Laying a warm floor in a screed – technology in steps for water and electric sex

Few things are more crucial for maintaining a warm and energy-efficient home than adequate insulation and heating. And putting in a warm floor system is one of the best ways to accomplish both. Installing a warm floor in a screed, whether you choose electric or water, can drastically improve your living area’s comfort level and lower your heating expenses. We’ll take you step-by-step through the installation of both warm floor system types in this guide, arming you with the information you need to create a cozier and more welcoming atmosphere in your house.

Let’s first discuss the definition of a warm floor system. It’s basically a way to heat your house from the ground up. A warm floor system radiates heat straight from the floor surface, as opposed to forced-air systems or conventional radiators, which heat the air within a space. This produces a more comfortable atmosphere overall by ensuring a more even distribution of heat throughout the space and getting rid of drafts and cold spots.

Let’s now examine the two primary categories of heated floor systems: electric and water. Hydronic systems, another name for water-based systems, warm the floor by using heated water. Since these systems need the installation of pipes or tubing within the floor structure, they are usually installed during a home’s construction or major renovations. In contrast, electric systems produce heat through the use of electric mats or cables. They are simpler to install and more readily retrofitted into already-built homes.

Preparing the subfloor is the first step in installing a warm floor, regardless of whether you go with an electric or water system. This entails making certain the surface is clear of debris and protrusions that might obstruct the installation process, as well as clean and level. To get the most out of your warm floor system, insulation must be installed after the subfloor has been prepared. Insulation ensures that the warmth produced by the system is directed upward into the living area and helps to prevent heat loss.

Installing a warm floor can significantly improve your home’s insulation and heating. With our simple instructions, you’ll learn how to prepare the surface, lay down the heating elements, pour the screed, and finally, enjoy the cozy warmth of your newly installed floor. Our guide on laying a warm floor in a screed will take you step-by-step through the process for both water-based and electric systems. Whether you choose electric or water heating, our guide will assist you in finding a cost-effective and cozy home heating solution.

Types of screed, which one to choose for a warm floor

There are many different finished compositions available in the construction market that can be used as a screed on a heated floor. They are made for various situations based on the properties of the mixture. Screeds come in two varieties: wet (made of cement or concrete) and dry.

Wet: This method is popular these days because it is inexpensive, retains heat well, and is nearly effortless to perform with your hands. However, there is a major drawback: the installation takes longer because the composition needs to be dried for a month.

Dry is a light bulk material that is covered with plywood or chipboard sheets. The ability to create a thin layer makes installation easy and is particularly useful in spaces with limited height. There is no need to wait for the mixture to dry; it can be used right away.

The floor is covered with a polyethylene film, onto which dry material is strewn. Once it is smooth, you can move on to installing the finish coating.

You can lay the composition at any temperature, even below zero, because it contains no water. This screed’s primary flaw is its aversion to water, which makes it unsuitable for damp rooms and water-warm floors.

Structure and thickness

Warm screed floor for a multi-layered construction. is installed below with a draft layer intended to even out the irregularities in the base. This layer cannot be filled if the base is the level concrete floor slab.

The sole material used for the second layer is electrical flooring, which is poured into waterproofing. Any type of warm floor requires the third step, which is the application of the finish coating.

The most widely used damp screeds:

  1. Concrete with small fractions – used to mount a black floor or water warm system.
  2. Compounds based on cement and sand – it is precisely such mixtures with the addition of plasticizers that are used in the installation of warm electric floors.

The type of flooring that is intended to be installed has an impact on the amount of cement in the screed. When using heavy materials like ceramic tiles, laminate, or parquet flooring, mix one part cement with five parts sand and seven parts water.

The proportions for installing carpet or linoleum as a finish coating are as follows: 1 – 4 – 0.7 for sand, cement, and water. Crushed stone equals one part cement, three parts sand, and five parts gravel when added to screed.

The technology used to complete the screed does not need to meet any specific requirements, but there are a few guidelines that must be followed in order for the entire structure to be reliable. First and foremost, it needs to be even and of a certain thickness; otherwise, the system might malfunction. This may manifest as the emergence of fissures and uneven floor heating, which will cause the heating components to overheat.

The warm floor device is poured using a concrete screed that is up to 10 cm thick in production and 3–7 cm thick in residential spaces. The layer that forms above the pipes when installing a water system should be between 4 and 7 cm in size. When the heating is turned on, the floor and room can be heated almost instantly and evenly thanks to the coating, which has a thickness of 3 to 5 cm.

It is advised to use self-leveling mixtures on pipes with a layer of 2.5 cm or more, sufficient for the structural integrity, because low ceiling heights prevent you from creating a screed of three or more centimeters.

Preparation before the installation of warm floor

The surface preparation and placement of thermal and hydro-insulation are crucial steps before the heating system is installed. If not, the system will perform less efficiently.

Design design

Project preparation should be the first step in any construction process. The heat transfer and the step of the warm floor’s pipe or cable must be calculated. Make accurate cost calculations and selections for every layer of the structure. Furthermore, the final coating must be chosen because it affects not only the screed’s thickness but also the heating elements’ step.

Preparation of the base of the floor

Regardless of the kind, a clean, level surface is needed as the foundation for the heat system installation. Thus, in order to avoid praying, preliminary experts advise clearing space for the highway and creating grooves for the installation of wires.

The cracks, if any, have to be small. It is acceptable to pour a thin black screed—a cement mixture mixed with plasticizers—under a warm floor with significant irregularities at the base. The screed must dry before more work can be done. You must remove the gender and the burial from the dust if there is no need to pour.

Crucial! Dumping up to 5 mm is permitted; any more than that leads to the creation of air pockets, which impairs system performance and heating uniformity.

Install heat and waterproofing

A heater (made of mineral wool or polystyrene; the material needs to be strong) is placed on the base and fastened with specialized glue. This layer contributes to lower heating expenses and heat loss. Thermal insulation with a foil surface is advised for water floors.

On top is a layer of waterproofing. In high-rise buildings, extra care should be taken during the installation of the underlying floor since it affects the neighboring ceilings’ condition from below in the event of leaks. Parahydroesolation is necessary if the apartment is on the ground floor because couples from communications can enter through the basement.

Remember that the waterproofing will be beneath a heated floor, so it needs to be able to tolerate high temperatures. The following material is advised for use with heating systems:

  • ordinary polyethylene film, not thinner than 200 microns;
  • The cement-polymer mixture is ideal, it is elastic, absolutely waterproof and has high heat resistance;
  • liquid silicone or PVC membrane;
  • Rolled products.

Because it is less expensive, applying polyethylene film is done more frequently. It overlaps by 10 to 15 cm, and installation tape is used to glue the joints together.

Installation of a damper tape

Dampfer ribbon is made of foamed polyethylene with a base that sticks to itself. Usually between 6 and 8 mm thick. The tape makes up for the screed’s expansion during the heating process. It is installed in the spaces between the walls and the floor all the way around the perimeter of the space.

The tape has a piece of PET film attached to it called a "apron," which covers the area where the tape and thermal insulation meet. This prevents the solution from starting at random intervals when pouring. The screed’s thickness determines the tape’s height, and the upper boundary ought to be above the floor.

We mount a grid

The reinforcing mesh can be positioned on both sides, above, and beneath the heated floor’s pipes and cable. Since heating elements are attached to a grid, this is a more practical solution.

To fix parts, special clips are not required. In contrast to the grid from above, which contains the solution and unifies it into a single monolith, it does not, however, strengthen the base. However, you can eliminate the grid or use fiber in its place if the cement is of a high caliber.

Warm laying

Once all the necessary preparations are finished, you can move on to installing the heating system.

Water warm floor

Metal or polyethylene pipes are used when laying a water floor because they are easily bent, have good heat conductivity indicators, and are sold in bays, which is convenient because the stove’s interior is joint-free.

The following are the primary steps involved in installing the heated floor in the screed:

  1. Pipe layout according to the prepared scheme. Popular ways of placing a pipeline in the form of a snake or snail. Pipes are laid from each other at a distance of 10 – 30 cm. It is recommended to make a maximum loop length of not more than 80 meters. The turns should be smooth, sharp can lead to a pipe gust. It is especially necessary to carefully bend metal pipes, it is convenient to do this using a special spring.

  • Fixing elements. This can be done using a fixed profile, which is mounted to the floor with dowels, fixed on a reinforcing mesh or laid on polystyrene foam.

  • Connection of the supply and return pipeline of the floor. It is made using a collector distribution node, this is the best way. Pipe connection to the collector is made by clamping fittings. At first, one edge of the circuit is connected, and at the end of the laying of the second.

  • Construction test. The procedure must be carried out until the screed is filled. To do this, bring the pressure in the system to 4 bar, and observe further. If the pressure remains normal, then you can fill the screed.

Electric warm floor

The cable serves as the heating element in an electric floor.

Steps involved in installing a heated cable floor in a screed:

  1. System layout. The location of the cable and the step of the elements are determined. To retreat from the wall you need to at least 5 – 10 cm, as well as from heating and furniture devices.

  • Preparation of a place for a temperature sensor and a thermostat. Plays are prepared for a corrugated pipe, in which a sensor and wires will be located at the time of concreting, otherwise the floor will be uneven.

  • The styling of the system. If it is planned to mount a cable, then it will require a cement -sand solution, and when using a heating mat, a cement pillow is not needed.

First, the cable’s beginning is fixed, and then it is coupled using mounting tape. The entire space is then arranged in accordance with the plan. If the cable is not fastened to the grid, turn areas must have a minimum radius of 5 cm. Intersections of cables are not acceptable.

  • Cable consolidation. When installing a warm electric floor on a reinforcing mesh, the cable is mounted using it. Another method is fixing to brackets and mounting tape.

  • System connection. The cable joins the power element, and hides in the coupling. Then, the supply cable is connected to the thermostat.

  • Warm -floor check. After connecting all the wires, the device is checked for performance by connecting to power supply, and only then can you start filling.

Fill the screed

One makes a screed at room temperature. One area at a time is poured. Since air cannot escape a thick layer of cement, multiple surface piercings with a thin metal object are necessary to prevent the formation of air voids.

If the room is large, special beacons are installed after the warm floor is laid; these are levels for filling the solution’s flat layer. Lighthouses are positioned less than the width of the rule, and 0.5 meters away from the wall and one another.

From the far corner to the door, the concrete is finished. The mixture is poured in between the beacons, dispersed uniformly, and leveled so as not to exceed the height of the lighthouses.

The screed needs to be handled carefully to ensure high-quality results. Its surface is wetted twice or three times a day for a week in order to accomplish this, as the solution needs to solidify and not dry out. The moment the stacked screed is totally dry, the warm floor system should be activated.

The filling process is generally easy. Anyone can do everything with their hands on their own, provided they have access to the technology and instructions needed to manufacture the solution.

Step Description
1. Prepare the subfloor by ensuring it"s clean and level.
2. Install insulation boards if needed to improve energy efficiency.
3. Lay down a vapor barrier to prevent moisture from seeping into the floor.
4. Place heating cables or mats evenly across the floor for electric systems, or install PEX tubing for water systems.
5. Connect the heating elements to the thermostat and power source.
6. Pour self-leveling compound over electric cables or tubing to encase them securely.
7. Allow the compound to cure completely.
8. Install the flooring material of your choice over the warm floor system.

Whether you have an electric or water-based system, laying a warm floor in a screed can greatly improve your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. There are multiple steps in this process, all of which are essential to guaranteeing correct installation and peak performance.

First and foremost, adequate subfloor preparation is crucial, irrespective of the kind of warm floor system you select. This entails making certain that the subfloor is clear of debris and imperfection so as not to interfere with the system’s performance or the installation procedure.

Next, the arrangement and positioning of the pipes need to be carefully considered when putting in a water-based warm floor system. Sufficient spacing and arrangement are essential to guarantee uniform heat distribution in the entire space. In the same way, electric systems need careful planning to guarantee that there are no hot or cold spots and that the heating elements are positioned to maximize efficiency.

The pipes or heating components are installed inside the screed layer after the layout has been decided. To guarantee that the parts are firmly inserted into the screed and adequately insulated to stop heat loss, this procedure calls for accuracy. Furthermore, to stop leaks and system damage, joints and connections must be properly sealed.

Ultimately, it’s critical to give the screed enough time to cure after installing the heated floor system before laying the last layer of flooring material. By doing this, the screed is guaranteed to reach its maximum strength and stability, giving the flooring material and the warm floor system a strong foundation.

In summary, there are a number of steps involved in laying a warm floor in a screed that call for precision, careful planning, and attention to detail. Following the right methods and procedures is crucial for maintaining the efficacy, longevity, and efficiency of any system—whether it is electric or water-based—and for making your house more comfortable and energy-efficient.

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Michael Kuznetsov

I love to create beauty and comfort with my own hands. In my articles I share tips on warming the house and repairing with my own hands.

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