It is a luxury that is increasing in popularity, so much so that many new builds now benefit from underfloor heating.
This does not mean that it cannot be retro-fitted or installed in an existing property.
Underfloor Heating Supply is a leading supplier of branded underfloor heating kits and components. With it being an easy system to install and operate, it is no surprise that many people do look to install an underfloor heating system themselves.
Simplicity can sometimes be skin-deep, meaning that once you start, you realise that it is a far more complex job than what you thought.
With this in mind, take a look at what you need to know about preparing your floor for underfloor heating.
Which system have you or are you opting for?
There are two systems from which to choose:
- A wet underfloor heating system that works with warm water and a series of pipes installed below the main floor
- Electric or dry underfloor heating system which consists of ultra-thin mats rolled out underneath the main floor covering
Both require slightly different preparation…
Wet or water underfloor heating will require more ‘building’ work as your floor will need to excavated by a few feet in order to accommodate the piping, the screed (a thin layer of concrete) and so on. In many homes and properties, this is not an issue and once completed, it means that the actual floor height in your property is not raised.
If you cannot dig down, then your floor height will be raised and will mean taking doors off, cutting a slice off the bottom, re-hanging and so on. That said, manufacturers of wet underfloor heating systems are developing thinner systems so that excavations are not required.
Dry or electric underfloor heating systems consist of ultra-thin mats which are laid underneath the main floor. They are simple and quick to install, needing very little in the sense of building work which is why many competent DIY-ers opt for this system.
Insulating the floor
Clearly, you want to derive as much heat from the underfloor heating system as you can. Although we are aware that we lose heat through walls, windows, doors and roof of a property, not many people realise that heat is also lost through the floor.
This is more apparent when you use underfloor heating thus, regardless of which kit you are fitting, a layer of insulation under the piping or mats will need to be fitted. This means that heat is ‘bounced’ upwards into the room and not lost into the ground.
There are differing types of insulation which varies depending on which system you are installing. Make sure you use the right one so that you can maximum insulation without overheating the underfloor heating system.
Cover the underfloor heating system
Although underfoot, any floor underfloor heating system will give excellent performance for years to come.
To ensure that this happens, the piping or matting will need protecting from movement etc. in the top layer of flooring. A wet underfloor system will need a thin layer of concrete over the top, known as screed. This keeps the piping in place, as well as providing a protective layer onto which the top layer of flooring – wood, tile, lino, carpet etc. – can be placed.
With most dry or electric mat systems, you will need to check the manufacturer instructions but most systems can have the top layer of flooring laid directly on top.
Choose your top layer of flooring
Most kinds of flooring covering are perfect for using with underfloor heating but don’t forget, the heat is not only a lot gentler but it also heats the room in a different way.
The kit underneath your feet warms the floor and the heat radiates into the room. This sounds simple in itself but use a material that either forms too much of insulation barrier or one that does not conduct heat very well will not see you enjoy the most benefit from such a system.
What else do you need to know about installing underfloor heating?
Opting for a professional installation team will see you circumnavigate any issues that crop up from time to time with the installation process with ease.
From ensuring small or awkward spaces are heated too, to ensuring that the system is not only installed correctly but tested too. Get it right, and your underfloor heating could save you money on your energy bills, always a welcome advantage of investing in your home.
From ensuring that the sub-floor is free from debris, to ensuring that the system reaches right across the floor, a professional installation team can make quick and light work of installing underfloor heating, whether it is an electric or wet system.
Underfloor Heating Supply is a leading UK supplier of underfloor heating kits and systems. With an 8-point service pledge, customers turn to them time and time again for help and guidance with installing underfloor heating systems, as well as accessing the very latest in underfloor heating technology.