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

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The oppor­tu­ni­ty to gain inde­pen­dence from the work of cen­tral­ized heat­ing is espe­cial­ly valu­able dur­ing the off-sea­son, when the heat­ing is not yet turned on, and it is already cold in the rooms. Warm floors of var­i­ous designs cope well with the task. Before installing under­floor heat­ing in a wood­en house or apart­ment under a lam­i­nate, you should famil­iar­ize your­self with the fea­tures of these works.

Features of laying a warm floor under a laminate

There is a mis­con­cep­tion that under the influ­ence of ele­vat­ed tem­per­a­tures, the lam­i­nate begins to release harm­ful chem­i­cals used in its pro­duc­tion. Actu­al­ly it is not. With the right choice of mate­ri­als, a warm floor can be laid under such a coat­ing. It is also impor­tant to bal­ance the tem­per­a­ture regime and the thick­ness of the lam­i­nate.

In hous­es with wood­en floors, using a com­bi­na­tion of under­floor heat­ing and lam­i­nate floor­ing is an envi­ron­men­tal­ly sound solu­tion.

For such a coat­ing, it is nec­es­sary to choose a hard­wood lam­i­nate with a thick­ness of at least 7 mm. Its lamel­las are dense enough to with­stand exter­nal influ­ences and thin to trans­fer heat well into the room.

In addi­tion, mate­r­i­al with emis­sion class E0 or E1 should be used. A spe­cial sign is applied to this type of lam­i­nate with a schemat­ic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of under­floor heat­ing or the inscrip­tions “Under­floor heat­ing”, “Warm wass­er”. Mate­ri­als marked E2 and E3 can­not be used with under­floor heat­ing sys­tems.

The pro­ce­dure for installing a heat­ing sys­tem on a plank floor under a lam­i­nate has a num­ber of char­ac­ter­is­tic fea­tures:

  • It is impos­si­ble to arrange a con­crete screed, which could strength­en the floor and serve as a nat­ur­al heat trans­mit­ter.
  • With ther­mal expan­sion, the floor joists expand and con­tract, shift­ing at the same time.
  • Over time, the floor­ing receives lit­tle mobil­i­ty, begins to “play”, neg­a­tive­ly affect­ing the heat­ing sys­tem. This results in nat­ur­al wear and tear of the wood and the low load-bear­ing capac­i­ty of the lam­i­nate.

The choice of underfloor heating under the laminate

Sev­er­al types of struc­tures can be laid under the lam­i­nate:

  • water;
  • infrared;
  • elec­tri­cal.

Water heated floor

This is the cheap­est and safest way to orga­nize under­floor heat­ing. Pipes are laid on top of the sub­floor through which heat­ed water or antifreeze pass­es. Its main dis­ad­van­tage is a sig­nif­i­cant, in com­par­i­son with oth­er types of sys­tems, the thick­ness of the heat­ing lay­er, deter­mined by the thick­ness of the laid pipes.

Water heat­ed floor made of met­al-plas­tic or polypropy­lene pipes

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When oper­at­ing this type of heat­ing, it is impor­tant to take into account the fea­tures of the lam­i­nate coat­ing:

  • avoid sud­den changes in tem­per­a­ture;
  • the tem­per­a­ture in the room should not exceed 28 ° C;
  • do not allow the tem­per­a­ture of the coolant to rise above 50°C.

Infrared warm floor

The heat source in such sys­tems is a film poly­mer coat­ing on which a lay­er of con­duc­tive mate­r­i­al is deposit­ed.

Infrared under­floor heat­ing eas­i­ly fits under the lam­i­nate

Each ele­ment of the infrared sys­tem is enclosed in a poly­eth­yl­ene film to increase strength and wear resis­tance, which only slight­ly increas­es its thick­ness.

The advan­tages of such sys­tems include:

  • ease of instal­la­tion;
  • light weight and mate­r­i­al thick­ness;
  • ease of tem­per­a­ture adjust­ment;
  • fast heat­ing of the coat­ing.

The main dis­ad­van­tage of infrared floor heat­ing can be con­sid­ered its high cost.

Electric floor heating

The heat­ing ele­ment in these sys­tems is an elec­tri­cal cable con­nect­ed to the build­ing’s pow­er sup­ply. When it is turned on, the gen­er­at­ed mag­net­ic field heats the mul­ti­lay­er shell and the heat is trans­ferred to the floor cov­er­ing.

Elec­tric under­floor heat­ing is well suit­ed for use on a wood­en base with lam­i­nate

The main dis­ad­van­tage of elec­tri­cal sys­tems in com­bi­na­tion with a wood­en base and lam­i­nate is the risk of short cir­cuits.

Lay­ing process
When lay­ing lam­i­nate on a wood­en base, sev­er­al fac­tors must be con­sid­ered:

  • even­ness and strength of the base;
  • mate­ri­als used;
  • humid­i­ty in the room.

Before car­ry­ing out work, it is nec­es­sary to draw up a plan of the room, on which to indi­cate the place­ment of fur­ni­ture and sta­tion­ary radi­a­tors, if any. In these places, heat­ing ele­ments are not mount­ed.

Under­floor heat­ing sys­tems do not fit under per­ma­nent­ly stand­ing fur­ni­ture

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In addi­tion, a prop­er­ly drawn up plan will make it pos­si­ble to accu­rate­ly cal­cu­late the amount of mate­ri­als need­ed for lay­ing:

  • lam­i­nate, select­ed tak­ing into account the above rec­om­men­da­tions;
  • insu­la­tion;
  • sub­strate;
  • reflec­tive sub­strate;
  • plinth;
  • aux­il­iary con­sum­ables.

Foundation preparation

First of all, it is nec­es­sary to orga­nize reli­able hydro- and ther­mal insu­la­tion of the base, which will pre­vent the for­ma­tion of con­den­sate on the low­er sur­face of the lam­i­nate:

  1. The old coat­ing and boards of the fin­ish­ing floor are com­plete­ly removed.
  2. The draft floor is checked by lev­el, it is bet­ter to replace the dam­aged logs with new ones, which have sagged, be lift­ed with wedges.
  3. The sur­face of the sub­floor is thor­ough­ly cleaned of dirt and dust.
  4. For floor­ing, boards of equal thick­ness are used, treat­ed with anti­sep­tic and water-repel­lent agents.
The base for the warm floor con­sists of wood­en logs placed at a dis­tance of about 60 cm from each oth­er

Arrangement of thermal insulation

The next step in the work is lay­ing ther­mal insu­la­tion:

  1. Under the lags, ply­wood or chip­board is fixed in such a way that nich­es are obtained for lay­ing ther­mal insu­la­tion.
  2. When using a water sys­tem, the entire space must be reli­ably water­proofed.
  3. Insu­la­tion sheets are laid in nich­es with­out a gap.
  4. A heat-reflect­ing film is fixed on top of the insu­la­tion, direct­ing radi­a­tion from the heat­ing ele­ments upwards.
Scheme of a warm floor on wood­en logs

Laying elements of a warm floor

The ele­ments of the sys­tem are laid on top of the reflec­tive film:

  1. All heat-radi­at­ing parts are mount­ed in the form of a snake with a sin­gle cir­cuit.
  2. The dis­tance between the turns is cho­sen in such a way as to ensure uni­form heat­ing of the floor cov­er­ing.
  3. A draft floor is mount­ed on top of the assem­bled struc­ture. It must be made as even and hor­i­zon­tal as pos­si­ble for the final lay­ing of the lam­i­nate.
The bends of the pipes of the water-heat­ed floor are made as smooth as pos­si­ble.

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Test run of the system

Before lay­ing the lam­i­nate, it is nec­es­sary to check the cor­rect oper­a­tion of the assem­bled sys­tem. To do this, sev­er­al start-up cycles should be car­ried out with­in 3–4 days, rais­ing the heat­ing tem­per­a­ture by 5 ° C dai­ly until it reach­es the cal­cu­lat­ed val­ue.

In a sys­tem with water floors, it is nec­es­sary to apply the max­i­mum allow­able pres­sure to them and mon­i­tor the pos­si­ble defor­ma­tion of pipes and leaks.

After check­ing, you need to wait for the sur­face to cool to 15–20 ° C and lay the rough coat­ing.

Laying laminate flooring

After installing the rough floor­ing, you can start lay­ing the lam­i­nate:

  • A poly­eth­yl­ene sub­strate is placed on the floor, indi­vid­ual sec­tions are joined end-to-end, con­nect­ing them with con­struc­tion tape.
  • A lam­i­nate is laid on top of the sub­strate, focus­ing on the rec­om­men­da­tions of its man­u­fac­tur­er. It is unac­cept­able to lay the slats close to the walls; it is nec­es­sary to pro­vide a gap of 3–5 mm.
Lam­i­nate is laid accord­ing to tra­di­tion­al tech­nol­o­gy, fol­low­ing the man­u­fac­tur­er’s rec­om­men­da­tions

The sub­tleties and nuances of instal­la­tion are clear­ly described in the video:

The main mistakes when installing a warm floor

When plan­ning and per­form­ing work on lay­ing a warm floor, the fol­low­ing mis­takes are most often encoun­tered:

  • Incor­rect cal­cu­la­tion of the amount of mate­r­i­al. Heat­ing ele­ments should only be placed under free areas of the floor cov­er­ing. Ele­ments under the fur­ni­ture will not work to heat the room, and due to the lack of heat removal, they may fail.
  • Errors in the prepa­ra­tion of the mate­r­i­al. The elec­tri­cal cable and infrared plates may only be cut at the points indi­cat­ed by the man­u­fac­tur­er. If any sec­tion of the cable is longer, then its turns must be repo­si­tioned, slight­ly clos­er to each oth­er.
  • Errors in the instal­la­tion of the mate­r­i­al. The loops of the elec­tri­cal sys­tem must not inter­sect and touch each oth­er. This sit­u­a­tion can lead to over­heat­ing and fail­ure of the con­duc­tor.
  • When lay­ing, it is nec­es­sary to take into account the min­i­mum bend­ing radii of the con­duc­tors rec­om­mend­ed by the man­u­fac­tur­er.
  • It is a mis­take to lay heat­ing ele­ments on an unpre­pared sur­face. Work can only be done on a per­fect­ly clean sur­face.
  • No sys­tem check before lay­ing lam­i­nate floor­ing. If instal­la­tion errors are dis­cov­ered after all work is com­plet­ed, it will be much more dif­fi­cult to cor­rect them.
  • Lack of indi­vid­ual tem­per­a­ture con­troller for each room. Seem­ing sav­ings on sen­sors and reg­u­la­tors can turn into seri­ous incon­ve­niences in oper­a­tion.
Instal­la­tion of a warm floor must be car­ried out in strict accor­dance with the rec­om­men­da­tions of its man­u­fac­tur­er.

Video instruc­tions for prepar­ing a wood­en floor for lay­ing lam­i­nate

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLWDSz3N-fQ

Operating recommendations

For long-term oper­a­tion of under­floor heat­ing of any type, you must fol­low sim­ple rules:

  • The heat­ing tem­per­a­ture should not exceed +50°С, the opti­mal mode is from 20°С to 30°С.
  • Do not lay on places where heat­ing ele­ments are installed, objects that pre­vent heat removal — car­pet, car­pets, fur­ni­ture with­out legs, etc.
  • In case of a long absence from the room in cold weath­er, the sys­tem must not be com­plete­ly turned off; the min­i­mum pos­si­ble oper­at­ing mode should be set on the reg­u­la­tor.
  • To avoid dam­age to the heat­ing ele­ments, do not drill holes in the floors, screw screws into them, dri­ve nails, etc.
  • Clean­ing of elec­tric under­floor heat­ing should be car­ried out using a min­i­mum amount of water, avoid­ing get­ting under the lam­i­nate and affect­ing the heat­ing ele­ments.

Self-instal­la­tion of a warm floor under a lam­i­nate in rooms on a wood­en floor with the right selec­tion of mate­ri­als and work plan­ning is a fea­si­ble task. A prop­er­ly installed sys­tem will bring com­fort and con­ve­nience to the house.

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