Structural Concrete Floor

Occasionally the underfloor heating pipework may have to run across movement joints in a structural floor slab. Where this occurs, provision has to be made for movement in the screed and floor finish above. Whilst crossing movement joints with piping should be avoided if possible, where they do cross over, a pipe sleeve of a minimum of 600mm long must be fitted to allow sužfficient movement. For specific advice on movement requirements, always refer to the screeding contractor or architect.

Frequently Asked Questions

Warmafloor systems can be incorporated within load bearing structural floors, in a variety of applications, from factories and warehouses to sports complexes. There are generally two types of floor construction, those of a simple concrete slab construction and those which incorporate a reinforcing wire mesh grid at mid level in the floor. Warmafloor surface heating and cooling systems cater for both construction types.

Heated screed or concrete floors will expand and contract slightly during use; the edge insulation is normally sufficient to take up this movement. However, in certain situations and especially with floor finishes such as tile, marble or stone, screed expansion joints will be required. Whilst the Warmafloor pipe characteristics enable it to be stretched by 50% plus without damage, the pipework circuits crossing them should be kept to a minimum and where pipes do cross the joints, they should be sleeved for safety. We will take expansion and movement joints into account when advising on the most efficient pipe design.

The U-value of a material measures how effective a material is as an insulator. The lower the U-Value, the better a material is as an insulator. According to the building regulations the U-Value for floors should be no greater than 0.25 W/m²K. We will advise on the type and thickness of insulation required to bring the floor U-Value under 0.25 W/m²K. Read more on U-Value calculation

Surface heating enjoys a 40% shorter installation period and generates 1-2 weeks’ preliminary savings than conventional methods. Warmafloor also uses its own fully trained workforce, rather than using subcontractors, to ensure that projects are completed on time and on budget.

Surface heating is a reliable whole-life system that requires no maintenance. It lasts the entire lifetime of a building, unlike radiators that need replacing at least twice. There is no need for manual operations, such as bleeding or painting. Our pipes are guaranteed for 100 years; ten times longer than steel and copper radiator pipes which require routine repairs due to joints which leak, attract scale and decay.

A few years ago, the application of surface heating to any building involved a premium in additional capital cost. This was not so much for the system itself, but rather for the insulation layer required to prevent downward heat loss. Now Part L regulations demand insulation in the floor whether you heat it or not. In fact, most of the projects we get involved in have layers of insulation with a thermal performance far in excess of that required for the heating system.

Today, the cost of the insulation material and the time taken to install it are no longer part of the surface heating package, so the best solution is now often the least expensive too. Surface heating and cooling systems offer cost savings as they operate at lower air temperature (1-2˚C lower to provide same level of comfort). Cyril Sweett and The Trade Association for Surface Heating and Cooling (UHMA) research reveals that a traditional radiator system costs 25% more over a 30 year period that a surface heating system. There is also a reduction in building heat losses and energy consumption and the heat source can operate at its highest efficiency. The greatest savings will be in rooms or spaces with high ceilings, as our systems heat only the occupied zone.

Savings in the region of 30-50% are possible. In rooms with lower ceiling heights, the savings will come from the lower operating temperatures of the system, together with the reduced air temperatures, to give savings of 10-20%. There are also no costs attributable to painting and decorating and no replacements due to vandalism of radiators etc. We find that this is often a key criteria for specifiers.

Yes. Our surface heating and cooling systems are compatible with virtually all types of floor covering. The best floor coverings for use with surface heating are hard surfaces as they have the least resistance and transfer heat effectively. Vinyl floor covering have a recommended maximum floor surface or sub floor temperature that they can operate at; if a higher temperature is used it can damage the floor covering. Manufacturers’ data sheets should be checked to confirm the covering’s suitability. Suitable adhesive should be used as per manufacturers’ recommandations. See flooring section

Yes. Our surface heating and cooling systems are compatible with virtually all types of floor covering. Recent research has shown that due to the open weave of most carpets they do not restrict the flow of heat from underfloor heating systems to any great degree. However carpet underlay and foam backed carpets do. Carpets and underlays have thermal resistance characteristics that will reduce the heat output when fitted over an underfloor heating system. To counter act this resistance, the system design can be adapted to foctor int the extra heat output needed. Some floor covering manufacturers stipulate a maximum floor temperature for their product which also need to be taken into account. See flooring section

Yes. Our surface heating and cooling systems are compatible with virtually all types of floor covering. The best floor coverings for use with surface heating are hard surfaces as they have the least resistance and transfer heat effectively. Laminate, engineered wood and timber floor coverings can be fitted with underfloor heating. The system design must factor in the manufacturers’ guidelines as often a maximum floor temperature is stipulated for wooden floor coverings. It is also important to follow manufacturers’ guidance on moisture content during fitting. See flooring section

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