How to lay a warm floor under linoleum in a wooden house


Heat­ing sys­tems of the tra­di­tion­al type have not been in demand for a long time, because they have been replaced by sev­er­al more effi­cient ways of heat­ing rooms for var­i­ous pur­pos­es. Many are hes­i­tant to use tech­nol­o­gy due to lack of aware­ness, while oth­ers believe that such an invest­ment will nev­er pay off. Even greater stereo­types arise when lay­ing a warm floor under linoleum in wood­en hous­es or on a wood­en floor. How­ev­er, sub­ject to the basic tech­nol­o­gy and lay­ing nuances, such sys­tems can be installed on this type of base.

Warm floor

The hap­py own­ers of hous­es made of nat­ur­al wood are incred­i­bly lucky, because every­one knows about the ther­mal insu­la­tion prop­er­ties of this nat­ur­al mate­r­i­al. In addi­tion to the unsur­passed appear­ance, it is worth think­ing about ensur­ing max­i­mum com­fort inside the liv­ing quar­ters.

If the floor was insu­lat­ed cor­rect­ly, then the need for warm socks dur­ing the cold weath­er will dis­ap­pear for­ev­er. Such a pop­u­lar space heat­ing tech­nol­o­gy as a warm floor, which can be installed on both con­crete and wood­en bases, is the best fit. Before pro­ceed­ing with the nec­es­sary manip­u­la­tions to install the nec­es­sary equip­ment, you should famil­iar­ize your­self with the safe­ty rules and the rules for con­nect­ing devices. The sur­face of such a device can be hid­den using ordi­nary linoleum.

Varieties and features of their installation

Prepa­ra­tion for lay­ing under­floor heat­ing

There are sev­er­al schemes for under­floor heat­ing, and a spe­cial instal­la­tion sys­tem is applic­a­ble for each of them. But as a top­coat, you can use dif­fer­ent mate­ri­als, includ­ing the famil­iar linoleum.

There are only three types of under­floor heat­ing:

  • infrared;
  • elec­tri­cal;
  • water.

Next, we pro­pose to con­sid­er in more detail each type of device, its char­ac­ter­is­tic fea­tures and instal­la­tion meth­ods.

Under­floor heat­ing schemes


Infrared or film underfloor heating

Infrared warm floor

Such a device is the thinnest film, which is sold in the form of small rolls in any build­ing super­mar­ket. Infrared ele­ments are placed inside the mate­r­i­al, which, when con­nect­ed to a pow­er source, begin to emit infrared radi­a­tion, which is com­plete­ly harm­less to humans. You can’t see them, but you can feel them with your skin. The sys­tem heats indi­vid­ual objects (linoleum, for exam­ple), which sub­se­quent­ly release heat into the room.

The main advan­tages of the mate­r­i­al:

  • the film itself is thin, but incred­i­bly strong, as it con­sists of car­bon emit­ters and cop­per elec­trodes (they are locat­ed per­pen­dic­u­lar­ly);
  • the design is lam­i­nat­ed with a spe­cial poly­mer film;
  • in the process of instal­la­tion work, it is almost impos­si­ble to dam­age expen­sive mate­r­i­al;
  • the thick­ness of the device will be no more than 3.5 mm;
  • instal­la­tion under linoleum of any type is pos­si­ble;
  • heat­ing occurs grad­u­al­ly, and the max­i­mum sur­face tem­per­a­ture is such that it has an inher­ent indi­ca­tor of increased safe­ty (includ­ing fire safe­ty);
  • ease of lay­ing the main mate­r­i­al.

The max­i­mum pow­er rat­ing of such devices is 220 W / m2, which is a high indi­ca­tor for a mate­r­i­al such as linoleum. The prob­lem can be solved by pur­chas­ing less pow­er­ful equip­ment with an indi­ca­tor of 150 W / m2 or less. When heat­ed strong­ly, the mate­r­i­al can be sig­nif­i­cant­ly deformed. It is rec­om­mend­ed not to exceed the linoleum sur­face heat­ing index of 30°C.

Installation process

Instal­la­tion of film under­floor heat­ing

The sequence of actions for mount­ing the film:

  1. On a wood­en base, all vis­i­ble dirt and defects should be removed. The result should be the most even sur­face. If it was decid­ed to use ply­wood, then fas­ten­ings should be made exclu­sive­ly with self-tap­ping screws.
  2. A lay­er of insu­la­tion (foil) is laid on top of the base, and all joints are fas­tened with ordi­nary adhe­sive tape.
  3. The film is laid exclu­sive­ly on the pre­pared base in a par­al­lel way. You can cut the mate­r­i­al only along spe­cial­ly marked lines.
  4. For insu­la­tion, bitu­men-based tapes can be used.
  5. A con­nec­tion is made to the ther­mo­stat and only then to the net­work.
  6. A lay­er of poly­eth­yl­ene is laid on top.
  7. After the ply­wood (sheets) and the linoleum itself are mount­ed.

Impor­tant! It is pos­si­ble to sig­nif­i­cant­ly facil­i­tate the lay­ing process with the help of a spe­cial met­al mesh, on which fas­ten­ing is car­ried out using small brack­ets.


What is an electric underfloor heating

Elec­tric floor heat­ing

The undoubt­ed advan­tages of this type of heat­ing include the fact that the elec­tric cable is used as the main heat­ing ele­ment. It is locat­ed around the entire perime­ter of the room. The tem­per­a­ture regime can be set man­u­al­ly, which is undoubt­ed­ly an advan­tage over the same type of water-heat­ed floor. Instal­la­tion work will not take much time and no spe­cial skills are required for their imple­men­ta­tion. The dis­ad­van­tages include a high prob­a­bil­i­ty of igni­tion and short cir­cuit of indi­vid­ual ele­ments of the sys­tem, which, in com­bi­na­tion with a wood­en base and lam­i­nate, makes their instal­la­tion imprac­ti­cal.

The rec­om­mend­ed type of floor­ing for elec­tric under­floor heat­ing is tiles or any oth­er ceram­ic floor­ing. How­ev­er, ease of instal­la­tion and afford­able cost make this type of heat­ing pre­ferred for mod­ern pri­vate homes. Instal­la­tion under linoleum is pos­si­ble, but requires sig­nif­i­cant restric­tions (can­not be used as the main source of heat­ing).

Self installation

Instal­la­tion of elec­tric floor heat­ing


  1. The base must be pre-cleaned and lev­eled (aux­il­iary fill­ing lay­er).
  2. Ther­mal insu­la­tion lay­er. The reflec­tive coat­ing should be direct­ed towards the ceil­ing. Joints are glued with con­struc­tion tape.
  3. water­proof­ing mate­r­i­al. It is nec­es­sary to cov­er the entire work sur­face with a slight over­lap on the walls.
  4. The use of edge type insu­la­tion. To do this, you need a roll of damper tape.
  5. Check­ing the per­for­mance of each ele­ment of the sys­tem.
  6. Instal­la­tion of sen­sors and ther­mo­stat. At a dis­tance of a meter from the floor makes a hole. A line is drawn with a reg­u­lar pen­cil and pin­holes are made along the entire perime­ter along it. The strobe is made homo­ge­neous with a drill. At the end, you need to make a small hole the size of the installed ther­mo­stat. The tem­per­a­ture sen­sor is also installed in a small hole in the cor­ru­ga­tion.

Impor­tant! The lev­el of the pipe is rec­om­mend­ed to be made as smooth as pos­si­ble. This is done in order to avoid pos­si­ble dam­age and defor­ma­tion of the sen­sors. The wire installed between the ther­mo­stat and the mats is also placed in a cor­ru­gat­ed pipe. As a result, they should go towards the exit (to the ther­mo­stat) through the strobe.

  1. Mat instal­la­tion. Lay­ing can be done in sev­er­al ways. For fix­ing the mate­r­i­al (low­er side), con­struc­tion tape is used. The dis­tance to objects in the room, includ­ing walls, should be at least 20 cm, and between mats 15 cm. The last mat is con­nect­ed to the pow­er source. The sleeve used must be sub­stan­tial­ly larg­er than the cable used. And in the heaters it is nec­es­sary to make a niche for it.
  2. Screed. The height of the wet screed above the mats must be at least 3 cm. The use of self-lev­el­ing floor struc­tures of the same height is also allowed. It will take at least a month for the screed to com­plete­ly hard­en. At this time, any drafts in the room should be exclud­ed. To speed up the process, you can use the same warm floor. How­ev­er, the strength of the screed will decrease sig­nif­i­cant­ly.
  3. sound­proof lay­er. The mate­r­i­al should be laid imme­di­ate­ly before lay­ing the linoleum.

At the end of the instal­la­tion work, you should re-check the sys­tem for integri­ty and per­for­mance using a spe­cial device. A mul­ti­me­ter will allow you to deter­mine the mate­r­i­al resis­tance index at the out­put of the cable used. The per­cent­age of error will be about 7% of the one declared by the man­u­fac­tur­er (10MΩ or more). The check is car­ried out before lay­ing the mats and after the com­ple­tion of the screed.

The cable con­nec­tion is car­ried out exclu­sive­ly accord­ing to the instruc­tions pro­vid­ed by the man­u­fac­tur­ers. A sep­a­rate floor heat­ing sys­tem is installed for each room.

Warm water floor


Water heat­ed floor

When using the tech­nol­o­gy of water warm coat­ing, you will need to lay pipes of a spe­cial type through which the coolant will pass straight from the heat­ing sys­tem. If cen­tral heat­ing is used, then this type of under­floor heat­ing is not rec­om­mend­ed. Between the linoleum and the pipes there must be a cement screed, which also makes it dif­fi­cult to lay in rooms with low ceil­ings.

The main dis­ad­van­tages of the sys­tem:

  • pos­si­ble leaks that are extreme­ly dif­fi­cult to elim­i­nate;
  • the com­plex­i­ty of any repair work;
  • com­plex tech­nol­o­gy of lay­ing the device;
  • impos­si­bil­i­ty of instal­la­tion in old apart­ment build­ings;
  • com­plete depen­dence on cen­tral heat­ing.

A sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tion in the cost of pay­ing util­i­ty bills is the main advan­tage of this tech­nol­o­gy. The increased tem­per­a­ture regime implies the use of excep­tion­al­ly high-qual­i­ty and expen­sive linoleum. Oth­er­wise, the mate­r­i­al will quick­ly deform.


Con­nect­ing a water heat­ed floor

To equip a sys­tem of this type on a wood­en base, you will need to use spe­cial mats with already pre­pared grooves for pipes. This option is the sim­plest and at the same time effec­tive, as it will sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduce the time for the upcom­ing work and help elim­i­nate pos­si­ble errors when lay­ing the nec­es­sary equip­ment. It is worth pay­ing atten­tion to the fact that their sur­face is cov­ered with heat exchang­ers.


  1. Logs are installed on the sur­face of the base, which will become the basis of the water floor. The dis­tance between the bars will be about 55–65 cm. The lev­el must be care­ful­ly con­trolled or the sur­face under the floor­ing will be skewed.
  2. The vapor bar­ri­er and water­proof­ing lay­er should be between the lags, under the insu­la­tion lay­er. It is rec­om­mend­ed to use only high-qual­i­ty mate­ri­als for which a war­ran­ty peri­od is pro­vid­ed. An ordi­nary film will pro­voke the appear­ance of con­den­sate, which will destroy the insu­la­tion.
  3. A heater is laid on the water­proof­ing. For this, min­er­al wool or its high-qual­i­ty ana­logues are used. After the lay­er is cov­ered with hydro and vapor bar­ri­er.
  4. A spe­cial mat with grooves is laid or the planks are laid and then fas­tened togeth­er using grooves and loops.
  5. A foil is mount­ed on the lon­gi­tu­di­nal grooves, on top of which the pipe is laid. All edges are fas­tened with a sta­pler. The pipe itself must be fixed to the floor sur­face with met­al plates across the grooves. This will fix the main ele­ments with­in the sys­tem.

Impor­tant! The length of the con­tour is strict­ly fixed and you should not for­get about it. More accu­rate infor­ma­tion is pro­vid­ed by the man­u­fac­tur­ers. Oth­er­wise, sta­t­ic equi­lib­ri­um may occur. If the pipe diam­e­ter is 20 mm — 110 m, for 16 mm — 75 m.

  1. Con­nec­tion to the gen­er­al heat­ing sys­tem as the final stage of instal­la­tion. Man­u­al reg­u­la­tion, con­nec­tion with a mix­ing unit or a col­lec­tor sys­tem is pos­si­ble.
  2. After that, the device should be crimped. This will help pre­vent leaks and break­outs in the future. The sur­face is cov­ered with ply­wood sheets, which will become the base for linoleum.

Basic Precautions

Pre­cau­tions when installing under­floor heat­ing

If the upcom­ing manip­u­la­tions will be car­ried out with­out the involve­ment of spe­cial­ists, then you should care­ful­ly con­sid­er the sim­plest pre­cau­tion­ary meth­ods:

  1. It is for­bid­den to lay the ther­mal film in sev­er­al lay­ers or over­lap. At best, the sys­tem will sim­ply burn out.
  2. The ther­mo­stat is set to a tem­per­a­ture range not exceed­ing 30°C.
  3. Switch­ing on with­out first check­ing the integri­ty of the insu­lat­ing lay­er is pro­hib­it­ed.
  4. The ther­mo­stat should be con­nect­ed only after a com­plete black­out of the liv­ing space.

All the nec­es­sary work can be car­ried out inde­pen­dent­ly, how­ev­er, in the absence of prop­er expe­ri­ence, it is rec­om­mend­ed to seek help from spe­cial­ists who pro­vide cer­tain guar­an­tees for their work. An expe­ri­enced elec­tri­cian can guar­an­tee the reli­a­bil­i­ty and high pro­duc­tiv­i­ty of the entire sys­tem.

The most common mistakes when laying underfloor heating


Installed under­floor heat­ing

Main mis­takes:

  1. Pre­ma­ture acti­va­tion. The screed has not yet dried com­plete­ly, and the sys­tem is already work­ing with might and main — the most com­mon mis­take. Most are sure that this will speed up the hard­en­ing process of the screed, but in prac­tice it only reduces its strength. It will take at least a month for the aux­il­iary lay­er to dry com­plete­ly. Oth­er­wise, all elec­tri­cal equip­ment will burn.
  2. A pre­lim­i­nary draw­ing of the cir­cuit used is option­al. A schemat­ic rep­re­sen­ta­tion will help not to make mis­takes when installing the main ele­ments of the sys­tem and not to mis­cal­cu­late with the over­all dimen­sions of the room. Sub­se­quent­ly, it may be nec­es­sary to install win­dows, arch­es, doors or plumb­ing and the cable should not be dam­aged. Any warm floor has a pass­port, where the nec­es­sary infor­ma­tion is indi­cat­ed.
  3. An attempt to save on mate­ri­als. Due to the sav­ing of con­sum­ables, free space (air) remains around the cable, which will lead to equip­ment dam­age in the future. The solu­tion must cov­er the entire sur­face with­out excep­tion.
  4. Installing a tem­per­a­ture sen­sor with vio­la­tions. If nec­es­sary, the sen­sors should be replaced every few years and that is why they should be in the vis­i­bil­i­ty of the own­ers. The device should not be placed in a solu­tion, because for this it is bet­ter to use a cor­ru­ga­tion with­out branch­es.
  5. Time­ly pay­ments. The resis­tance index of the cable used is cal­cu­lat­ed before it is laid. The result must match the infor­ma­tion giv­en in the prod­uct pass­port.
  6. Pre­pared base. This stage is not worth skip­ping, as well as sav­ing on it. Lay­ing of the mate­r­i­al must be car­ried out on a clean, dry and pre­vi­ous­ly pre­pared sur­face. The fur­ther oper­a­tional life of the sys­tem will depend on this.
  7. Walks through source mate­r­i­al. Step­ping on or deform­ing the tubes or mats is pro­hib­it­ed, even when lay­ing the mate­r­i­al. The veins are squeezed and sep­a­rate sec­tions cease to func­tion.
  8. Fre­quent health checks. The sys­tem should not be checked until the end of instal­la­tion work.
  9. Wrong cal­cu­la­tions. You should not cal­cu­late the entire sur­face of the room, because a room with­out fur­ni­ture will not be emp­ty for long. Under the inte­ri­or items, the device does not fit. And over­heat­ing of the sys­tem can hap­pen from the fact that the device will work to warm up the base of the cab­i­net or bed.
  10. Wrong cable. To cre­ate a warm floor, only a two-core shield­ed cable is used. It should not be cut, as this will inevitably lead to break­downs in the future.


Laid under­floor heat­ing

Thus, we can con­clude that it is pos­si­ble to equip warm floors on a wood­en base using dif­fer­ent lay­ing tech­nolo­gies. Elec­tri­cal cir­cuits are the best suit­ed for small apart­ments. Dachas are well heat­ed with water-based under­floor heat­ing. A film infrared can­vas is per­fect for main­tain­ing the tem­per­a­ture regime of any room where linoleum is used as a floor cov­er­ing. Good luck in your endeav­ors!


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