Guide to Underfloor Heating and Screeding


Underfloor heating is a well-loved innovation because it is energy-efficient, and provides even distribution of heat. While the idea of heaving heated floors appears straightforward, there are complexities involved in the installation, especially when it comes to flooring. An essential step in an underfloor heating installation is screening. It refers to the mixture of cement, sand, and water applied thinly over the concrete base, and on top of the heating element. Screed is often referred to as the sub-floor, which is the foundation for the flooring material used.

Liquid screening contractors like specialize in screening and underfloor heating installation. To avoid many of the issues encountered with screed application for under-floor heating, it is often best to hire professionals with relevant expertise. This article will guide you on everything you need to know about underfloor heating and screening.

Underfloor heating layers

Having efficient underfloor heating involves several layers. Each of these layers plays an essential role in protecting the heating equipment, as well as in heat distribution.

  • The bottom layer is typically a simple concrete slab. It is durable and provides the necessary structural foundation for flooring.
  • A layer of insulation is placed on top of the sub floor before adding the heating element. Insulation ensures that all the heat goes upwards. Insulation also ensures energy-efficiency.
  • Heating element. Underfloor heating consists of pipes fitted and secured on the floor. Depending on the heating system you have at home, the heating element can be electric-powered, or powered by a boiler.
  • The heating element is then covered with liquid screed. The surface needs to dry out smooth and level for flooring installation.

Flooring material such as tiles, wood, and laminate may be installed on the screed layer as the final step in the process.

Making room for expansion

The repeated cycle of heating and cooling will lead to expansion or contraction. That is why contractors recommend adding expansion joints specifically designed according to the room’s shape and size. These expansion joints help maintain structural integrity in case the screed expands or shrinks.

Underfloor heating load and finish

When installing underfloor heating, most people consider the finished flooring without thinking about the load. The corresponding thickness of the screed layer needs to be able to hold the anticipated stress and weight applied to it. Screed thickness often differs when the application is intended for a commercial setting. The screed contractor usually recommends and determines the appropriate depth depending on the purpose of the floor.

Screed and underfloor heating always go together

Screed is an integral part of the underfloor heating installation. As such, it is essential to consider both when planning to install an underfloor heating system in your home. Careful planning is also vital to avoid costly mistakes down the line. In many instances where cracks and problems with underfloor heating ensue, screed application is always thought of as the culprit. If you want to get the job done right, you better hire a professional screening contractor that also specializes in underfloor heating installation.

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