Under-floor heating Installation to keep your commercial spaces warm and comfortableWilson Velez
Unlike other heating methods, under-floor heating takes up little space and does not look obtrusive.
Among the benefits of installing under-floor heating is that it provides uniform heat without having to reach very high temperatures and also has excellent performance. Water under-floor heating has been recommended by the WHO, considering that it offers a feeling of unparalleled thermal comfort.
The truth is that most uses in commercial spaces can use radiant systems to warm the environment a little in cold seasons, providing comfort and energy savings and although at first may require an economic investment higher than that required by other systems, the goal should be to amortize this investment in a reasonable time.
The flooring must be selected carefully since this invisible heat is produced under the floor. Let’s take a look on which materials it goes best with.
Radiant floors and their uses
Radiant floor heating systems are suitable for various applications in homes and commercial spaces:
- Individual and collective housing.
- Educational centers and kindergartens.
- Indoor swimming pools, to heat living and transit areas.
- Hospital halls and corridors.
- Work centers and offices in general.
- Premises of high altitude: churches, warehouses, industries, etc. In these premises, air heating systems cause enormous energy consumption.
Installation requirements for flooring heating systems in buildings
- As it involves heating or cooling mass on the surface, they have a high thermal inertia, which makes their application suitable for spaces where their use is continuous.
- It is essential to consider where humidity controls are not necessary for its application, despite the fact that it will be necessary to have a humidity control for cooling applications. Foresee the installation of elements that allow extracting humidity, such as dehumidifiers or fanning coils, according to the climatic zone.
- In order to avoid condensation when the system needs to reach low temperatures in order to dissipate the thermal loads of the premises, the cooling floor application should be in a region where air humidity is low, either because of the environmental conditions of the building’s geographical location or because of the low latent load of the building.
- They can be applied in buildings that incorporate low temperature generation systems, respectful with the environment, such as low temperature solar thermal energy, geothermal heat pump systems, etc.
- The system can also be used in buildings with equipment that generates heat during the winter and cold during the summer.
Most suitable floor coverings
This is undoubtedly the most expensive heating system to install. And is that in reforms will involve replacing the existing pavement, place all the ducts under the floor and then put the coating. But do not panic, especially if you also feed it with renewables such as aero thermal, geothermal or in combination with solar technology. Besides, keep in mind that under-floor heating can provide both heating and cooling.
Speaking of successfully choosing the flooring that best matches the under-floor heating, you must take into account the thermal conductivity of the chosen option, or what is the same, the property of being quickly transferred by a heat flow, and in this sense, stone or ceramic tiles work much better than, for example, wood or cork.
- Ceramic flooring
Ceramic tiles make a perfect match with the invisible heating provided by this system, as they have lower thermal resistances than, for example, wood or synthetics. They also retain heat, making the system efficient.
- Natural stones
Stone pavements are highly conductive, which makes them excellent for use with under-floor heating. You should also keep in mind that some varieties offer less heating, such as marble versus slate, although they are still better choices than alternative materials.
- Vinyl Flooring
The new generations of vinyl have nothing to do with the cheap, poor quality product with which they have traditionally been associated. They offer excellent features, such as the fact that they can be safely installed with under-floor heating, and come in plank or tile formats. Note, however, that vinyls are subject to an upper floor temperature restriction, usually 27°C.
- Laminate flooring
Laminate flooring imitates wood, but is made of compact materials, which makes it harder and less flexible than wood. For this reason, most laminates are suitable for use with under-floor heating. Also note that as a general rule, the denser and thinner the laminate floor planks are, the better they conduct heat.
Another interesting aspect of this material is that if you want to give uniformity to the interior design can be used throughout the house, including kitchens and bathrooms; you should only opt for water-resistant laminate flooring.