fibre board should be laid on top. This is to avoid accidentally damaging the heating elements in case of careless violent mechanical impact.

It is not advisable to lay film under highly insulating materials (cork, for example). One more significant feature of a thermal film is that it cannot be laid in a screed, as other models of heating floors.

The emission of infrared radiation bands is close to the spectrum of radiation from sunlight. The waves they emit are in an absolutely safe range, so the installation of film floor heating can be carried out in any type of room. It is used for heating children’s rooms, bedrooms, rooms where sick and elderly people live.

What wire cross-section is required for foil floor heating

On the heating systems market, the film underfloor heating from the exotic forms of heating have already become a popular, efficient and fairly economical alternative to the classic systems. The reason is simple. the emergence of modern film materials that are relatively inexpensive and accessible, do not require large capital expenditures in equipping the premises and quickly installed, including independently with minimal skills.

This article will be a detailed analysis of the features of infrared film heated floors of Russian and South Korean production. You will learn a lot of useful things, in particular:

Please note that here we look at the infrared floor heating as an additional source of heat in homes. If you are interested in installing a film floor heating as the main type of heating system, we recommend using a heating ceiling on the basis of appropriate film materials. This is an order of magnitude more efficient.

Most of the film materials used in the Russian market for floor heating are of South Korean or domestic origin. This is due to several factors:

Uniform heating of the material almost over the entire area; convenient size: mainly roll supplies in lengths of 100 m of varying widths (500-1000 mm) with a step of the cut of 200-250 mm; several varieties of power within the range 110-400 W / sq m.The best fragrances for your home; record guarantees of quality (10-20 years of operation); optimal price that is affordable to most consumers.

The most well-known manufacturers of infrared film materials are Q-Term, Heat Plus, RexVA, STEM Energy, “Hit-Lite” and several other companies. These are carbon-based electric heaters, supplied in coils, the features of which we will discuss.

Installation of the film heating floor includes the laying of a special film across which there are carbon heaters (see the following). Figures) with a linear shape.

These heaters have a strictly calculated specific resistance. When electric current flows through, the electric energy is transformed into heat, i.e. the film is heated. The resulting heat is evenly distributed over the entire surface, warming up the coating of your finished floor quickly enough.

Current-carrying copper strips (bars) are located on both sides of the roll. A variety of sizes and cut line markings allow for virtually loss-free cutting of the film material right on the spot. In addition, due to great flexibility, elasticity and minimum thickness (only 0.338 mm), the material adheres perfectly to any surface, requiring no special preparation when installing the film floor heating. Weight of one “square” of the electric heater is 0.4 kg.

The main varieties of capacity of South Korean films: 150, 220, 300, 400 W/sq.m (less common options are also available). The width of the material most often has the following steps: 0.5, 0.8 and 1.0 m. All South Korean heaters are well-proven. The main thing. an accurate connection diagram of the film floor heating, high-quality installation according to the provided instructions and correct operation. Many of these heaters are suitable not only for equipping the warm floor, but also for heating ceilings (including. as the main sources of heat).

Among Russian manufacturers of infrared electric heaters on a special place is ZEBRA EVO-300 WF. This is an excellent development of PSO “Evolution”, which became known after the production of popular heaters for heating ceilings (ZEBRA EVO-300 series PRO, ST and SOFT). EVO-300 WF is designed specifically for underfloor heating. “Zebra” is a modular device, equipped with a grounding loop and the case of aluminum foil.

The main advantage of “Zebra” WF is a one-way heat emission, where up to 95% of energy goes directly to the heating, providing a record efficiency of the system.

How to wire underfloor heating & radiator zones. UFH WIRING GUIDE

An example wiring diagram of the film floor heating ZEBRA EVO-300 WF is shown below. Click here to download the user manual.

The advantages of a heated floor are many, here are just the most basic pluses that highlight all who have installed a film floor heating:

Fast heating of the room. The direct effect on the floor material greatly increases the speed of heating compared to the vast majority of alternative systems.

Ease and simplicity of installation.

No need to screed: the material fits perfectly under most types of finish flooring: laminate, linoleum or carpeting.

The room loses practically nothing in height (remember that the thickness of electric heaters is only 0.388 mm).

No water leaks, no worries.

The infrared system works completely invisibly and absolutely silently, everything happens automatically according to your settings.

It is controlled by a thermostat, which is equipped with a remote temperature sensor that responds to changes in parameters within 0.5 degrees.

The manufacturer guarantees the flawless operation of the infrared floor heating from 10 to 20 years (depending on the company). The actual service life of electric heaters exceeds 25 years.

We absolutely do not idealize the heating of underfloor heating and objectively admit that it has disadvantages, too. The disadvantages of such heating include:

High cost of heating for rooms with a very large area and high ceilings.

Temperature limitations. According to SanPiN ( SNiP 41-01-2003 “Heating, ventilation and air conditioning”) surface of the floor in areas where people are constantly heated above 26 ° C. And the temperature of the floor, where people are temporarily allowed to raise to 31 ° C. Attempts to raise the floor temperature excessively (when the temperature outside is 30 ° C or lower) will lead to discomfort: it becomes too hot to walk on it.

The installation of foil floor heating is only possible in open areas free of furniture without legs. Otherwise there is a risk of critical overheating of the foil and its premature failure.

The system dries the air. This is due to the natural convection of air as it heats up. This is especially true if an infrared floor heating is used as the main source of heat. In this case we recommend the installation of humidifiers.

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To find out the maximum power consumption of the system just pay attention to the marking. For example, a 220 Watt/kWh (0.22 kWh) square meter of electric underfloor heating is best suited for a ground surface.A square meter of electric underfloor heating consumes 220 Watt/hour (0.22 kWh). Note that the main power consumption is when the room is heated, and to maintain the set temperature requires periodic switching, whose frequency depends on the heat loss of the building envelope, as well as the set parameters on your thermostat. Of course, the thermal insulation of the object should be at least on the level of recommendations SNIP respective region.

The temperature sensor is placed directly on the surface of the foil material, under the floor finish. Let’s imagine that you set the thermostat to 26 ° C, which is most comfortable for you. Once the temperature reaches this value, the sensor detects it, sends a signal to the control device, and the thermostat cuts off the power. Then the floor will gradually cool down, and the speed of the process depends directly on the level of heat loss. and the thermostat will again feed the electric heaters.

Thus, the real power consumption at a specific object directly depends on how often the system is turned on and off. The greater the heat loss, the higher the flow rate. We recommend insulating the floor (a layer of conventional building insulation 100 mm thick is enough). In this case, the average specific power consumption would be about 20-30W per 1 square kilowatt per square meter of floor.m of heated area.

The most common mistake of buyers of electric underfloor heating is that they want to use them to insulate their floor. But the film material doesn’t retain heat: its task is to generate heat energy. And to hold the heat obtained should be special insulators, which should be provided in the construction of the floor. The modern market offers a lot of options for heat insulation from different firms of different materials (“Knauff”, “Isoverr”, polystyrene foam, etc.).) Thickness from 30 to 100 mm (the thickness is chosen depending on the climatic characteristics of the region and the construction of the insulation object).

What happens if the installation of foil floor heating is made without insulation? In some cases, the system can cope with the heating of your room, but in most. no. Without insulation, heat energy will simply be lost, escaping into the atmosphere, the ground or absorbed by the slabs. But in any case the energy overspending is inevitable, because the system has to work almost constantly to compensate for the heat loss.

Is it possible to use a special carpet pad up to 5mm thick, because they also reduce the thermal conductivity?? Yes, this carpet pad is better than nothing at all. However, the efficiency of insulation is shown at a minimum thickness of thermal insulation material in the floor construction of 100 mm.

For infrared floor heating to be effective, it is important to correctly pre-calculate its output. Here’s an example where underfloor heating is planned as an additional heat source (i.e. boiler or central heating works in parallel). In this case it is enough to cover up to 50% of the floor with foil.

First of all, determine the useful area of the heating. usable area is only the exposed areas which are not occupied by furniture etc. In the figure below, you can see that the usable heating area is 8.6 square meters.m (S = 4.1 x 2.1 m).

Based on the size of the usable area, we select the size and number of electric film heaters, preferably covering the entire usable area to the maximum. Here we will use South Korean film with a wattage of 150W/sqm.m with a width of 500 mm. It turns out 4 sections of 4 meters, i.e. 8 square meters, or 150 watts per square meter.m electric heaters with a total capacity of 1.2 kW (8kV.m x 150 W/sqm.m = 1200 W). We have a load current of 5.5 A (1200 W / 220 V = 5.5 A).

We recommend that you draw up a laying plan before installing the heaters. On it you will need to mark the place of laying the sections of film, the distance between the strips, the connection diagram of the foil floor heating, in t. ч. Layout of power wires and temperature sensor coming from the temperature controller.

Note! It is strictly forbidden to overlap electric heaters! On the perimeter there should be 10-20 cm indentation from the walls and stationary heating systems. Between the strips of heaters allowed indentation of up to 50 mm.

Another very important point. At the site where it is planned to install a film floor heating, must have additional electrical power. Quite often in the absence of it and high power consumption (the system operates in several rooms at the same time, including the main one) there is a problem of network overload. This leads to constant triggering of the input circuit breaker and other troubles.

To avoid such problems in the future, you need to design the power supply parameters of the object in connection with the additional electrical capacity of the floor heating.

Below are the recommended maximum lengths of South Korean carbon-based film materials, depending on the width of the roll and the power density of the heater.

As with electric underfloor heating (which we wrote about earlier), before installing infrared flooring, you need to determine the area on which it will be laid. That is, it is a free space on which lightweight interior objects can stand. Do not lay the floor under heavy furniture and appliances. this would be unjustified. The power of the mats depends on the area covered by the infrared flooring. The more powerful (220 W/m2 ) foil floor is well suited for surfaces larger than 20 m2. but a smaller wattage is better for surfaces larger than 20 m2. Your sales advisor will in any case calculate the required wattage for your floor and temperature controller, depending on the size of your floor.

Choose wires with which you connect the mats, with a cross section of 1.5 to 2.5 mm. It is desirable to buy copper stranded wire, since the heating ducts to which it will connect are also copper.

The process of laying an infrared film heated floor:

  • Cleaning and levelling the subfloor. After cleaning, check the level of the surface. If the deviation is more than 3 mm, you need to level the base with a poured floor. How to do this, we wrote earlier.
  • The hole for the thermostat. You need to drill a vertical shaft from the floor to the place of installation of the thermo regulator, and make a hole for the thermo regulator itself. This should be done first to clean the surface from dust and pieces of wall. Do not forget to connect the power supply from the nearest outlet, preliminarily de-energize the system.
  • Thermal insulation. Reflective or non-reflective insulation (e.g. cork) can be used. The main thing is that the thickness of the thermal insulation layer is 3-5 mm. It will cut holes for laying wires and fasteners with foil. When laying thermal insulation, fasten it with mounting tape. For reflective heat insulation do not use materials with a reflective coating of foil. it is of poor quality.
  • Laying. The film is laid towards the wall on which the temperature controller will be installed (to reduce the length of the wire). The distance from the walls is 10-20 cm. In the vicinity of strong heaters (such as a fireplace), the indentation is about 1 meter. You can cut the foil only in the light places that go between the dark sections. The foil is laid butt to butt, which is then glued with a scotch tape (do not glue the edges where there will be fastenings with wires yet). The edges of the strips are also taped to the insulation. The foil shall be laid with copper heaters facing down.
  • Insulating the ends of the foil. The sections of the foil floor have open areas in the places where the copper is cut, which must necessarily be insulated to avoid damage in case of any leakage. The easiest way to do it is to use bituminous insulation in the form of a foil. Cut off the necessary dimensions (a little larger to ensure reliable insulation), and tape the copper sections on both sides. Under the insulated copper sections, holes are cut in the insulation to recess the sections. After gluing the bitumen insulation, tape it to the thermal insulation, pressing it into the holes. That way you will insulate the copper section forever. Remember that the areas to which the wires will be connected do not need to be insulated yet.
  • Installing the clamps. Metal clamps are connected to the uninsulated copper strips in the foil. Note: one side of the clamp must be inserted between the foil and the copper strip. Simply clamping the contact at the top and bottom is not an option: you could damage the film and the floor will soon stop working properly. One side of the clamp is shoved onto the copper under the foil, clamped with pliers or pliers, and that’s it.
  • Connecting the wires. Wires are connected to the terminals in parallel. That is, the left sides are connected only to each other, and the right sides are connected only to each other. It is better to buy 2 colors of wires for this to avoid confusion. First remove the insulation from the ends of the wires with a special tool. After stripping the insulation, the tip is twisted and stuck into the hole in the clamp, then firmly clamped with pliers or pliers. The joints shall be also insulated with bituminous insulation and fastened with a scotch tape from above.
  • Laying the wires in the thermal insulation. The wires shall run along the floor to the wall, so that they are in the skirting board area. This will keep them away from the pressure of the flooring. To lead the wire to the wall, it is necessary to cut a hole in the thermal insulation under its trajectory. Then you need to slip the wire through the hole and tape it together so that the wire sticks to the tape, too. Over the wall the wires must not protrude over the thermal insulation, so a little wider notches are made there, and the wires are taped again. That’s how you run the wire from the foil to the foil, then to the place under the thermostat.
  • Installation of the thermostat sensor. Install the sensor under the foil approximately in the center of the second section. It is also necessary to cut a hole in the thermal insulation and, if necessary, in the floor underneath the sensor. You also need to cut a hole in the thermal insulation for the sensor cable to the temperature controller. If the wire will turn sideways, cut a smooth curve so that the cable in the wire will not break in the future.
  • Connection and function test. We will tell you about connection below, and to check the work of foil floor heating you can both hands and portable infrared sensor, which by directing it to the foil, you can find out the temperature.
  • laying of sound insulation. It is desirable to use a roll material that provides both moisture and sound insulation.

Then the flooring is laid. A huge advantage of infrared film floor heating is the possibility of laying without a wet screed. Even if you move, you can disassemble the floor and transport it to your new home. But also the infrared flooring is well suited for underlayment.

Infrared floor thermostat is connected in the same way as other types of electric floor. For example, in 2 contacts on one side are inserted wires from the temperature sensor, in 2 contacts on the opposite side are inserted on a wire from the underfloor heating, in the 2 central contacts are inserted wires from the power supply. Ground wires are connected by a terminal and are not inserted into the contact.

Film flooring under the laminate floor: what to consider when choosing a coating

Standard lamellas can not be mounted on heaters. There are several reasons for this:

  • Panels have a low thermal conductivity, which will prevent the heating of the room.
  • Under the influence of high temperature, the geometry of the plates may change, resulting in the surface may warp.
  • Artificial flooring can emit toxic substances when heated.

All these are serious enough reasons to refuse to use it. However, there are special models of material designed for laying on the heater. A special marking has been developed for them, which must be put on the package. Another important point: mandatory presence of locks on the lamellae. They should only be installed according to the technology of the floating floor, that is, without connection to the foundation. No gluing of laminate flooring in this case.

Electric floor heating is a modern type of residential heating system. This design consists of heating mats and special regulators placed under the floor or between the layers of concrete screed.

The advantages of the scheme include:

  • uniformity of heat distribution over the height of the building;
  • No disturbance of circulation in the form of convection currents. movement of heat in the air;
  • easy and clear self-installation of the system;
  • The budget of a professional installation;
  • Saving useful space of the heated space;
  • no need for additional equipment;
  • It can be installed under any floor covering;
  • increased comfort and convenience;
  • environmental friendliness;
  • possibility of using by people suffering from various kinds of allergies, bronchial asthma.

The disadvantages of electric heating are:

  • The high cost of 1 KW of electricity;
  • Creation of an electromagnetic field within the heated room;
  • mandatory presence of skills in handling temperature regulators;
  • difficulty in diagnosing and repairing the system;
  • The existence of restrictions on the height of heated buildings;
  • the need to improve electrical safety through grounding.

However, with a rational design and competent installation, all these disadvantages are eliminated by themselves, which is why this system is increasingly popular among consumers.

The main active element of electric underfloor heating is the heating cable. On its quality and features depends on the efficiency of the entire heating mechanism, so choose a heating cable for this purpose carefully and responsibly.

Before you make your final choice, you need to familiarize yourself with all kinds of heating cables. There are the following types.

resistive cable

It creates the same temperature along its length and is subdivided into varieties:

  • Single core. This type lives up to its name. It consists of one heating wire, which is reinforced by a sheath of wire or foil. The process of connecting such a cable requires the joining of both cable ends in one place, i.e. connecting them to the temperature controller. Single-core cable has a number of advantages, namely:
  • Maximum heating temperature;
  • low power consumption;
  • affordable price.
  • Two-core. Consists, respectively, of two wires, which are also surrounded by a protective film. To connect a two-core cable does not require a return. The circuit is closed by connecting a special sleeve to the free end of the wire. Its advantages include:
  • easy installation;
  • the possibility of forming a trace of any shape and length;
  • one-way connection;
  • electromagnetic field immutability.


At the heart of such a cable are two conductive cores in contact with a polymeric matrix of semiconductor, which regulates the heating system depending on the ambient temperature. The matrix is insulated in two layers and protected by a braided shield between the layers. The advantages of self-regulating wire are as follows:

  • universality;
  • durability;
  • the ability to independently adjust the temperature in the room;
  • resistance to damage;
  • reliability.

Electrical mats

To make the installation of a warm floor more simple and convenient, as well as to reduce the financial costs to a minimum, it is recommended to use special heating electric mats. In turn, they are divided into:

Let’s take a closer look at each type:

  • Cable (wire) mat. a flat, flexible device consisting of a single wire attached to a metal mesh in the shape of a snake. Such mats are ideal for tile and tile finishes.
  • Carbon or carbon fiber mat is a structure of self-contained self-regulating heating rods attached in parallel, emitting infrared radiation, which is the source of heat in these circuits.
  • A film mat is essentially constructed in the same way as a carbon.

The only difference is that the carbon rods are additionally protected by a plastic film.

It’s better to choose a cable or a mat

The cable consists of one or more wires with insulation and outer jacket. Installation of such a wire is carried out in the screed, the thickness of which is 3. 5 cm.

It is recommended that the cable be installed underneath:

Ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles, natural stone, poured flooring, laminate, parquet, PVC tiles, linoleum, carpet.

Such a floor can be called almost universal.

Mats on the market are of two types. convection and infrared. This kind of cable is thinner and fixed at the right distance on a mesh base. Mats take up less space, requiring a smaller screed thickness of up to 5-10 mm. Installation is simple and does not increase the planned height.

Simple installation often determines the choice in favor of the mat. The film is laid along the length on a thin layer of thermal insulation, and the floor covering is installed on top. Unlike the first option, you don’t have to screed and fill the floor with cement. This approach also allows the use of mats on a vertical surface. Having assessed the advantages of the presented materials, many prefer the latter. This cost-effectiveness and ease of installation bribes many users, so the popularity of mate floor is growing every day. It is worth watching the video once to learn how to install.

Underfloor heating. a pledge of comfort for the residents of the house. It can be an auxiliary element of the heating system or replace it. The main advantage is that it is easy to install and saves a great deal of resources. But in order for the system to function properly it is necessary to choose the right cable. Selection criteria are very diverse. from the cross section to the anticipated load. Be sure to determine the function to be entrusted to the floor heating. Then the process of cable selection can be greatly facilitated.

Underfloor heating can be made by your own efforts, using simple panels that are installed even without pouring cement. It is worth carrying out installation procedures to assess the benefits of underfloor heating in action.

Underfloor heating for laminate flooring How to connect reliably to the electrical system

Electric underfloor heating is a type of heating system that transforms electric energy into heat energy by means of heating elements evenly placed under the whole area of the flooring.

Due to the fact that free access for repair to the heating elements of the warm floor after its installation and installation of the floor covering will not be, the electrical connection of the wires to the heating elements must be reliable enough to ensure trouble-free operation of heating during the entire service life.

Choosing linoleum

Most users choose linoleum by appearance. It is difficult to argue with this, because the appearance of the coating is very important, it largely determines the stylistics and the overall quality of the design of the room.

However, for laying on a warm floor, it is necessary to choose the right kind of linoleum. There are three categories of material:

SlimFix low profile underfloor heating installation by Continal Underfloor

All types of linoleum are divided into two groups:

  • homogeneous material. This is a single-layer linoleum, which is a homogeneous cloth;
  • heterogeneous linoleum. It is a multilayer material, consisting of a base, substrate, base layer, outer coating.

Homogeneous linoleum is thinner than heterogeneous. In addition, it has a high thermal conductivity, which is important for underfloor heating.

Specialists recommend choosing homogeneous linoleum, as multilayer materials are too dependent on temperature conditions and can begin to delaminate.

In addition, there are varieties made from natural materials or from polymers (PVC). Natural linoleum is called marmoleum, in its manufacture involves only the original components of natural origin:

Artificial linoleum is made of PVC with the addition of plasticizers and various compensators (eg, to protect against thermal expansion or change the linear dimensions of the web).

There are also other varieties:

nitrocellulose, or colloidal. Thin material without a substrate. Has a high performance qualities, but is highly flammable;

rubber linoleum (relyn). Two-layer material. Poorly tolerates heat, is used mainly in public or office spaces.

Not all varieties of linoleum are suitable for laying on a underfloor heating. Experts recommend choosing homogeneous (non-base) linoleum with a thickness of 2-3 mm. In this case, one of the best options is considered marmoleum, although it has a jute base.

In addition, it is necessary to choose specialized brands of linoleum. They must have a base with antistatic treatment. In addition, the material must retain performance in a heated state, not to dry out, not to crack or change color. Linoleum designed to work in conjunction with electric underfloor heating has a special marking on the back. the underfloor heating symbol (a snake with arrows). If there is no such designation, the buyer runs the risk of soon getting a lot of problems with the flooring.

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