If you live or have a house in Italy, thanks to government incentives and economic bonuses provided until 2022, this is certainly a good time to consider the installation of heating systems that are more efficient, eco-friendly and economical compared to traditional radiators.
Underfloor heating, also known as radiant panels, is a technology that allows excellent energy savings, especially in combination with solar panels: green solutions that we at Ceramica Mediterranea support and that use solar energy for heating (and cooling) of homes.
But which flooring to choose for underfloor heating?
- Underfloor heating what it is and how it works
- Advantages of underfloor heating
- Underfloor heating: which floor to choose?
- Underfloor heating: porcelain stoneware is the ideal solution
Underfloor heating what it is and how it works
Underfloor heating works by radiation. It is made of pipes (coils) that cover the entire floor, where water circulates at a temperature of about 30°-40° (common radiators have a temperature of 70°-80°). These pipes are connected to a condensing boiler that heats the water.
The heat, distributed in this way, is radiated from the bottom to the top, allowing greater comfort in every room (without sudden changes in temperature) and offers the possibility of furnishing every space in the house, without having to install radiators.
It is also ideal for installation in humid environments, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
Advantage of underfloor heating
The advantages of choosing underfloor heating are numerous:
- Green choice and energy savings: Underfloor heating is a green, efficient and energy-efficient solution. The water flowing in the coil is at a relatively low temperature, so the consumption, compared to traditional heating, are significantly lower (even up to 30%).
- Reduced maintenance: The underfloor heating, once installed, does not require special maintenance. The intervention of technicians is required only when it presents malfunctions.
- Healthy environment: The use of underfloor heating avoids the formation of mites, mold and dust that are common in the use of traditional radiators. The air is heated evenly and prevents colder or warmer areas within the room, ensuring optimal air healthiness, ideal for allergy sufferers.
- Solution to cool the house: radiant panels are a valid integration to air conditioners in summer, as the temperature of the water flowing in the coils is 15°/18°. Thanks to the physical property called radiation, the environment releases (radiates) heat and the hot water in the pipes absorbs it. Therefore, no cold air is created, but heat is subtracted from the environment, consequently making the room cooler.
Underfloor heating: which floor to choose?
Given that the aesthetic choice of heating is optimal for those who do not want visible radiators and are attentive to the environmental well-being of the house, let’s try to understand what type of floor is suitable to be installed on radiant panels.
There are two factors to take into account when choosing the right floor:
- Thermal conductivity (i.e. the ability of a material to transmit heat).
If the thickness of the floor is low, then high will be the thermal conductivity and therefore better the ability to transmit heat from below.
Choosing the right floor helps to optimize the performance of the entire heating system.
Granite and marble floors, being natural stones, have a good thermal conductivity, but the slabs are usually 2-3 cm high, so they are too thick to ensure an even heat diffusion.
Wooden flooring (parquet), on the other hand, has not a high thermal conductivity, although it can be a few millimeters thick. However, the fact that it can be very delicate in maintenance, may raise some doubts during in the choice. It is also necessary to consider essences that must have a good stability and resist moisture to prevent the parquet from deforming over time.
Underfloor heating: porcelain stoneware is the ideal solution
The ideal solution, therefore, is the installation of a porcelain stoneware floor.
In fact, ceramics can heat easily and transmit this heat evenly. Ceramic tiles have a low thermal resistance; in fact, heat is transmitted to the environment immediately.
Among Ceramica Mediterranea’s solutions there are tiles with very thin thickness and the thermal conductivity is excellent, allowing the heat to radiate in an optimal and uniform way.
Despite its thin thickness, the porcelain stoneware produced by Ceramica Mediterranea, is extremely resistant, thanks to the special process of dry pressing to which the raw materials (earth, sand, water, clay, stone and minerals) are subjected.
It is preferable to lay porcelain stoneware with very thin joints, so as not to disperse heat and ensure energy savings (as well as being more elegant).
And what about aesthetics?
This is one of the advantages of porcelain stoneware! In fact, among Ceramica Mediterranea’s collections you can choose the inspiration you prefer (wood, natural stones, cement, marble, metals and bricks).
Porcelain tiles, in fact, faithfully reproduce the materials from which they draw inspiration, making your environments highly customizable and perfectly heated.
Be inspired by our collections