Floor heating/cooling and MMF flooring
MMF flooring can be laid in combination with floor heating and/or cooling systems.
To guarantee the long-term and damage-free functioning of floor covering structures laid on surface heating systems, it is essential to plan the installation carefully with regard to the choice of heating system, screed and floor covering.
The supply and installation of the surface heating system must reflect the current state of the art and it must be commissioned by a specialist company in accordance with the corresponding heating criteria.
Switch the heating off completely until the floor temperature is below 18°C.
After laying your floor, you must restart the heating gradually (5°C per day).
The maximum allowed contact temperature is 27°C.
Make sure the screed has been dried properly and a heating-up protocol is available.
Make sure that the relative air humidity in the rooms is not too dry during the heating season to prevent gapping and warping.
At 18-22°C, a relative humidity of minimum 35% must be guaranteed.
If necessary, use a humidifier. This is the case for ALL types of wooden based floor coverings.
Always avoid local heat accumulation under carpets or rugs left on the floor or by leaving insufficient space between furniture and the floor.
More and more systems that combine heating and cooling are being installed in homes. For technical and physical reasons, heating in winter and cooling in summer in combination with organic floorings may cause problems, so manufacturer guidelines must always be followed. The installation instructions for floors on underfloor heating without cooling also apply here, of course.
It is important that floor cooling systems are equipped with an advanced control and safety system in order to prevent internal condensation (dew point regulation). To avoid damage to the floor, the supply temperature of the cooling water must not be reduced below a certain temperature, the so-called dew point temperature. Lower temperatures will produce condensation in the floor and damage the floor covering: warping, distortion, swelling and gapping.
A heat resistance (R value) of less than or equal to 0.09m²K/W (floor + underlay) is normally recommended for floor cooling. For floor cooling in case of slightly higher heat resistance a certain loss of capacity must be taken into account. The lower the R value, the better!
Heating film (only for special solutions)
Heating films or other “new” systems on the screed or wooden subfloor are not always suitable. MMFA class 1 floorings with a rigid core are more suitable, whereas flexible and heat sensitive floor coverings are not. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions! Further guidelines for these applications can be found below.
An underlay must be used to level the floor, to insulate it and – in particular – to embed the film elements and electrical connectors. Usually, the following structure is applied: First the underlay, then the heating film and then the modular floor.
For these systems the conditions that have to be fulfilled are:
- The heat must be distributed homogeneously across the entire floor to prevent any cold or warm zones.
- The heat radiates up and not down!
- The maximum contact temperature is not more than 27°C.
- The electrical connectors between the panels must be thin enough to be embedded in the underlay mat while maintaining their strength and electrical safety, also in the event of possible condensation or a leak.
A second type of heating system for renovation uses warm water pipes or electrical resistances embedded in frames. These are usually polystyrene panels which may be combined with metal plates. We consider these systems to be more reliable because they ensure a more homogeneous distribution of heat, provide heat insulation under the underfloor heating, have good contact and provide a stable subfloor under the modular floor. The above-mentioned notes still apply, but they are easier to fulfil here.
All these aspects must be discussed with the distributor/installer of the heating system to ensure that he also takes his responsibility in this matter.