Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining is a fast and efficient way to cut Ravatherm XPS (formerly known as Styrofoam) for use as insulation in underfloor heating systems. 

Ravatherm XPS can be cut to suit a wide range of systems or used for bespoke projects. The CNC machine is programmed to cut grooves for water-based underfloor heating systems to allow the pipes to sit flush, providing insulation for the system and helping to save energy. 

Read this guide to find out more.

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About This Guide

This guide will take a look at the benefits of using CNC machining to cut Ravatherm XPS for use in underfloor heating insulation. It will also highlight why Ravatherm XPS is the perfect choice of material and how Panel Systems can help you with your project.

The Benefits of CNC machining for underfloor heating insulation

Easily cut — The ease of the CNC machining process means the material can be cut to meet the specifics of any underfloor heating system. Many suppliers require a standard sheet size containing specific grooves for their system. This can be completed quickly with the CNC machining process. The CNC machine uses computer-aided design (CAD) drawings to perform its task, meaning every piece can be cut to an identical size and specification. 

Additional orders are fulfilled by simply accessing the stored files. Any changes to designs can also be easily accommodated with a simple adjustment to the CAD drawings for the machine. 

Speed of service — With CNC machining experts available at Panel Systems, orders can be created quickly to meet demands. If any changes are required to the design or the cut of the material, this can also be done quickly in-house. 

One-stop-shop — As suppliers of both the Ravatherm XPS material and the CNC machining process, Panel Systems is expertly placed to control the quality of the foam finish and thickness, and the specification of the grooves for the pipes of the underfloor heating system.

Design retention — Once a design has been created and loaded into the machine, the same design can be easily repeated with no need to keep track of paper drawings. The CNC machining process provides an exact match every time, despite machine operator changes or any additional factors.  

Flexible service — The CNC machining process is incredibly flexible and able to accommodate last-minute alterations. With CAD in place, designs can be tweaked or altered easily to change the placement of the grooves in the material to accommodate designs for any project.

Why is Ravatherm XPS used for underfloor heating?

Excellent compressive strength — The unique manufacturing process of Ravatherm XPS creates a closed cell structure, which provides strength and support for any type of flooring. With compressive strength starting from 300 Kpa, the material is able to withstand both the installation process and the heavy traffic that occurs in residential and commercial properties.  

Efficient thermal properties — Ravatherm XPS prevents heat from the pipes of the underfloor heating system escaping into the floor below. Instead, the heat is forced upwards into the floor surface, heating the floor above more efficiently. This reduces heat loss and conserves energy. 

These properties mean Ravatherm XPS contributes to a reduction in CO2 emissions. During its production, no harmful emissions occur, reducing carbon emissions throughout the material’s lifetime.

What type of projects does Panel Systems cater for?

Bespoke projects — One-off, bespoke projects can be easily catered for, whether large or small, due to the flexible nature of the CNC machining process and the years of expertise built up by staff at Panel System. 

Set sizes — The accuracy of the CNC machining process means it’s possible to produce large numbers of complex orders (which use multiple sheets of different shapes) to suit the specifications of any underfloor heating system.  

Water-based underfloor heating — CNC can be used to machine extruded polystyrene such as Ravatherm XPS (formerly Styrofoam) for use in water-based underfloor heating systems. The required pipe layout is incorporated into the designs. The grooves are then routed into the insulation board to the required shape to house the water pipes of the heating system. This allows the pipes to sit flush in the grooved areas, providing an effective method of insulation, increasing the efficiency of the overall system and preventing heat loss through the floor. 

Electric matting underfloor heating — Panel Systems also supplies 6mm to 10mm Ravatherm XPS sheets for use in electric-matting underfloor heating systems. Rather than pipes sitting within the insulation, these thinner sheets sit underneath the electric matting of the heating systems to provide insulation and to reduce heat loss down through the floor.


Colour: Ravatherm XPS is available in both light blue and dark grey colours. This can help with identification between customer’s standard sizes. 

Finish: Ravatherm XPS sheets are supplied with a smooth hot-wire cut surface, for a good appearance and ease of handling.

Tolerances: CNC machined Ravatherm XPS sheets are cut to a thickness tolerance of +/- 0.5mm ensuring a consistent flush finish when adding floor coverings.

Need More Help?

The Panel Systems staff have extensive knowledge and experience across a wide range of materials and industries. Whatever stage of the process you are at, we can help you to deliver your material on time and to the correct specifications.

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