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Floor construction is a key factor in the design. Screeded floors, suspended wooden floors and floating floors all require individual consideration to ensure optimum performance and an even distribution of heat across the surface of the floor. Floor coverings will need to be considered at an early stage, tiles are ideal, wood and carpet can be used but be careful of the conductivity.
A screeded or solid floor system relies on the conductivity of the screed to conduct the heat from the pipe surface to the underside of the floor finish, because the screed is itself heated, it stores considerable amounts of heat which is emitted slowly and evenly. Depending on the screed used the heat up and cool down times can vary over a number of hours.
A dry floor systems relies on the conductivity of components fitted to conduct the heat from the pipe to the underside of the floor finish. In order to achieve good results the pipes must transfer their heat evenly to the floor surface, for this we normally use diffuser plates. Inadequate heat dissipation and hot spots can cause unsightly shrinkage, particularly with natural wood boards. The mass of a timber floor structure is less than the mass of a screed floor, and therefore the system response of a timber floor system is usually much faster.
A floating floor system is predominantly suitable for sheet flooring or some stronger laminates. Grooved insulation panels are structural and can be laid on top of a prepared base (additional insulation may be required to ensure compliance with Building Regulations and to minimize downward losses). Once the pipe has been pushed into the grooves you are ready to apply the finishing flooring.
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Establishing the correct operating temperature for the floor surface is a balance between not having the temperature so high that it causes discomfort, but high enough so that sufficient heat output is provided to meet the calculated heat losses. BS EN 1264-2:1997 states that the ‘physiologically agreed’ maximum floor surface temperature is 9ºC above the room temperature. This results in a maximum floor surface temperature of 29ºC in typically occupied areas with a room temperature of 20ºC. A 9ºC temperature difference will equate to a floor heat output of 100W/m2.
As a general rule, comfortable temperatures for heated rooms in winter are considered to be:
- Living areas: 20 – 22 °C
- Bedrooms: 16 – 18 °C
- Bathrooms: 24 – 26 °C
A room is considered comfortable when there is a difference of less than 4 °C between the surface temperatures and the temperature of the air of the room. If there is a difference of less than 5 °C between the temperatures of the various surfaces of the room, e.g. between an internal wall and an external wall, the room is also considered very comfortable by the user. Technical standards stipulate the following maximum permitted surface temperatures for floors:
- In residential or office areas where people spend periods of time: 29 °C
- In bathrooms: 33 °C
- In boundary zones: 35 °C
For reasons of comfort, it is important not to exceed a maximum surface temperature of 40 °C for walls and ceilings.
What is the room/s to be used for?
Is the installation in screed or overlay?
If overlay, how much can I raise the floor? What effect will this have on doors etc.
What is the floor covering? Check the Tog rating if a carpet is to be used, maximum 1.5 tog for the total covering.
At Orange Heating supplies we pride ourselves on offering a service where we ensure that you have the correct system for your project, we can assist you from conception to completion.
We always keep track of the latest innovations, so we are one step ahead with the latest technologies available.
Our aim is to supply good quality products at reasonable prices, we can offer you flexibility with our in-house Underfloor Heating design service. We will determine the area, zones and materials required for your project.
Our design service team will require a copy of your building plans via email or post. Once we have received the plans we aim to return them to you including a quotation within 48 hours.