Warm baseboard: what is it and why is it installed in apartments and houses

In EU, heat­ing sys­tems built under the skirt­ing board appeared rel­a­tive­ly recent­ly. In Euro­pean coun­tries, they have been used for a long time as the main or addi­tion­al heat­ing of rooms. Many are inter­est­ed in what are the advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages of these heat­ing schemes. Let’s ana­lyze the pros and cons of elec­tric infrared and warm water skirt­ing boards, the fea­tures of their instal­la­tion.

All about the heating baseboard

How it works
Types of heater
— watery
– Elec­tric
Advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages
How to choose a sys­tem
Mount­ing Fea­tures
— Elec­tri­cal dia­gram
– Water heat­ing

How does a warm baseboard work?

The design of the heater is quite sim­ple. It is a met­al box fixed at the bot­tom of the wall. It is small: thick­ness is about 3 cm, height is from 10 to 24 cm. Heat­ing ele­ments are installed inside the case. They can be elec­tric or water. In the first case, this is a heat­ing ele­ment, in the sec­ond — pipes inside which the coolant moves.

The prin­ci­ple of oper­a­tion of the base­board heater is sig­nif­i­cant­ly dif­fer­ent from the usu­al radi­a­tor cir­cuits. Radi­a­tors use con­vec­tion. When the flow of cold air warms up near the bat­tery, it ris­es. From there, it dis­places the next cold stream, and the process repeats. As a result, a kind of “ther­mal cush­ion” is formed under the ceil­ing, while at the floor lev­el the tem­per­a­ture will always be low­er.

With low ceil­ings, after some time, rel­a­tive­ly com­fort­able con­di­tions are formed inside the room. This does not hap­pen in rooms with high ceil­ings. In any case, there is no need to talk about uni­form heat­ing. To warm the air in the room, high heat­ing tem­per­a­tures of the radi­a­tors are need­ed, which must be main­tained for a long time. Heat loss­es in this case are about 50–70%, that is, no more than 30% of heat is spent on heat­ing.

The heat­ing base­board works dif­fer­ent­ly. He heats first the low­er part of the wall, and then all of it up to the ceil­ing. The heat­ed sur­face gives off radi­ant ener­gy, effec­tive­ly and even­ly heats the entire room. The prin­ci­ple of such infrared heat­ing is sim­i­lar to the sun’s rays and is con­sid­ered the most favor­able for humans.

As a result of the oper­a­tion of the heater, a kind of “ther­mal cur­tain” is obtained, which cuts off any cold streams from all sides. It is suit­able for instal­la­tion under panoram­ic or French win­dows, reli­ably pro­tects from the cold. The tem­per­a­ture at all lev­els is the same, which is very com­fort­able. Strong heat­ing of ther­mal ele­ments is not nec­es­sary. It is enough to heat up the wall only up to 37–38˚С. In this case, heat loss is about 4–5%.

Types of equipment

Depend­ing on the type of heat­ing ele­ment inside the hous­ing, there are two types of heat­ing equip­ment. Let’s char­ac­ter­ize both options.


Oper­ates accord­ing to the prin­ci­ples of stan­dard water heat­ing. Two tubes made of cross-linked poly­eth­yl­ene are laid inside the case. A coolant moves through them. It can be water or antifreeze. The heat­ed liq­uid is fed through the upper pipe, and the cooled liq­uid is dis­charged through the low­er pipe. To ensure the nor­mal speed of move­ment of the coolant, a cir­cu­la­tion pump is installed. It push­es the liq­uid through the dis­tri­b­u­tion man­i­fold and fur­ther down the pipes.

For the arrange­ment of joints and cor­ners, spe­cial shaped ele­ments are pro­duced. They pro­vide the nec­es­sary tight­ness. Sys­tem man­u­fac­tur­ers pro­duce designs with a length of no more than 12.5 m, rarely 15 m. Schemes of greater length are inop­er­a­tive. If this length is not enough, a cir­cuit is assem­bled from two or more cir­cuits.

Water sys­tems are adjustable. You can set the desired tem­per­a­ture man­u­al­ly or install automa­tion with ther­mostats and dis­tri­b­u­tion valves with ser­vo­mo­tors. Such a scheme is more com­pli­cat­ed and more expen­sive in design and arrange­ment than an elec­tri­cal one. It requires the sup­ply of a heat­ed coolant, which is easy to orga­nize in a pri­vate house where the boil­er is installed.

In apart­ment build­ings this is not always pos­si­ble. Requires per­mis­sion from the heat­ing com­pa­ny to con­nect. In addi­tion, the coolant sup­plied from the cen­tral­ized line is too hot. To cool it down, heat absorber plates are addi­tion­al­ly installed or ther­mal valves are installed in the areas where the cir­cuit is con­nect­ed to the ris­er. All this fur­ther com­pli­cates the instal­la­tion. That’s why for apart­ment build­ings it is bet­ter to choose elec­tric heat­ing.


A warm elec­tric skirt­ing board is more in demand than a water one. Struc­tural­ly, it is a cop­per heater con­sist­ing of two par­al­lel tubes. At the bot­tom is a low-tem­per­a­ture heater, at the top there is an elec­tric cable. Plates are installed on top of the tubes to improve heat trans­fer. The whole struc­ture is cov­ered with an alu­minum case.

Both of these met­als con­duct heat well, there­fore they pro­vide the max­i­mum pos­si­ble heat trans­fer of the heat­ing ele­ment. The elec­tric heater is adjustable. As with the water vari­ety, man­u­al con­trol is pos­si­ble, which is not very con­ve­nient, or auto­mat­ic. In the lat­ter case, the set­tings are as accu­rate as pos­si­ble. They allow you to main­tain a com­fort­able tem­per­a­ture in the room and at the same time save ener­gy. Auto­mat­ic heaters can be pro­grammed for a spe­cif­ic tem­per­a­ture cycle per day, week or month.

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Pros and cons of a warm skirting board

Let’s list the advan­tages of the heat­ing sys­tem.


  • Uni­form and simul­ta­ne­ous heat­ing around the entire perime­ter of the room.
  • The walls accu­mu­late heat, so they always remain dry. They do not dete­ri­o­rate from mois­ture, fun­gus or mold does not set­tle in them.
  • Radi­a­tion heat­ing is car­ried out — the most ben­e­fi­cial for human health.
  • The tem­per­a­ture is the same through­out the room. No cold or hot zones.
  • Com­pat­i­ble with any type of floor fin­ish.
  • Com­pact equip­ment can be installed in any room. At the same time, bulky bat­ter­ies will not spoil the view of the room.
  • Min­i­mum heat loss, which can sig­nif­i­cant­ly save resources. Espe­cial­ly for sys­tems with auto­mat­ic con­trol.


  • High cost of com­po­nents.
  • Low preva­lence, which affects the pos­si­bil­i­ty of pur­chas­ing a heater. This is espe­cial­ly true for small towns.
  • Restric­tion on the length of the con­tour for a warm water plinth. This must be tak­en into account when design­ing the sys­tem.
  • It is unde­sir­able to install elec­tri­cal sys­tems in wet rooms. For them, it is best to choose prod­ucts with increased mois­ture pro­tec­tion.

How to choose a heating system

First you need to deter­mine how much heat is need­ed to heat the room. It is worth focus­ing on aver­age norms, accord­ing to which 600–1,000 watts are need­ed for heat­ing a square meter for the mid­dle band. For the south­ern regions, this num­ber decreas­es, for the north­ern, respec­tive­ly, increas­es. The select­ed indi­ca­tor is mul­ti­plied by the area of ​​u200bu200bthe room. It turns out the amount of heat that needs to be received from heat­ing. A small “mar­gin” with­in the range of 10–15% is always added to the cal­cu­lat­ed val­ue.

After that, pro­ceed to the cal­cu­la­tion of the length of the plinth. The eas­i­est way to do this is for elec­tric mod­els. Their pack­ag­ing indi­cates heat trans­fer from a lin­ear meter. The pre­vi­ous­ly cal­cu­lat­ed required amount of heat is divid­ed by this val­ue. Sim­i­lar­ly, the length of the water cir­cuit is cal­cu­lat­ed. Only in this case it is nec­es­sary to take into account the ther­mal head of the sys­tem. If it is dif­fi­cult to do it your­self, you should seek help from a sales con­sul­tant.

Features of installing a warm plinth

If desired, you can install heat­ing equip­ment your­self. Let’s ana­lyze the approx­i­mate sequence of actions for both vari­eties.

Electric heating

They con­nect elec­tri­cal equip­ment direct­ly to the shield, that is, they out­put a sep­a­rate line for it. It must be equipped with an auto­mat­ic. This is nec­es­sary for safe oper­a­tion. If you plan to equip sev­er­al heat­ing cir­cuits, sep­a­rate lines are equipped for each of them. It is impor­tant to choose the right cross-sec­tion of wires so that they can with­stand a sig­nif­i­cant load. Usu­al­ly choose 2.5 mm and above.

An impor­tant point. Install the hous­ing so that there is a gap of at least 10 mm between it and the floor. This is nec­es­sary for nat­ur­al pro­tec­tion against over­heat­ing. To auto­mat­i­cal­ly con­trol the tem­per­a­ture regime, a ther­mo­stat is installed in each cir­cuit, a tem­per­a­ture detec­tor is mount­ed in the room.

Instal­la­tion is car­ried out in the fol­low­ing sequence.

  1. Lay ther­mal insu­la­tion in the areas where you will install the equip­ment.
  2. Mark the loca­tion of the body.
  3. Install and fix the base of the plinth to the wall.
  4. Attach the heat exchang­er to the base.
  5. Make a par­al­lel con­nec­tion of elec­tri­cal wires. Care­ful­ly insu­late these areas.
  6. Care­ful­ly inspect the result­ing con­tour for non-iso­lat­ed frag­ments. They should­n’t be.
  7. Install the front bezel.
  8. Con­nect the sys­tem to the ther­mo­stat and elec­tri­cal pan­el.
  9. Test the func­tion­al­i­ty of the equip­ment.

Water heating

A manda­to­ry ele­ment of such a sys­tem is a col­lec­tor, which is con­nect­ed to a coolant source. Most often it is a boil­er that runs on any type of fuel.

Instal­la­tion is car­ried out in the fol­low­ing sequence.

  1. Install the dis­trib­u­tor.
  2. Lay ther­mal insu­la­tion in the area where the warm base­board is to be installed.
  3. Fix the base plate of the equip­ment case. Its low­er edge should be at least 10 mm above the floor lev­el.
  4. Install two rows of pipes. Fix the ele­ments secure­ly. Con­nect them togeth­er with com­pres­sion fit­tings.
  5. Con­nect the assem­bled cir­cuit to the man­i­fold.
  6. Con­duct a test run. Inspect the pipes care­ful­ly. There should be no leaks or drip­ping con­nec­tions.
  7. Install the dec­o­ra­tive pan­el.

It is impor­tant to remem­ber that the length of the water cir­cuit is lim­it­ed. If it exceeds 12.5 or 15 meters, it is dif­fer­ent for all man­u­fac­tur­ers, it is nec­es­sary to divide the heat­ing skirt­ing board into sev­er­al cir­cuits. Each is mount­ed accord­ing to the scheme described above.

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