Dry underfloor heating system and wood flooring

In a dry construction underfloor heating system, the pipes are not laid in a poured screed, but the pipes are incorporated in special insulated pre-formed plates of polystyrene or gypsum fiber that are placed on the screed, so that the heating pipes are easy to install. In some systems, a thermally conductive cover plate (aluminium) is first placed between the pipes and the preformed plate so that it ensures a gradual and even distribution of the heat.

It is a lightweight system with a limited construction height, which reduces the overall load on the construction floor.
Depending on the dry construction system, it can be finished with a leveling compound or gypsum fiber board for a fully glued floor. Without a finish, the wooden floor can be placed floating.

An electric underfloor heating or infrared underfloor heating system also belongs to a dry construction underfloor heating system.

Dry Construction Floor Heating System Applications

A dry construction underfloor heating system is often used for renovations, in houses with a timber frame construction, houseboats and monumental buildings.

How does it work?

The special insulated preformed sheets of polystyrene or gypsum fiber are placed over the entire subfloor. Heat-conducting cover plates are fitted in the preformed recesses, after which underfloor heating pipes are fixed.

We advise you to follow the supplier's installation description for the heating pipe pattern to be used for the best efficiency. The installation requires preparation time and attention to do it properly.

During installation, the subfloor must be completely flat, because special insulated preformed sheets of polystyrene or gypsum fiber cannot absorb unevenness in the subfloor.

The heating pipes are connected to the distribution station, which is connected to one of the control systems. The distribution station ensures the passage of hot water through the pipes in the floor. At the distribution station you can often set the temperature of the water that goes through the pipes, so that too hot water is never passed through.

The system can be controlled by heat pumps and condensing boilers

Combining dry construction underfloor heating system with a wooden floor

A dry construction underfloor heating system works well in combination with a wooden floor. The wooden plank floor can be installed glued or floating. We always have to glue a pattern floor, such as the herringbone or chevron pattern.

This means that the underfloor heating system must be finished with a stress-distributing layer, usually a gypsum fiber board, onto which the wooden plank floor or patterned floor can be fully glued.

With a floating installation, we will place a foil between the heating system and the wooden floor. The wooden floor is then separate from the heating system. Please note that, as with all floating floors, movement will always be noticeable when using the wooden floor.

Points of attention

  • The subfloor must be completely flat. This system cannot absorb irregularities in the subfloor.
  • ask the supplier for the pipework pattern
  • with a glued floor, such as with a pattern floor, the system must be finished with a stress-distributing floor, often gypsum fiber board
  • the system can be controlled with heat pumps or condensing boilers
  • lightweight system
  • limited construction height


  • For Fermacell method or similar plates please read the manufacturer's instructions.
  • In dry construction systems, a heating protocol is not required, because no residual moisture is present in the subfloor.
  • Minimum coverage requirements do not apply. However, the rule here is that the top floor should never exceed 28 ° C. The maximum residual moisture content in the floor may not exceed 0.3%.
  • Machine sanding or brushing to remove any sludges present on the surface. Then vacuum thoroughly with an industrial vacuum cleaner.
  • Prime Fermacell plates for proper adhesion with primer approx 300-500 g / m² per layer. Drying time about 12-16 hours. Apply the next layer within 24 hours.
  • Then glue the wooden floors on the primed Fermacell plates.

If the residual moisture content is higher than 0.3%, the wooden floor can not be installed. Moisture screens should not be applied to Fermacell floors.