Suitable covering materials and assemblies for floor heating systems
Ceramic tiles, marble and other natural stone materials are ideally suited as coverings for floor heating systems. However, certain types of parquet, laminate or even carpeting can also be considered for such use. In addition, the right floor assembly plays an important role for optimal heat dissipation – read more to find out how you can create cosy warmth from within the floor with Schlüter.
Ceramic tiles, parquet, laminate or carpeting – which covering types are best suited for a floor heating system?
Ceramic or natural stone tiles are the first choice for surface heating systems due to their excellent thermal conductivity. They heat up quickly and evenly and have the lowest thermal resistance. Accordingly, tiles quickly transfer heat to room air. They also offer an excellent thermal storage volume to keep the temperature in your space constant. Since tiles excel at transferring heat, they only have to be heated up to a few degrees above the actual room temperature. Once the room and floor temperature are the same, the heat transfer stops. This is also referred to as a self-regulation effect.
Although coverings made of tile or natural stone are ideally suited for the efficient use of a floor heating system, you can of course also install our systems with other coverings such as carpet or laminate. That means that they are (virtually) no limits to designing your floor. When selecting your floor covering, keep in mind that coverings differ in their capacity to transfer warmth radiating from the heating system.
Many floor covering manufacturers offer product variants that are optimised for use with surface heating systems. Make sure to look for the corresponding labels. In addition to tile and natural stone, you can select the following floor options:
- Textile coverings / carpeting
- PVC / vinyl
Learn more about BEKOTEC-THERM
Covering and floor assembly
Conventional floor heating systems frequently develop buckling and cracks in the screed or the floor covering - primarily because the screed and the floor covering have different heat expansion characteristics in response to temperature changes.
The relatively large screed volume of conventional systems has the disadvantage that a large amount of heating energy has to be supplied and stored. Conventional floor heating systems therefore are slow to respond to temperature changes.
The integrated Schlüter-BEKOTEC-THERM system with its particularly low assembly height solves all of these problems. It is protected as an international process patent. The system is based on a thin screed, which is applied over the studded BEKOTEC panels and reduces the shrinkage tensions of the screed surface in the studded pattern. If the uncoupling mats Schlüter®-DITRA 25, Schlüter-DITRA-DRAIN 4 or Schlüter-DITRA-HEAT-E are used, tiles or natural stone panels can be installed as soon as the screed is ready to bear weight. Our THERM heating components are an exact match for BEKOTEC and include everything from heating circuit distributors to electronic thermostats. The relatively small amount of screed and the proximity of the heating pipes to the surface create a highly responsive floor heating system.
The studded structure in the thin-layer screed divides the panel into smaller "modules" in the stud pattern during the curing process, which reduces the shrinkage tension in the screed.
In contrast to conventional screed installation, the studded panel assembly does not give the screed any opportunity to build up tension. As a consequence, the bulging edges known as "buckling" or cracks in the top surface cannot develop.
Compare the different covering assemblies shown below - floor assemblies with BEKOTEC are worthwhile even without heating!
Comparison of floor assemblies
1. Construction project