Having underfloor heating in your home, you can already appreciate the advantages of such a space heating system. For those who have tried on themselves all the advantages of this method of heating, it is quite natural to desire to achieve the same effect in other objects associated with our everyday life. Here you can talk about heating a country house or consider a bathhouse as an object of heating.
For us, a bath is considered the standard of comfort, in which the main factor is warmth and comfort. To create the necessary atmosphere inside the bath room is perhaps the main task that one has to face during the construction of the bath. A warm water floor, equipped in a bath, is able to radically solve the problem of heating. In addition, this heating option is not only highly efficient and economical, but also improves the comfort of the bath room.
Heated floors in the bath. Motives for this engineering decision
Not every one of us has an idea that literally every element of construction and equipment plays a specific role in the bath. The presence of a stove, thanks to which the steam room works, is not the main heating device in the room. The main task of heating in such rooms is usually performed by electric heaters. The effectiveness of such heating of the interior in the bath is extremely small. Heating rather large interior spaces with electricity is an expensive pleasure. Much more efficient and practical would be the option when radiators are installed for heating in the bath or underfloor heating is installed.
Both options allow you to successfully connect to the main source of heating. It can be a gas or solid fuel boiler equipped in a special way. The main thing in this case is to correctly choose a source of heating water that can circulate through the pipeline.
Usually, for autonomous heating equipment in a bath, an external tank is used, fed from the main furnace. It is possible to equip the oven with a water jacket. Some are trying to install a coil on the boiler, in which water will be heated.
On a note: Any heated water must pass through the collector before it enters the water circuit. Without this device, the underfloor heating device will not be complete.
Using various heat sources, you will certainly encounter the following problems:
- your warm floor will work only when a solid fuel boiler or stove is on, which ensures the operation of the steam room;
- in winter, the water in such a water circuit will freeze.
Nothing can be done about the first problem. If the bath is used constantly, for commercial purposes, the warm floor will work normally and constantly. For those who use the bath periodically, to avoid freezing of the system will allow the use of a corrugated stainless steel pipe or a polypropylene pipe for the pipeline.
If there are no issues with heating radiators, a warm floor for a bath plays a more important role. In rooms where the internal spaces are heated mainly from the top due to the inflow of hot air from the steam room and high humidity, the floor is often left unattended. However, each of us is well aware of those not very pleasant sensations that cause cold tiles or eternally wet and slippery linoleum.
On a note: the warm floor with a tiled covering dries within 10–15 minutes. The surface of tiles or linoleum used as flooring is a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. A dry warm floor prevents the spread of disease-causing formations.
After visiting the steam room, our body is in a relaxed and comfortable state. Cold floors clearly do not contribute to the duration of such pleasure. Feelings will be much more pleasant when it is the floor that is the source of heat in the room. Warm air in this case will evenly fill the interior space, creating a comfortable temperature in the dressing room. In addition, heated floors prevent the accumulation of water residues on the floor. In rooms with high humidity, underfloor heating plays the role of a compensator, drying the air space.
Equipping warm floors in the bath, you can completely abandon heating radiators. This will free up additional space and improve the interior design of the premises.
Installation of a water floor in a bath. Design features
Having established your desire to make your bath more comfortable and cozy, proceed to work. Installation of a warm floor in a bath is not much different from the traditional technology of laying a water circuit in residential premises. The only condition is increased requirements for hydro and thermal insulation of the floor substrate. What should be the flooring for warm water floors in the bath, you choose yourself. Here an important role is played not so much by efficiency as by the practical side of the issue.
The main question that you have to solve is the following. Where is it necessary to lay the heating floor, in which section of the bath? There is no such need for a steam room. But for the washing compartment, dressing room and locker room, heated floors, just in time. The difference will be only in the type of flooring. For the washing room, tile or porcelain stoneware is used. For the dressing room and dressing room, the best solution would be a laminate, parquet board or linoleum.
In practice, various options for equipping warm water floors in a bath room are used. The most common arrangement options are:
- warm water floors laid on a wooden base;
- laying a water circuit under a concrete screed;
- use of polystyrene boards.
In each case, the choice depends largely on the design features of the building. Large structures usually have concrete foundations. In the smaller baths, especially this variant, the floors have a wooden structure.
The main condition for the successful operation of warm water floors is an acceptable coolant temperature. The water entering the water circuit must have a temperature not higher than 550C. What to do when the water in the coil, water jacket or tank is significantly higher. The collector is able to solve this problem, so you can’t do without it. By mixing hot water with waste heat carrier, an acceptable water temperature in the water circuit is achieved. Only with a mixture of water, a warm floor will meet the tasks.
We bring to your attention a schematic diagram of heating water floors for a bath connected to a heating device. The difference in this case will be in the source of water heating. Everything else will be about the same.
With the choice of pipes for the water circuit, we have already spoken. With constant use of the bath, the ideal option for you will be the use of metal-plastic, polyethylene or steel pipes. In the event that a bath is a rare phenomenon for you, it is better to get by with a corrugated stainless pipe or polypropylene pipes. The layout of the water circuit pipe is selected depending on the configuration of the internal premises and their area.
As a rule, two pipe laying schemes are chosen for this heating system: “snail” or “snake”. For rooms of a small area, where one water circuit is used, the “snail” laying option looks preferable. Such a scheme for installing the pipeline will achieve a uniform distribution of heat over the entire floor area. The “snake” scheme is used for rooms where it is planned to install several water circuits.
The water pipe should begin to be laid from the outer walls, gradually moving towards the center of the room. In this case, it is necessary to observe the optimal laying step. It would be better if you stop at a step of 30 cm. Too small a step will cause a lot of material consumption, but too large a step will create a stable feeling of a difference in temperature of the floor surface.
As a coolant, you can use not only water, but also antifreezes and other chemical solutions.
Important! The use of ethylene glycol for the heating system is dangerous to life and health due to the high toxicity of the substance. Ethylene glycol is the strongest poison!
Layer cake device
For a bath, a characteristic moment is high humidity. Underfloor heating systems are unpretentious in this regard. Properly equipped heating floors are able to work effectively in rooms with any indicators of humidity. In order for the whole system to work longer, as a rule, more attention is paid to waterproofing during installation. An additional waterproofing layer of thick polyethylene film laid on top of the water circuit pipes would be a reasonable solution.
Thinking about the installation of underfloor heating, first of all, you should take care of improving the thermal insulation characteristics of the room itself. Do not neglect the technology of installing underfloor heating. It is important to follow a clear sequence of laying each element. Your underfloor heating should resemble a layered cake, in which each layer plays its own, specific, technological role.
As a rule, a layer cake consists of the following elements:
- waterproofing layer (hydrobarrier);
- thermal insulation layer;
- heat-reflecting element (foil);
- water circuit pipes;
- metal reinforcing mesh as the basis of a concrete screed;
- concrete mortar (for water pipes, the desired thickness of the screed is 50 mm.
For a bath, installing a concrete screed will be the best option. In addition, if the building is capital and you are confident in the strength of the structure, it will not be difficult to install the screed.
Important! When installing the screed in the bath should take into account some of the nuances. For a sink or shower screed, it must be done with a slight slope, planning the installation of a drain pipe. The slope should not exceed 3–50. Otherwise, the circulation of the coolant through the heating pipe will be disturbed.
After laying pipes and reinforced mesh, beacons are made, located in such a way that they would be poured with concrete. The necessary slope was observed.
The minimum allowable screed thickness at its thinnest point is 50 mm. For those rooms where the rough surface is made without a slope, the thickness of the screed, respectively, in different places will be different. Ignoring this factor, you can get as a result of non-uniform heating of the floor in different places. Where the concrete layer is thicker, the floor will be less warm. Conversely, in thin places of the screed, the floor surface will be hot.
It is better to immediately make a rough surface with a slope during the preparatory work. A rough screed with a slope is made on top of the waterproofing and thermal insulation layer. On top of which the water circuit is already mounted. Further, everything is done in the same order. Another way out of this situation is as follows. When laying pipes, in those places where the screed is planned to be thicker, the pipeline is mounted with a smaller step. Those. in those places where the screed is thicker, the number of pipe turns increases. Due to this, heat transfer in this area increases.
Conclusion. Some information about the types of underfloor heating in the bath
Having finished with the screed, you get an almost finished working surface of the warm floor. The remaining work will be mainly related to giving the room comfort and completeness. Facial coatings largely determine the aesthetic characteristics of the room, however, one should not forget about the manufacturability of coatings.
Usually, ceramic tiles or porcelain stoneware are used for baths. Such surfaces are very practical in terms of cleaning, at the same time they are an excellent waterproofing layer. The advantages of such a coating are durability, practicality and good thermal conductivity. Ceramic coatings are mainly used for washrooms and pool rooms.
Laminate, parquet or linoleum are suitable for the dressing room and changing rooms.
In each individual case, you yourself choose the type of coverage, taking into account the intensity of visiting the bath and its capacity. For a country house, in the country, laying linoleum on the floor will be an excellent solution. It is not recommended to use parquet or laminate in baths where visits are periodic. Wooden surfaces can start to deteriorate in a cold, unheated room. The attractiveness of the room is lost and there is a high probability of mold spreading.
For the normal functioning of the warm floor in your bath, you must clearly monitor the operation of the collector. Your comfort and coziness depends on its performance. In between visits to the baths, water floors powered by stoves and solid fuel boilers must be drained.