While not every floor heating project requires an underlayment, they are particularly useful for projects where there is concern about heat loss to the subfloor or when subfloor issues threaten to compromise the integrity of relatively fragile flooring types like tile, marble, or stone.
WarmlyYours offers 3 different underlayment products: Prodeso Cable Installation Membrane, cork, and CeraZorb®.
Selecting the perfect floor heating underlayment will depend on information that is unique to your project like the type of subfloor you're installing over and the flooring type you'll put over the heating system.
The Prodeso Cable Installation Membrane is an uncoupling membrane that can only be used with the TempZone Floor Heating Cable. The membrane provides long lasting uncoupling and crack isolation benefits for tile, marble, and stone floors. The benefit of uncoupling is that it allows for a small degree of foundational movement (which occurs when a house “settles”) without causing the tiles in the floor to crack, break or “pop.” The idea behind crack isolation is that it stops cracks (up to a certain size) in the subfloor from “telegraphing” upwards into the floor which can cause extensive damage. An additional benefit of the membrane is that it can greatly decrease installation time as it allows an installer to complete most residential installations in a single day.
Cork and CeraZorb® are both “insulating” underlayments. Cork is a natural material that is a little thicker than CeraZorb® and is often paired with our Environ floor heating systems. CeraZorb® is a synthetic underlayment that has a higher degree of thermal resistance (R-value of 1.5) than cork. CeraZorb® is also the recommended underlayment for heating on top of a concrete slab and is often paired with our TempZone floor heating products. Both insulating underlayments will also provide some degree of crack isolation benefits.
For more information about how to select an underlayment, check out this helpful post: How to Choose Underlayment.
Provide us with a sketch of your room that includes dimensions and other relevant information, you’ll receive a free SmartPlan within one business day.
CeraZorb is lightweight, synthetic cork underlayment system that is specifically designed for setting tile and stone and is an excellent insulation choice under our TempZone™ electric floor heating.Energy Efficiency Report
Cork underlayment is recommended when installing your floor heating system over a concrete slab to create a thermal break and increase the energy efficiency of the system.Download Sell Sheet
Prodeso Cable Installation Membrane is an uncoupling membrane that is designed to be used with TempZone electric floor heating cable. The unique design of the membrane allows for greatly accelerated installations of floor heating.Download Sell Sheet
No, an underlayment isn’t always necessary.
However, there are some situations in which the use of an underlayment would be required, such as heating over a cement slab (where an insulating underlayment would most likely be required).
The best way is to use our Radiant Floor Heating Quote Builder tool. It’s a great way to get an estimation by simply providing project information like room size and subfloor type.
Typically, an uncoupling membrane like Prodeso will be best for this application because it can be paired with accessories to effectively waterproof the subfloor.
However, if you have a cement subfloor, then CeraZorb synthetic cork is a good choice because of its high R-value and moisture resistance.
Insulating underlayments and uncoupling membranes share some key characteristics like providing crack isolation benefits. But they are separated by their primary functions.
Insulating underlayments, like cork or CeraZorb, provide a thermal break between a subfloor and the heating elements, which can help prevent “heat sink” and increase energy efficiency. This can be particularly beneficial if you are trying to heat a room above a cement slab or above an unheated garage.
Uncoupling membranes, like the Prodeso membrane, are great for protecting relatively fragile floor coverings like tile from foundational movement. They also allow for faster installation times than many other types of floor heating.