be installed on top of the heated concrete, if desired.
If the system is being installed on top
of a concrete subfloor, a layer of natural
or synthetic cork should be installed
first. This prevents the heat from
absorbing into the concrete subfloor
and ensures that virtually all the heat
radiates upward, making it nearly 100
percent energy efficient.
Whether the floor heating system is
being installed in a newly constructed or
remodeled laboratory, it’s important to
know how the height of the floor will be
affected. Electric heating cable can be as
thin as one-eighth of an inch thick, so it
does not significantly increase the floor
height. However, professionals should
check with the manufacturer to confirm
the thickness of the heating element.
Another important consideration is
the system’s electrical output. During the
estimating process, designers should work
with an electric floor heating manufacturer
to understand the electrical demand for the
square footage to be heated. Most manu-
facturers will provide electrical details for
the electrical contractor. This is important
because the square footage dictates the
electrical demand and how it should be
managed. Electric floor heating is well suit-
ed for small or large labs, but it’s important
to realize that the larger the square footage
being heated, the higher the amperage. A
circuit in the facility’s electrical panel can
only handle so many amps, which means
larger labs may require some assistance in
managing the higher electrical load from a
floor heating system.
In general, a floor-heating system can be
designed at 9 to 20 watts per square foot.
When the area of the room being heated
exceeds 120 square feet, power modules
may be required to handle the higher
amperage. Power modules link up to the
floor-heating thermostat and increase the
electrical output in 15-amp increments.
This allows the thermostat to manage more
amperage using one control. The power
modules add to the upfront cost of the system; however, they also offer the benefit of
zoned heating, which means the user can
control which areas of the lab are heated
and when. This allows the facility to manage operating costs more closely.
TYPE OF RESEARCH
Additionally, the type of research and
experiments being conducted affect how
the lab should be heated. For instance,
if acoustic experiments are being done,
electric floor heating is an ideal candidate because it is completely silent. If
liquids are being used and could possibly
spill onto the floor, a waterproof heating
option is optimal. Some electric floor
heating systems are approved for wet locations, and they can also be paired with an
installation membrane and waterproofing
accessories to provide another level of
waterproofing for the entire floor. A vari-
Electric heating cable is available in mesh rolls, which make installation faster and easier.
When installing an electric radiant heating system on a concrete slab, a layer of insulating underlayment (CeraZorb) should be installed underneath the heating cable
(shown embedded in a Prodeso installation membrane) to prevent the heat from absorbing into the slab.