A complete assembly package for ceramic thermal comfort floors
Iserlohn / Bologna - Under the brand name Schlüter-BEKOTEC-THERM Schlüter-Systems presented an innovative system for creating a complete heated floor assembly from one source at CERSAIE. The manufacturer calls the system a "ceramic thermal comfort floor," to emphasise the fact that the Iserlohn based company sees the heating system of the floor as a whole assembly in which system components, planning, and construction must fit together systematically.

According to Schlüter-Systems, a great range of requirements are placed on the heated floor assembly, since it must fulfill the functions of insulation (heat/ sound insulation), heating (or cooling), load absorption/ distribution, optical design, and even waterproofing in the case of wet rooms.

Unfortunately, it has been difficult in the past to achieve a satisfactory balance of the requirements placed on the entire assembly by the demands of construction, physics, and heating technology.

For example, DIN standards require that the screed layer over heating pipes is at least 45 mm thick. From the perspective of heating technology, this is a disadvantage in that a large amount of heating energy must first be used to heat the relatively large mass of screed before the heat is released to the air in the room. Accordingly, the floor heating system is slow to respond to desired temperature changes.

In addition, conventional screeds with coverings of ceramic or natural stone often buckle or form cracks. This is mainly attributable to the fact that screed and ceramics expand and contract at different rates due to their different heat expansion coefficients during temperature changes.

To prevent such damage, contractors have introduced measures such as long waiting periods for curing, or installation of movement joints or reinforcement structures. Unfortunately, all of these have proven insufficient.
With Schlüter-BEKOTEC-THERM, Schlüter-Systems is now introducing a complete assembly system that will solve these problems from the bottom up.

The "BEKOTEC" component in the name represents the construction technology of the covering, while "THERM" stands for the heating/ cooling component.

The Schlüter-BEKOTEC system, which is based on the construction technology using the BEKOTEC studded panel, has proven its value as a functional thin layer flooring assembly for cement and gypsum based screeds. The company is now introducing the THERM component as a matching system of heating technology accessories, ranging from heating pipes to electronic controls.

The entire construction assembly is composed as follows: the heating pipes are wedged between the studs of the BEKOTEC panel in the corresponding spacing pattern of the panels as heating/cooling elements.  A thin layer of screed is installed at least 8 mm and at most 25 mm over the studs and pipes. No movement joints or reinforcement inserts are required. As soon as the floor is ready to bear weight, the Schlüter-DITRA uncoupling mat is installed, followed immediately by the tile covering. This construction assembly, which is internationally patented, has been proven to remain free of buckling and cracks.

In terms of heating technology, the relatively small mass of screed and the closeness of the heating pipes to the surface accelerate the reaction to temperature changes. The interconnected air channels of the DITRA mat below the tiles or natural stone result in a quick and even distribution of temperature. This makes Schlüter-BEKOTEC-THERM a quick reacting "ceramic thermal comfort floor" that can be operated with great energy efficiency at very low supply temperatures. Of course, other surface materials can also be installed over the BEKOTEC screed.

According to the manufacturer, the complete assembly system Schlüter-BEKOTEC-THERM offers heating installation companies, screed and floor installers, and natural stone and tile installers the option to open up new competence areas as "system leaders" in cooperative agreements with other contractors.  At the same time, Schlüter-BEKOTEC-THERM offers new sales opportunities for professional wholesalers.
In conclusion, Schlüter-BEKOTEC-THERM offers many advantages and true "added value" to the customer of all of the above groups.

  With BEKOTEC-THERM, Schlüter-Systems is now offering its fail proof flooring assembly with matching heating and control accessories. The complete system guarantees crack free floor assemblies with especially energy efficient heating.

Photo: Schlüter-Systems

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  The relatively small screed mass and closeness of the heating pipes to the surface allow for a quick response to temperature changes. The interconnected air channels of the DITRA mat below the tiles result in a quick and even distribution of temperature.

Photo: Schlüter-Systems

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