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For living areas this remains the popular choice, especially where the floor finish is polished/burnished concrete, solid timber or tiles installed without a screed.
With this system the heating cables are fixed to the reinforcing steel prior to the concrete being poured. When installing in a ground floor slab on flat ground, installing an insulation board will improve the efficiency.
One the of the biggest advantages of inslab heating (as long as the home has good insulation) is that it can be used in combination with a standard P.V. solar panel system where you can utilise the ‘free’ energy generated during daylight hours.
In-screed heating is the popular choice for living areas that are having a sand and cement screed to level up the floor, prior to laying large format, rectified or stone tiles. With this system the heating cables are fixed to the slab prior to screeding and then are fully protected during the tiling process. Because the cables are fixed to the concrete, with its thermal mass, this also acts in a similar way to in-slab heating, but with the cables slightly closer to the surface.
In Screed heating is also the popular choice in bathrooms in states where the floors are screeded (WA, SA, NSW, QLD) in Victoria and Tasmania where bathrooms are generally not screeded, under-tile isthe system of choice.
Under-tile systems, as with in-screed system in bathrooms, can be supplied as cable pre-spaced on a mat or loose on a drum. With the mat system the mesh is self-adhesive so will stick directly to a sealed or waterproofed floor while it is tiled over. Where large format, rectified or heavy stone tiles are being installed, we recommend first covering the cables or mats with a thin self-level to protect the heating cable during the tiling process. Again, Thermasheet insulation boards can be used to create a thermal break between the heating and sub-floor which will maximise efficiency. Under-tile system are typically installed at a similar output per sqm as in-screed as above.
Electric Floor Heating is usually zoned on a room-by-room basis allowing you to heat different rooms at different times/temperatures. For example you may have an ensuite on at 6am heating to 28 deg floor temp, living room during the day at 24 deg and guest bathroomsonly heated when occupied. Each zone would have its own ‘set and forget’ touch screen 7-day thermostat/timer, these can also be upgraded to WIFI versions controllable from an app on a phone or iPad.