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Can you use underfloor heating on cement floors?

Even though cement has great insulation properties; which means it is not as cold as many would believe; some clients still prefer to have their home warm and snug in the cold winter months. The question “Can I use underfloor heating with my Cemcrete floors?” is a frequent enquiry. Below we have put together all the information you will need to achieve a successful underfloor heating system in conjunction with a Cemcrete floor finish.

underfloor heating with concrete floors

Will it cause cracking?

An underfloor heating system in concrete relies on the thermal conductivity of the screed to transfer heat into the room. It is for this reason that it is crucial to gradually introduce heating to avoid thermally shocking the surface due to rapid changes in temperature. It is advisable to leave your screed for 3 months, post-installation, before turning the heat on to allow for the proper curing time without thermally shocking the concrete. After the recommended 3 months it is important to gradually introduce heat to the screeded surface a few degrees at a time. These are the steps to be taken to minimize the risk of cracking; if these steps are not properly followed then the risk of excessive cracking can be increased.

Can I apply Cemcrete floor finishing over existing underfloor heating?

Yes, you can. However; first check the existing floor for any cracking. This can be done by mist spraying water onto the surface which will show up any cracks. Visible cracking would indicate that the floor has been thermally shocked by the underfloor heating, and these cracks may migrate through to the new decorative coating or may require further preparation and precautions before the application thereof. If no thermal shock has taken place; a Cemcrete floor overlay can be applied directly. It is still important to follow the steps of gradual heating as a precautionary step to avoid cracking of the decorative overlay.

Following these guidelines will let you enjoy a lovely heated Cemcrete floor during those rather chilly months.

To ensure your project runs smoothly when using a Cemcrete finish in conjunction with underfloor heating; please contact one of our branches for further technical assistance.

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South Africa

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