Installation of laminate flooring over radiant floors

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The installation of laminate flooring over underfloor heating is fully compatible, however, there are a number of aspects that should not be overlooked.

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The installation of laminate flooring over underfloor heating is fully compatible, however, there are a number of aspects that should not be overlooked, we explain them below.
Below, we explain in detail the instructions and parameters to follow for a correct installation.
There are different types of radiant floors, the most common are the following:
– Underfloor heating through hot water pipes
– Electric underfloor heating (within these there are different variants, which can be buried under the floor screed or be external).
The FAUS floating floor is prepared for use with these types of flooring as long as the instructions of both the radiant system manufacturer and the flooring manufacturer are scrupulously complied with.
It is also very important to choose a good surface coating (FAUS Radiant) to control heat transmission to the surface.

Technical note: for the foam-laminate floor assembly to be suitable, it must not exceed a maximum resistivity value for it to be suitable. (resistance value: R< 0.15 Km2/W).

INITIAL INSTALLATION CONDITIONS.
It is important that the radiant floor is properly installed and that the concrete is sufficiently dry.
The radiant heating pipes should be a maximum of 30 cm from each other to ensure even heat distribution. (water underfloor heating).

Technical note: Regardless of whether the screed is old or new, it is recommended that the installer keep a record of the temperature curve of the rising and cooling phase according to the standard: EN 1264.4 “Underfloor heating. Systems and components”.

HUMIDITY OF THE CONCRETE SLAB. DRYING PROCEDURE.
In order to start the installation of laminate flooring, it is important and essential that the concrete is sufficiently dry. This should be checked whether the concrete is new or some time old.

A simple rule of thumb is that before laying the laminate floor, it must have dried at least 1 week per centimeter of concrete thickness up to 4 cm and 2 weeks per centimeter above 4 cm. It is recommended that the minimum thickness of the concrete be 3 cm above the system’s conduction pipes.
To force the screed to dry, the radiant heating system itself can be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The maximum moisture content of the concrete screed over underfloor heating is 1.5%.
With freshly placed concrete, the temperature should be increased gradually, minimum 2 weeks prior to placement and a minimum of 21 days after installation of the concrete.
It is important to check the humidity before starting the installation.

INSTALLATION OF LAMINATE FLOORING
Once we have ensured that the concrete is suitable for the installation of laminate flooring, we will start by disconnecting the heating one or two days before the installation, in order to achieve a floor temperature of approximately 18ºC.
The floor surface temperature must be maintained above 18°C before and during installation and at least 3 days after installation of the laminate floor covering.
After these 3 days, gradually increase the temperature until the normal operating temperature is reached, bearing in mind that the surface temperature of the substrate should not exceed 28ºC.
(*) This is important to take into account for electric radiant floors, where temperature variations can be greater than in water radiant floors.
The temperature should always be changed gradually at the beginning and at the end of the radiant heating operation period, not only during installation, but also during the entire lifetime of the laminate floor. Forced temperature differences in a short period of time are detrimental to the stability of laminate flooring, especially when used over electric underfloor heating.
Therefore, before and after each winter there will be a period of warming and cooling of the soil that will have to be carefully followed with gradual temperature changes.
It is important that the room environment is not too dry during warm-up sessions. At a temperature of 18-22ºC the humidity should be approximately 60%.
If it becomes too dry, an air humidifier should be used.

Important Note:
Before the installation of floating floorboards over a radiant floor, polyethylene sheets of 0.2 mm thick must be laid 20 cm thick, overlapping each other. between them and sealed with insulating tape. This film is called an anti-humidity barrier and prevents the absorption by capillarity of the humidity that may be present in the screed.
The polyethylene foam is then placed to give greater comfort to the laminate flooring.

To be considered:
During floor heating, there may be slight movement of the laminate until acclimatization, normal movements of the product.
Avoid accumulation of heat in certain areas that may be covered by carpets and the like.

INSTALLATION OF LAMINATE FLOORING OVER UNDERFLOOR COOLING
The installation of laminate flooring over underfloor cooling works in the reverse way to underfloor heating.
The piping system in the floor construction is filled with water at a temperature between 18-22°C, in order to always ensure a minimum temperature difference between the space and the water in the floor cooling system.
Since the floor is cooler than the ambient temperature, this space will provide a more pleasant feeling.

Installation of FAUS laminate flooring
Prior to installation, the refrigeration must be switched off and the temperature of the floor must not be below 18ºC before and during the 24 hours after installation.
After installation of the floor, condition at room temperature for at least 24 hours before reconnecting the floor cooling.
Large temperature differences must be avoided and the temperature of the cooling system must be adjusted gradually, normally not exceeding 5ºC per day and complying with this standard both at shutdown and at start-up.
In this case, it is important that the combination of foam + laminate flooring (construction solution) achieves a thermal resistance value of < 0.10 m2K/W, so it is important to use a low thermal resistance foam.
For example, a 2 mm thick rubber blanket with aluminum film.

CONTROLS IN COOLING SYSTEMS.
The problem for this type of system is different from that of radiant floors (heat).
When cooling with a floor cooling system, or a combined heating and floor cooling system, special attention must be paid to avoid condensation.
It is therefore important that a water condensation control system (dew point control) is used.

NOTE: The dew point depends on the temperature and relative humidity of the air.

The danger of condensation means that it is not possible to work with low water temperature.
The water temperature can only be a few degrees below the room temperature, and must therefore be controlled by adequate condensation protection. The ideal relative humidity for laminate flooring is 50%.
The condensation control system must ensure that the cooling is switched off before arrival.
Room thermostats should never be set at temperatures 5ºC below room temperature.

The refrigeration circuit must contain a regulator that controls temperature variations below 18ºC.

The temperature of the coolant depends on the ambient conditions where it is installed.

If it is a high humidity area, such as coastal areas, the minimum value must be 21ºC and in the case of less humid environmental conditions, it cannot go below 18ºC.

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