Infrared film underfloor heating: overview of models and subtleties of installation
Previously, installing an infrared floor was considered a luxury, however, today this method of heating rooms has gained wide popularity. Infrared film underfloor heating is a modern and practical option for organizing the main or additional heating in the room. In this article, we will look at the advantages of installing infrared film, its varieties and compatibility with floor coverings.
Infrared underfloor heating: pros and cons
Heating with the help of IR film has many advantages over other types of similar heating. Let’s consider the main advantages of such a heating design:
- such a system cannot fail at the same time, since it is connected in a parallel way;
- the possibility of installation on any type of surface – both horizontal and vertical, as well as on elements that are located at an angle;
- the design features of the IR floor make it possible to achieve uniform heating of the room. This is especially important if laminate is used as a floor covering;
- another advantage of such a system is the ease of installation;
- possibility of disassembly if necessary;
- such a film is suitable for installation in rooms where the humidity level exceeds the permissible parameters;
- compatible with different flooring options;
- installation of such a system is allowed not only in closed rooms, but also in open conditions (for example, on the veranda);
- high heat transfer coefficient, which reaches 97%;
- the efficiency of the film IR floor is about 30% higher than that of other heating systems installed in the floor. The prices of film underfloor heating fully correspond to their effectiveness.
Pay attention! When choosing an IR film for the organization of heating in the floor, it is necessary to take into account one very important parameter – the height of the ceilings. The lower the ceiling height, the more efficient the heating of the room.
However, this design has some disadvantages, among which are particularly distinguished:
- the need to follow clear rules when connecting;
- high inertia, due to which heating and cooling occur very quickly;
- weak resistance to mechanical influences in comparison with a tubular structure using water as a coolant.
The film system, as a rule, is not suitable for installation as the main heating. It is recommended to use an infrared design for the organization of additional heating.
Varieties of infrared films
From a constructive point of view, all IR films are similar and have a common principle of operation. However, for different types of premises and operating conditions, it is customary to use certain variants of film underfloor heating. The differences between ICS are primarily due to the fact that different companies are engaged in their production.
Let’s consider the varieties of IR films according to the maximum heating temperature and their compatibility with various floor coverings:
- high-temperature infrared underfloor heating under the tile. The maximum heating temperature of such systems reaches 50 °C. They are incompatible with floor coverings that are more susceptible to heat (linoleum, laminate);
- low-temperature infrared underfloor heating under linoleum and laminate. Such systems can be heated up to 27°C;
- universal IR systems that are compatible with all types of floor coverings.
The second parameter by which IR films are classified is the type of heating element. To date, there are two main types of infrared floors, depending on the heating element:
The specific power of the infrared floor is the last indicator, which is very important when choosing heating. Let’s consider three main types of IR films, depending on this parameter:
- with low power (130-160 W / m2) – used in cases where it is necessary to organize heating of a room with a small area. Compatible with “light” floor coverings;
- with an average power (from 170 to 220 W / m2) – mounted in more spacious rooms. They are perfect for the following types of floor coverings: porcelain stoneware, tiles;
- with high power (above 220 W/m2) – installed in industrial facilities. And they are also used for floor heating in saunas and various workshops.
If necessary, you can always contact specialists who will help you choose the necessary system for a specific case. And it is also recommended to read the relevant reviews on the relevant forums before purchasing. Film underfloor heating is an innovative solution for any room, allowing you to achieve maximum comfort.
Features of carbon and bimetallic IR films
Carbon films used for the organization of heating in the floor are more expensive. The heating elements in such a system are made of a special carbon material, which is characterized by a fibrous structure. In some cases, they are provided with a protective layer of graphite. Spraying of this material contributes to an increase in the strength characteristics of the system, and also affects the duration of its operational life.
The basis of the material is represented by dacron film. The infrared carbon film floor is mounted on horizontal and vertical surfaces.
Useful information! When installing a carbon film of underfloor heating, the choice of a connection scheme is very important. In such a situation, experts recommend using a parallel connection option.
Bimetallic IR film differs from carbon film in that it has heating elements consisting of two metal layers (aluminum and copper). As a basis for the material, a double polyurethane film is used, which has good elasticity.
The installation of a bimetallic system is complicated by the fact that a grounding conductor cannot be connected to the system. And also the bimetallic construction is incompatible with the ceramic floor covering. It belongs to the low-temperature variety, so its recommended heating level does not exceed 27 °C.
Technical characteristics and operational scope of the film floor
Before buying an IR film, it is mandatory to study all its main technical characteristics. This knowledge will help you choose the necessary type of system and perform its calculation for a specific room. Consider the characteristics of such heating structures:
- IR film is produced and sold in rolls, the valley of which reaches up to 100 m. The width of the roll can be different (from 50 to 100 cm), and its weight is approximately 55 kg.;
- the finished structure is powered by an electrical network, the voltage of which is the standard norm of 220V;
- The IR floor consumes approximately 20 to 70 W/m2 per day;
- the speed of heating the film to the maximum temperature is quite high (about 2 minutes);
- the surface temperature can reach 50°C.
If you decide to use such a film as the main heat source, then you need to remember that it should cover at least 70% of the floor area. In regions with a cold climate, film electric underfloor heating can only be used as additional heating.
Caleo film underfloor heating
Caleo has a wide range of infrared films for underfloor heating, which makes it easier to choose the necessary system for a specific situation. The products of this brand are represented by both simple variants and ultra-modern film coatings, the work of which is automated as much as possible.
Today, this company is engaged in the production of 4 main modifications of infrared film systems.
LINE. An inexpensive system that is perfect for installation in a small-sized room.
GRID. A product belonging to the middle price segment. The peculiarity of the infrared floor GRID is the presence of an anti-spark grid, which is made of silver.
Pay attention! Caleo underfloor heating has its own characteristics. For example, their installation should be carried out only by the “dry” method. And also they are not suitable for installation under ceramic floor coverings.
GOLD. As in the previous case, the anti-spark grid technology is used here. And also such films can self-regulate, which reduces the energy consumption by up to 20%.
PLATINUM. The most expensive version of the infrared floor. It has energy-saving qualities that allow you to reduce the consumption of electrical energy by 5-6 times. The PLATINUM IR floor can be mounted under areas that are covered with furniture, without danger of overheating.
All of the above models have a remote control function. Installation of Caleo underfloor heating is carried out without the necessary organization of a screed or a special adhesive coating.
Infrared film floors from the Rexva brand
Rexva IR films occupy the second position in the rating of underfloor heating. This company produces ultra-thin film communications that can be installed on various types of surfaces (vertical, horizontal and even on the ceiling). The model range of Rexva underfloor heating is represented not only by systems with a standard power range.
For heating residential and industrial premises, this company offers infrared films, the power of which reaches 400 W / m2. As a rule, such models are used to organize heating in saunas. They are characterized by a high water resistance index, as they have a special double-sided coating located on top of the main lamination.
The products from the Rexva brand are characterized by high strength and resistance to high pressure. Their operational scope is quite wide – from small rooms to gyms. The price of the Rexva infrared floor fully corresponds to good quality and reliability.
Features of IR films from Heat Plus
The Heat Plus brand is engaged in the production of underfloor heating (including infrared). The features of the models that are manufactured by this company is that they can have different film shapes, namely:
Water underfloor heating with your own hands, video and description of the process
Description of the installation process of water underfloor heating. Its advantages and disadvantages are in contrast to other types.
The features of the production technology of INFRARED floors from this company allow you to avoid the presence of unheated areas. The production of such film systems involves the uniform application of carbon material on a polyester base, which makes it possible to achieve a high level of efficiency of heating communications.
Consider other advantages of Heat Plus infrared floors:
- ease of installation;
- wear resistance;
The operational life of the product can reach 15 years under normal use. If desired, the organization of such a system takes no more than one day, which is very convenient.
Pay attention! The price of the Heat Plus infrared floor is several times higher than the standard one. However, products from this brand pay off in the process of use in 1-2 years.
Underfloor heating infrared film Monocrystal
Monocrystal company is located in Ukraine and is the only manufacturer of infrared floors in the CIS. Thanks to South Korean technologies that are used in the process of making IR films, products from this brand have taken a confident position in the construction market.
The main difference between Monocrystal models is that there is no silver paste in them. To achieve the necessary electrical contact, products from the Ukrainian brand are equipped with a thicker layer of carbon paste. Thus, stabilization is achieved between the copper busbar and the heating device.
Let’s consider the main technical characteristics of Monocrystal IR floors:
- the width of the film is from 30 to 60 cm;
- step – 20-25 cm;
- powered by an electrical network with a standard voltage (220V);
- the maximum power rating is up to 200 W/m2;
- the maximum heating temperature of the material reaches 50 °C.
The operational life of the IR film from the manufacturer Monocrystal is 10 years. The model range includes the following varieties: linear, perforated, solid. The perforation is organized for compatibility with tile flooring. Film underfloor heating under tiles are widely popular with buyers.
Infrared underfloor heating: consumer reviews
Today, many home craftsmen refuse to install water underfloor heating and give their preference to infrared. First of all, this is due to the fact that the water system requires a longer installation. And also its use is possible only after the screed has completely solidified. At many construction forums, consumers advise infrared film underfloor heating. Reviews of these models are mostly positive.
Consumers also pay attention to the economy, which is manifested in the process of using such heating systems. Studying various comments, it can be noticed that many people point to savings in the consumption of electricity by a film underfloor heating. Reviews tell about the saving of electrical energy when using such systems up to 20%.
Useful information! It takes no more than 3 hours to install some IR systems and they can be used immediately after installation.
Such heating communications are considered completely safe and are repairable. If individual segments of the IR system are damaged, it does not fail completely. In addition, they can be easily replaced and continue to operate the system, which is often indicated in reviews. Underfloor heating under laminate is in great demand and costs, as a rule, the most.
Negative comments are much less common and, as a rule, indicate that when replacing the system, there is a need to dismantle the floor covering. Most often, infrared underfloor heating is installed under laminate. Negative reviews in this case tell us that this flooring cools down very quickly and the heating system cannot be used as the main one.
Drawing up a connection diagram of a film underfloor heating
In order to avoid installation errors and other surprises, experts advise choosing a connection scheme and drawing up a project plan before installing the IR film. An elementary scheme will help not only to correctly calculate the amount of material needed in a particular case, but also to select the film required in terms of power.
Consider the points that need to be taken into account when drawing up a connection diagram:
- the cutting of the infrared canvas is carried out strictly in those places that were marked by the manufacturer;
- it is strictly forbidden to perform cutting at any angles and try to form curly elements from the canvas;
- the film is installed in parallel strips;
- the strips must be placed in such a way that they do not overlap each other;
- it is important to remember that the gap between the film canvas and furniture should not be less than 3 cm. The same distance must be observed between the edge of the infrared canvas and the wall;
- the copper tires of adjacent webs should not touch. The minimum distance between them is 1 cm;
- the number of connection points should be kept to a minimum;
- the best option for the location of the connection points is from the side of the wall on which the thermostat will be installed;
- the scheme must be drawn up in such a way that the main part of the wiring is hidden behind the baseboards;
- when using short film segments (up to 100 cm), it is necessary to take care of additional insulation and purchase terminal clips.
Useful information! The docking of individual canvases with each other is carried out using adhesive tape.
The thermostat must be selected in advance, before starting the installation of electric underfloor heating. Reviews of these devices can be easily studied on specialized forums on the Internet. If the area that needs to be heated is quite large, then you need to purchase additional temperature sensors.
Preparation of the base for laying the infrared film
After choosing the laying scheme and purchasing the material, you can start pre-installation preparatory work. A very important point is the preparation of the foundation for laying the IR floor. If the old concrete screed does not differ in evenness, then it is subject to dismantling. However, if everything is in order with the screed, it is enough to simply clean it of debris and remove dust.
In most cases, the base before laying the film has many small cracks, as well as chips. Experts advise to eliminate these defects by using cement mortar, or any other suitable composition. In some situations, the owners discover that the screed has begun to peel off from the rough floor. This situation requires the removal of the old screed and the organization of a new one.
The joints that are formed from the connection of the walls with the floor must be carefully leveled and covered up if they have cracks. If this is not done, then the film floor will lose heat through them.
After preparing the base, it is necessary to lay the thermal insulation material on the screed. As a rule, a reflector made of foamed polyethylene is used for these purposes. The joints of the individual insulator webs are glued with mounting tape and this is the end of the process of preparing for the installation of infrared underfloor heating.
Features of laying film underfloor heating under laminate
After completing the preparation process, you can proceed directly to the installation of the IR film. The algorithm for installing a film underfloor heating under laminate looks like this:
- first of all, it is necessary to perform the cutting of the material. The length of the strip should not be more than 8 m;
- at the second stage, the laying of strips is carried out. In order to reduce the number of joints, experts recommend laying canvases of infrared material along a long wall. The distance from the edge of the film to the wall should be at least 10 cm, and the distance between adjacent canvases should be at least 5 cm. Installation of a film underfloor heating is best done by a parallel method;
- next, you need to connect the wires and isolate the unused contacts. The wires are connected by means of special terminals. And for insulation, a special bitumen tape is used, which is characterized by a high sealing coefficient.;
- then the wires of the infrared floor are connected under the laminate. To do this, connect the wire to the terminal and isolate it;
- at this stage, the temperature sensor(s) is mounted. Experts advise to start these elements under the second canvas (closer to the midpoint). The sensor is installed in this way: it must be glued to the underside of the canvas on a black strip;
- next, infrared underfloor heating is connected to a thermoregulatory device. To do this, it is necessary to bring wires from the film and the temperature sensor to it. The connection itself is performed via RCD;
- next, you need to check how the mounted communication functions. To do this, its trial run is performed;
- the last stage of the installation of the infrared floor takes into account the laying of the corresponding floor covering on top of it, which in this case is represented by laminate.
Useful information! The wire belonging to the sensor can be placed in a corrugated protection. This will simplify the repair procedure if necessary.
It is recommended to keep it in the room for 2-3 days before laying the laminate coating. This is necessary in order for it to acquire the appropriate temperature, which in the future will avoid its expansion. To get acquainted with the features of using IR film in this case, it is recommended to read reviews on profile sites. Film underfloor heating under laminate are the most common today.
Installation of infrared underfloor heating under the tile
Laying of the infrared floor under ceramic tiles can be performed in two ways: “dry” and “wet”. In the first case, the heating elements of the film do not come into contact with the cement screed. In turn, the “wet” method of installing the IR film is performed by pouring cement mortar over the system.
Let’s consider the algorithm of actions for the “dry” method:
In turn, laying infrared underfloor heating using the “wet” method is more profitable from a financial point of view. It includes the following steps:
- first of all, it is necessary to install the heating elements of the infrared floor;
- next, a protective polyethylene film is laid. This stage is the most important in the whole procedure of the “wet” method of installing IR. Experts recommend laying a protective plastic film in 2-3 layers;
- at the third stage, the reinforcement is installed. As a rule, a masonry mark made of metal is used for these purposes;
- then the screed is filled;
- at the end, it is necessary to lay ceramic tiles.
Pay attention! The thickness of the screed should not be more than 10 mm, otherwise the efficiency of such heating will significantly decrease.
Thus, the installation of film underfloor heating under the tile can be done by yourself. The only thing that is necessary for this is strict adherence to the sequence of work.
Features of installation of film underfloor heating under linoleum
The installation of an infrared floor under linoleum has its own characteristics. Let’s take a step-by-step look at this process:
Thus, the installation of a film underfloor heating under linoleum is carried out. If you are not sure of your own skills, then it is recommended to contact the masters who will do all the work efficiently and in a matter of hours.
Infrared underfloor heating: prices
Today you can find various variants of carbon or bimetallic type infrared floors. Their cost varies from 300 to 1700 rubles per 1 m2, depending on the manufacturer and technical characteristics. Some carbon models may have a special protective coating of graphite and cost up to 2000 rubles.
The dependence of the price on the company that is engaged in the production of infrared floors can be traced with the naked eye. For example, the price of Caleo infrared film underfloor heating may exceed 2000 rubles per 1 m2, while Rexva sells some high-quality models for only 300-400 rubles. The price of a film underfloor heating under laminate is the highest, which is due to high demand.
Pay attention! If the cost of IC is indicated immediately for the whole roll, then it is recommended to recalculate the cost of 1 m yourself. Some companies use this method to increase the price of products.
The price of the heat-reflecting base ranges from 80 to 200 rubles. The simplest model of the thermostat will cost about 1200 rubles, and more expensive devices equipped with touch programming will cost 2500 rubles. The cost of installation services is also different and can vary from 200 to 400 rubles per 1 m2.
Where can I buy film underfloor heating? You can purchase these heating systems in any specialized store or construction hypermarket. You can also buy infrared film underfloor heating via the Internet. To do this, you need to go to the website that sells this product and place an order.