Thin-bed heating systems: areas of usage, installation and benefits

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(Photo: © Elizaveta Galitckaia /

Thin-bed heating is electric underfloor heating often installed in bathrooms, shower rooms and toilets. Other rooms where it could be used include children's rooms or bedrooms. From there, it provides rapid and highly convenient heating at the touch of a button.

Thin-bed heating is characterised by its very low installation height and is ideal for modernisation and new builds projects. It can be laid quickly on existing screed without having to rip up the entire floor. Correct installation is crucial for economical operation. You will feel the benefit most where the floor is not covered by heavy carpet or large furniture.  

Installation of a thin-bed heating system

Insulation mats for thin-bed heating are glued together

The thin-bed heating mats are criss-crossed by multiwire electrical conductors arranged in a serpentine shape. The heating mats are laid next to each other and directly underneath the floor covering.

In order for the thin-bed heating mats to deliver their full performance, it is essential that they are fully enclosed in a flexible, temperature-resistant tile adhesive or levelling compound. Only when the compound or adhesive has dried can the floor covering of choice be laid. Parquet and laminate are just as suitable as tiles and ceramics.

Substrate should be heat-resistant

Once the thin-bed heating system is installed, it is invisible and no longer accessible even for spontaneous corrective actions. Therefore, it is very important that the system is properly installed from the beginning. An important factor here is the substrate. This should ideally be heat-resistant, torsion-resistant, thermally insulated and free of loose parts.

Above all, the thermal insulation is critical for the economical operation of an electric underfloor heating system. If there is no thermal insulation, the thin-bed heating mats have to apply more power to achieve the required effect. This in turn is associated with rising heating costs. In some cases, it makes sense to install decoupling and thermal insulation mats.

Areas of application for thin-bed heating systems

In theory, thin-bed heating can be installed in any room, as long as the floor surface is not covered extensively by carpets or similar. This would slow down the rising heat. In practice, thin-bed heating systems are often used in wet rooms such as bathrooms, kitchens and tiled showers, which is why they are also called tile heaters. The use of such a heater is also conceivable in rooms such as children's rooms, bedrooms or living rooms. Where the floor covering is laminate, the heating is also referred to as laminate heating.

Thermal comfort via switch mounting thermostat

The heat emission of a tile heating system or laminate heating system is controlled by a switch mounting thermostat. This is connected via cables to the heating mats and a floor temperature sensor. The menu navigation is usually clear and intuitive, so that the required temperature can be set in just a few steps. If you want to make your heating more environmentally responsible, you can opt for a green electricity tariff.

The benefits of a thin-bed heating system

Those who choose thin-bed heating benefit in several ways. After all, the heating system not only offers a comfort factor, it is also impressively economical.

Low heating costs thanks to radiant heat

As already indicated, thin-bed heating works like classic underfloor heating. It releases a large part of the thermal energy generated into the room as radiant heat. This ensures even heat distribution within the room and also leads to an economically beneficial effect: with a relatively low room temperature, the person in the room still feels comfortable. Depending on subjective perception, the average room temperature can be lowered by one to two degrees without any loss of comfort. This in turn leads to heating cost savings of up to six percent per degree Celsius saved.

Quick installation and little effort

Thin-bed heating systems from Viessmann are available in sets with all the necessary components. This means they can be installed and put into operation very quickly. Major interventions in the floor structure are not necessary. The thin-bed heating mats are either self-adhesive or are laid floating on the screed. The control system, available as an option, remembers the heating behaviour of the occupants and helps to guarantee the best mix of cost savings and wellbeing.