There are 4 methods of providing the heating circuits.with the one chosen being dependent on the existing or proposed floor structure. In all cases the pipe work is connected to a manifold and pump and is controlled by room thermostats and central controller.
This type of system is permanently built into solid concrete or screeded floors. Insulation is built into the floor directly underneath the floor panel. The heating pipe is simply slotted in to the floor panels to a pre-determined layout.
Suitable for all floor coverings.
For installations in suspended floors the pipes are installed in ‘heat spreader’ plates that are laid over the top of the joists with standard tongue and groove floorboard laid on top. Insulation is installed between the joists below the spreader plates to ensure that no heat is lost downwards.
The floating floor system is ideal for use on existing timber or solid floor sub-base. It consists of a 50mm deep preformed insulation panel which is laid on the existing floor (over a damp proof membrane. Spreader plates are then placed into the grooves with the pipe then run down the middle of the plate. Tongue and groove flooring is then laid over the top.
This allows underfloor heating to be installed into existing spaces quickly, easily and practically. The low profile panel is laid over existing solid or timber floors. Tiles and laminates can be laid directly onto the system with carpet and vinyl requiring a capping layer of 4-6mm plywood. This system is perfect for renovations as there is no need to touch the existing floor structure and at only 18mm deep you keep your headroom.
The Manifold and Pump
The manifold is the point at which all the individual room circuits come together in order to receive heated water from the boiler and return cool water for reheating. Associated with the manifold is a pump that keeps the water flowing round the heating circuits independently from any other radiators that may already exist in the property.
The Control System
The control of underfloor heating systems is different to that of conventional radiator systems in that the space should not be allowed to cool completely during the heating season. The temperature during unoccupied or nighttime periods should fall to around 4 degrees C lower than the required occupied temperature. This is achieved by the use of programmable room thermostats in each room which are wired back to a master wiring centre and a valve actuator on the manifold. When the desired room temperature is met then the thermostat activates the actuator stopping the flow of water to that circuit. When the room cools then the actuator releases allowing heated water to start flowing in the circuit again.