Do-it-yourself warm water floor under the tiles


In the bath, in the sauna, in our kitchen or in the bath­room, we try to use ceram­ic tiles as floor­ing. The good old tile that we are used to is very con­ve­nient and prac­ti­cal in terms of oper­a­tion. They try to use it in those rooms where high humid­i­ty is con­stant­ly present and there is a high prob­a­bil­i­ty of water get­ting on the floor. Ceram­ics behave sta­bly in con­tact with water. Glossy smooth sur­face of the tile, its dense stone struc­ture is sta­ble and not sub­ject to cor­ro­sion. In addi­tion, such a sur­face is very con­ve­nient to keep clean, with­out giv­ing a chance for the devel­op­ment of fun­gus, mold and the accu­mu­la­tion of path­o­gen­ic bac­te­ria.

Despite the high per­for­mance, tiled floor­ing has one sig­nif­i­cant draw­back. The mate­r­i­al has extreme­ly low ther­mal con­duc­tiv­i­ty. The appear­ance of a tiled floor already a pri­ori gives the impres­sion of a clean and cold sur­face. In fact, it is. In phys­i­cal con­tact when in con­tact with cold ceram­ic tiles, we expe­ri­ence dis­com­fort. There is always a desire to make your floor in the bath­room, in the show­er room of the sauna or in the kitchen was warm. This prob­lem can be solved quite sim­ply if the tiles are laid on a warm water floor. How to do it? Let’s look at the whole process step by step in detail.

The combination of warm water floors with ceramic tiles

The emer­gence of water under­floor heat­ing made it pos­si­ble to rad­i­cal­ly solve the prob­lem of heat­ing in res­i­den­tial premis­es. The effi­cien­cy of this method of heat­ing the inte­ri­or is an order of mag­ni­tude high­er in com­par­i­son with the oper­a­tion of tra­di­tion­al heat­ing radi­a­tors. The very idea of ​​under­floor heat­ing in domes­tic premis­es where there is high humid­i­ty and it is tech­no­log­i­cal­ly nec­es­sary to have a clean floor sur­face is not new. Heat­ing ceram­ic floors sig­nif­i­cant­ly increas­es the lev­el of com­fort in heat­ed rooms and improves their per­for­mance.

For ref­er­ence: in the usu­al ver­sion, the tiled floor has a tem­per­a­ture of 5–100 low­er than the air mass in the ground lay­er. This is where the effect of “cold floors” aris­es, which we have to put up with.


We remem­ber very well what our feel­ings are in the pool, where lit­er­al­ly every­thing is tiled. It is extreme­ly uncom­fort­able in such an envi­ron­ment where the walls and floor, despite the appar­ent clean­li­ness, are cold, wet and unpleas­ant to the touch. For the first time, a water-heat­ed floor under tiles was installed in Eng­land in the mid-50s of the last cen­tu­ry. Dur­ing the con­struc­tion of the Olympic swim­ming pool, the orga­niz­ers of the com­pe­ti­tions demand­ed that the builders make arti­fi­cial heat­ing of the tiled floor inside the pool. Despite the fact that in those years this tech­ni­cal improve­ment was fab­u­lous­ly expen­sive, the pos­i­tive effect of this know-how was imme­di­ate­ly appre­ci­at­ed.

Today, such an oppor­tu­ni­ty is no longer some­thing expen­sive and unat­tain­able. Warm floors today can be found lit­er­al­ly every­where. Coun­try hous­es, cot­tages and dachas, designed for long and com­fort­able liv­ing, are mas­sive­ly equipped with heat­ing floors. Lay­ing tiles on a water-heat­ed floor is prac­ticed today in the con­struc­tion of saunas and baths. Many res­i­dents try to lay the water heat­ing cir­cuit under the ceram­ic tile floor­ing in the bath­room, in the bath­rooms or in the kitchen.

Installing a heat­ing sys­tem for under­floor heat­ing in a house is asso­ci­at­ed with large-scale work. In old build­ings, the instal­la­tion of water floors is asso­ci­at­ed with the solu­tion of numer­ous prob­lems. In new res­i­den­tial build­ings, the instal­la­tion of a water-heat­ed floor, designed for tiles, is much eas­i­er and eas­i­er to imple­ment.

Lay­ing a warm water floor in inhab­it­ed objects solves sev­er­al prob­lems at the same time. Even con­sid­er­ing the very prin­ci­ple of oper­a­tion of water floors, it is already becom­ing clear what floor heat­ing in com­bi­na­tion with ceram­ic tiles gives. The main thing that can be achieved in such cas­es is to sig­nif­i­cant­ly increase the lev­el of com­fort in the premis­es. Fre­quent vis­i­tors to saunas and baths know per­fect­ly well what a warm tiled floor is!

Tiles, any oth­er ceram­ic coat­ing in com­bi­na­tion with the oper­a­tion of water heat­ing cir­cuits laid in the floor, have a lot of advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages. Thanks to tech­no­log­i­cal fea­tures, heat­ing floors allow you to even­ly dis­trib­ute the right amount of heat over the entire sur­face of the hearth. The prin­ci­ple of space heat­ing cre­ates not only an accept­able tem­per­a­ture bal­ance, but also allows you to sig­nif­i­cant­ly improve the qual­i­ty char­ac­ter­is­tics of the floor cov­er­ing. When using con­crete screed, tile is the ide­al floor­ing option, espe­cial­ly when it comes to fur­nish­ing a kitchen or bath­room.

It is pos­si­ble to use a ceram­ic coat­ing in com­bi­na­tion with a floor heat­ing sys­tem. Espe­cial­ly this method of lay­ing is rel­e­vant for coun­try hous­es, baths and sanu, the design of which is main­ly made of wood. The pres­ence of a water floor under the tiles in the bath or in the sauna, the prob­lem is com­plete­ly solv­able. The main thing is to observe the stack­ing tech­nol­o­gy of the stacked struc­ture and fore­see the option of floor­ing in advance.

Advantages and disadvantages of tiled floor heating

A small bath­room, a kitchen or a whole bath com­plex, all these objects can be suc­cess­ful­ly heat­ed with water heat­ed floors. Such instal­la­tion is pos­si­ble under cer­tain con­di­tions. On hand there is a ready-made project of the heat­ing sys­tem, in accor­dance with which the loops of the heat­ing cir­cuit are laid, the ser­vice equip­ment is select­ed. Ther­mal cal­cu­la­tions will allow you to deter­mine the pow­er of the heat­ing device, to make the cor­rect scheme for lay­ing water pipes.

What do you expect in the end? Recall the advan­tages of under­floor heat­ing, cov­ered with tiles or oth­er ceram­ic mate­r­i­al on top. For exam­ple:

  • The heat­ed floor cre­ates a com­fort­able tem­per­a­ture inside the room.
  • The sur­face of the floor dries quick­ly, remain­ing warm and dry dur­ing the oper­a­tion of the premis­es.
  • Lay­ing under­floor heat­ing under the tiles does not require addi­tion­al finan­cial costs.
  • Under­floor heat­ing in the bath­room can be used in com­bi­na­tion with tra­di­tion­al, radi­a­tor heat­ing.
  • The tiled floor with heat­ing is absolute­ly not sub­ject to the for­ma­tion of mold and pathogens harm­ful to humans.
  • The tiled floor with water heat­ing will be warm, pleas­ant to the touch at any time.
  • Com­pli­ance of the warm tiled floor in baths and saunas with the nec­es­sary san­i­tary norms and stan­dards.

Know­ing about such advan­tages, you will cer­tain­ly want to make a warm floor with your own hands, lay­ing the water cir­cuit under the tile. From a tech­ni­cal point of view, this process is not par­tic­u­lar­ly dif­fi­cult. The only con­di­tion is strict adher­ence to the lay­ing tech­nol­o­gy. The design of the water floor requires strict adher­ence to the sequence of all stages of instal­la­tion.

Impor­tant! It should be remem­bered that tiles sig­nif­i­cant­ly increase the strength of the entire struc­ture. In addi­tion to the con­crete mono­lith, a sol­id ceram­ic coat­ing is added. In case of emer­gen­cies, with­out know­ing the exact loca­tion of the water cir­cuit, you will have to tear off a rather large frag­ment of both tiles and con­crete screed.


For the equip­ment of water floors in wood­en build­ings, it is nec­es­sary to prop­er­ly lay the floor struc­ture, not for­get­ting about addi­tion­al sheets of ply­wood, GVL or chip­board. With­out addi­tion­al rigid­i­ty, the tiled floor will play, which will cer­tain­ly affect the integri­ty of the ceram­ic sur­face.

We are considering options for a warm water floor for ceramic tiles

There is no par­tic­u­lar dif­fi­cul­ty in choos­ing the option of a water-heat­ed floor for space heat­ing. The only dif­fer­ence is which instal­la­tion method to choose: con­crete under­floor heat­ing or floor­ing sys­tem. It already depends on what room you plan to work in.

For coun­try hous­es, wood­en build­ings, a floor­ing sys­tem would be ide­al. The absence of sol­id con­crete floors does not allow installing heat­ing floors in a con­crete screed in baths and saunas, in the coun­try house. Here it will be suc­cess­ful to use a mod­u­lar or slat­ted floor­ing sys­tem. In the usu­al ver­sion, in a cap­i­tal durable stone struc­ture for under­floor heat­ing, it is best to focus on the con­struc­tion of a con­crete-based water floor.

For ref­er­ence: weight of one sq. meters of con­crete screed with heat­ing cir­cuit pipes is 200–300 kg. In a stone build­ing, inter­floor floors are able to with­stand such an addi­tion­al load, which can­not be said about wood­en build­ings.

Hav­ing a task in front of you, to make a warm floor through­out the house or to equip floors with under­floor heat­ing in the bath­room, start design­ing water floors on a con­crete basis. Tiles on such a sur­face fit with­out prob­lems. The main con­di­tion for using tiles is a per­fect­ly flat sur­face. With wood­en struc­tures of water floors, it is rather prob­lem­at­ic to achieve such an indi­ca­tor, espe­cial­ly over a large area.

On a note: for the instal­la­tion of under­floor heat­ing under ceram­ic tiles, the tech­nol­o­gy allows you to cre­ate a dry screed. The design dif­fers in nec­es­sary dura­bil­i­ty and rigid­i­ty. On top of the type­set­ting struc­ture, sheets of ply­wood, GVL or chip­board are laid, with the help of which the sur­face is lev­eled.

Hav­ing achieved a sol­id and reli­able design of the water floor, hav­ing start­ed the heat­ing sys­tem, you can start fin­ish­ing work, installing floor­ing.

How to lay pvc tiles on underfloor heating


In prin­ci­ple, the instal­la­tion of water-heat­ing floors under tiles or under any oth­er ceram­ic coat­ing is no dif­fer­ent. The pipes of the water cir­cuit are laid in the tra­di­tion­al man­ner, in the usu­al pat­tern, snake or snail. The pipes of the heat­ing cir­cuit should lie clos­er to the wall pan­els. Be sure to fol­low the step in the process of lay­ing the pipe. For small heat­ed rooms, it is best to focus on a lay­ing step of 20–25 cm. Then every­thing is done accord­ing to the knurled pat­tern. Either a wood­en struc­ture is being set, or water cir­cuits are being poured with con­crete.

Impor­tant! Lay­ing tiles is car­ried out only after check­ing the per­for­mance of the heat­ing sys­tem. Oth­er­wise, in case of improp­er lay­ing of the loops of water cir­cuits and in case of emer­gency leak­age, you will have to tear off the tile. All your work will go down the drain.

Before you start work­ing with tiles, you need to care­ful­ly pre­pare the sur­face of the floor. Con­crete screed or floor­ing sys­tem, you will still need to clean the floor, bring­ing it to a per­fect­ly clean and even con­di­tion.

The even­ness of the floor is not a whim of the mas­ters. In addi­tion to keep­ing the tile firm­ly on the floor, a lev­el screed will ensure prop­er heat dis­tri­b­u­tion through­out the entire floor sur­face. The tile is laid on an adhe­sive base. Tile adhe­sive must be water­proof and non-tox­ic. When the floor is heat­ed, inten­sive evap­o­ra­tion of the chem­i­cals that make up the floor cov­er­ings is often observed. There­fore, when choos­ing an adhe­sive, be sure to look at its mark­ing.

In custody

For small rooms, the opti­mal scheme for lay­ing the pipeline under the tile is the snake scheme. For large rooms, a snail or spi­ral lay­ing scheme is per­fect. Due to par­al­lel cir­cuits, main and return, uni­form heat­ing of the entire floor sur­face over a large area is achieved. Tech­no­log­i­cal­ly, a do-it-your­self tile floor must meet the require­ments and tasks that are set for the heat­ing sys­tem in each case.

The main dif­fi­cul­ties with tiles arise when the tech­nol­o­gy for cre­at­ing a lay­er cake is vio­lat­ed dur­ing the instal­la­tion process. Lack of water­proof­ing or poor ther­mal insu­la­tion will cause your heat to go down the main stream. Ceram­ics have low ther­mal con­duc­tiv­i­ty, there­fore, if the heat­ing medi­um tem­per­a­ture is insuf­fi­cient, con­crete screed and ceram­ic tiles will become a seri­ous obsta­cle. The opti­mum coolant tem­per­a­ture for con­crete floors with ceram­ic tiles is 500C. Oth­er­wise, the con­crete lay­er and ceram­ic tiles will warm up for a long time, respec­tive­ly, heat will flow into the room in a lim­it­ed space.


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