It is commonly known that the best time to incorporate a wet underfloor heating system is at new-build stage, when the floor is first laid. Underfloor heating systems within a screeded floor construction are therefore the most popular, being flexible to install and easily adapted to the space. Pipework is clipped to the top of the insulation layer prior to screeding – the result is an even heat distribution across the entire screed slab.
WHAT IS A SCREEDED FLOOR?
A screed floor is really the finishing layer of a concrete floor construction – typically you have the structure such as cast concrete, or block and beam. An insulation layer is then laid over the structural layer to minimise downward heat loss, and then the screed layer is laid on top of the insulation.
WHICH UNDERFLOOR HEATING SYSTEM IS BEST?
Here at Ambiente we have several suitable wet underfloor heating systems for a screeded floor construction:
The extremely popular AmbiClip system provides a neat and uniform heating solution within a screeded floor buildup. The cliprail has clips at 50mm spacings allowing easy and accurate pipework spacing, with no specialist tools required.
How to install the AmbiClip wet underfloor heating system
Once the edge and floor insulation is in place, cliprails are fixed to the insulation layer by both the adhesive backing strip and barbed staples supplied. Once the cliprails are secured the underfloor heating pipework is laid in continuous loops with additional clips on the radius bends. Click here for hints and tips on installing this system or alternatively download installation instructions here.
AmbiTak is very similar in principle to AmbiClip but uses a specialist staple gun to dispense staples, clipping the pipework to the insulation layer. This can result in a faster installation, especially when installed over a gridded membrane, to allow even spacing of the pipework. Without a grid to work to we recommend using a measuring jig to ensure consistent spacing between the pipes as you staple them down.
How to install the AmbiTak wet underfloor heating system
Once the edge and floor insulation is in place pipework can be clipped down using the ‘tacker’ gun. A membrane will help to hold the staples in place – if there is no membrane installed we recommend using a longer 60mm tacker clip, to ensure the pipework is secure prior to screeding. Click here for hints and tips on installing this system.
Many installers prefer to combine the AmbiClip and AmbiTak systems, which we refer to as AmbiDuoClip – combining the convenience of the cliprails to ensure equal pipe spacing, with the speed of a tacker gun to staple the pipes down where required. Click here for hints and tips on installing this system.
An alternative way to incorporate underfloor heating into a screeded floor, the AmbiCastellated system consists of pipework laid within a plastic panel, covering the entire floor area. These panels can be ‘plain’, laid over an existing insulation later, or they can also come with an insulation backing as well.
How to install the AmbiCastellated wet underfloor heating system
The ‘castles’ on the plastic panel are spaced at 50mm intervals providing a consistent fixing point for the pipework, enabling a fast and neat installation. The plastic panel usefully acts as a separating layer between the screed and the insulation, and the castles provide protection of the pipework prior to screeding. Click here for hints and tips on installing this system.
ADDITIONAL INSTALLATION TIPS
We recommend that the screeding process is scheduled to follow shortly after install to avoid leaving the wet underfloor heating system vulnerable to damage. Also note that where a liquid screed is being used, it is best to lay an additional membrane on top of the insulation, to avoid the screed chemicals reacting with the foil face of the insulation.
HOW EFFICIENT IS UNDERFLOOR HEATING IN SCREEDED FLOORS?
Wet underfloor heating is an efficient heating solution for a screeded floor build up. As the entire screed slab is heated, the method of heating is gentle and even, resulting in a comfortable living environment with no draughts or cold spots. Essentially it is like one big radiator installed in your floor!
Another benefit of underfloor heating is freedom of interior design – with no radiators taking up valuable wall space, the design layout is completely uninhibited. Radiators can also pose a safety risk, especially in high-activity areas, whereas UFH is completely out of sight and therefore hazard-free.
HOW TO INSTALL AN UNDERFLOOR HEATING SYSTEM IN SCREEDED FLOOR
If you would like more advice on which underfloor heating system to choose, get in touch with Ambiente today.
Did you find this article useful? Check out these posts on your underfloor heating insulation options and UFH Pricing – How much does wet underfloor heating cost?
This article was written by Robert Tuffin.
Robert is the Business Development Manager at Ambiente Systems UK with over 5 years experience working in the underfloor heating industry.