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What kind of floor works best for heating and cooling the floor?

Natural wood floors prefer by many people. But, as we will see, they are not the best to combine with radiant-cooling floors. We offer best services for Civil Engineering Companies in Dubai .

Air Conditioning System with Underfloor Heating-Cooling

Civil Engineering Companies in Dubai
Civil Engineering Companies in Dubai

More people are interested in installing an air conditioning system with underfloor heating-cooling in their homes. It is a system that provides a lot of comfort. It is very efficient from an energy point of view and solves. Through the same installation, the heating and cooling of a home.

This system is actually very simple. Its main component is meters and meters of pipe that in the floor of our house, under a layer of mortar, and through which hot water (underfloor heating) or cold water (refreshing floor cooling) circulates. The tubes run completely through the entire floor of the house and, from there, they must transmit the temperature of the water that circulates through them to the interior environment of our house.

We offer finest services for Civil Engineering Companies in Dubai

How Does Underfloor Heating-Cooling Work?

Heating or cooling the water that circulates through the tubes can achieve in different ways. Many of them highly efficient or even considered renewable energy. Aerothermal energy, solar thermal energy, geothermal energy, etc. But how is the temperature transferred from these tubes to the interior environment of the different rooms of the house?

Underfloor Heating Installation Process:

First, some insulating plates places and, on top of them, the tube places, which makes “spirals” and runs along the entire floor of the house.

Underfloor heating installation process. When the entire tube is in place, it covers with a special cement mortar and allowed to dry. On the dry surface will lays the floor of the house.

Cooling Radiant Floor Tubes

Civil Engineering Companies in Dubai
Civil Engineering Companies in Dubai

As much as the cooling radiant floor tubes are very cold or very hot. If the layers of materials on top of these tubes are not adequate. We will not be able to transfer or conduct that temperature inside. In other words, for the system to work well, place layers of materials on top of the tubes. That are conductive, that transfer or “conduct” the temperature as best as possible. For this reason, when our house equips with underfloor heating. It is very important to choose the type of floor that we are going to install.

We will try to explain the importance of the floor material with an example. In our kitchens we often use spoons and other natural wood utensils. The reason for this is that this way we avoid burning our hands when we stir whatever we are cooking. If we do the same thing with a metal spoon (the kind that does not have a plastic handle, all metal).

Metal And Wood Materials

We would probably burn our hands. This is because metal is a highly conductive material of temperature. It has a high conductivity. And natural wood is the opposite (it has a low conductivity). Metal spoons often fit with a plastic handle. Because plastic, like wood, does not conduct temperature. Thus, with a completely metallic spoon we can burn ourselves. We use wooden spoons in the kitchen to, among other things, not burn ourselves when stirring hot food.

We offer finest services for Civil Engineering Companies in Dubai

Underfloor Heating Temperature Transfer

Given this example, returning to the topic of the post, the same thing happens with underfloor heating. If we cover the tubes with a layer of wood, no matter how much the tubes get hot or cold. The temperature transfer will be very bad and the underfloor heating system will work worse. However, if we covered the tubes with a metallic floor (although it is not usual). The temperature would be transfer very well.

Alternative To a Metallic Floor

As an alternative to a metallic floor, which we have never installed in a home until now. There are ceramic floors and natural stone floors. Which also transmit temperature very well. And have good thermal inertia. That is, they conserve inside the temperature and maintain it better than other materials.

A floor of Campa-Spero stone tiles. Natural stone is perfect for getting the most out of underfloor heating-cooling.

Does this mean that you cannot put a wooden floor with cooling underfloor heating? No. There are many types of wood and today some floors. That are sold as “wood” have little wood. The latter is the case of platforms or laminate floors. These floors are so thin (normally less than 1 centimeter).

Cooling Radiant Floor Tubes

Civil Engineering Companies in Dubai
Civil Engineering Companies in Dubai

That in the end the temperature of the cooling radiant floor tubes manages to pass into the interior environment of our house. Because, let us say, there is little wood involved. If we install natural wood with thicknesses of several centimeters. The temperature of the cooling radiant floor tubes will transfer much worse. And then the system may work, but it will be much less efficient and we will spend much more energy.

Today’s laminate flooring does not actually have natural wood. This is the composition of a laminate flooring:

  • Protective layer,
  • Sheet with imitation wood pattern,
  • Anti-impact layer,
  • High-density fiberboard (HDF),
  • Protection layer

Transfer Temperature of Thermal Inertia Either Hot or Cold

Even so, as we said, there are many types of wood. Denser natural woods transfer temperature better. And can also have thermal inertia. But for them to work well with underfloor heating we should reduce their thickness to a minimum. In addition, these types of wood are usually the most expensive, much more than a laminate flooring.

It is important to know that wood is a natural thermal insulator. That is, it is a material that, by nature, does not facilitate the passage of temperature through it. Therefore, it is not the best floor finish for a cooling radiant floor system.

Materials According to Their Ability to Transfer Temperature

In the following table we can see a classification of different materials according to their ability to transfer temperature. The conductivity of a material indicates its ability to transfer temperature (either hot or cold). As we can see in the table, stone is about 20 times more conductive than wood.

What type of floor is the one that will allow us to get the most out of the refreshing underfloor heating? A porcelain floor with imitation wood. These floors are a good alternative if we want to install underfloor heating in our house and a wood-look floor finish.

Well, as we have said, all floors made of materials that conduct temperature. Typically, they are ceramic floors (which nowadays have very good imitations of wood) or stone floors (which really are the best).

Ceramic Floors Cooling Radiant

Civil Engineering Companies in Dubai
Civil Engineering Companies in Dubai

Stone floors conduct temperature very well also have a lot of thermal inertia, which will result in a much more efficient operation of the cooling radiant floor. Ceramic floors are also a very good option, but they are behind stone floors. Then, we have solutions such as micro-cement or polished concrete, which provide less thermal inertia but conduct temperature very well.

Micro-cement floors are continuous, they do not have joints, and they also work very well combined with radiant-cooling floors.

Wooden Floors Cooling Radiant

Wooden floors are not the most recommended for cooling underfloor heating. But, as we have said, you can look for minimal thickness flooring or very high-density wood models so that the operation of the radiant floor is the best possible.

Finally, the least recommended floors for underfloor heating would be cork, vinyl floors, carpets and any floor made of a material that isolates the temperature instead of “conducting” it.

For more information visit our website: www.unec.co

 

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