Expert Author Gordon A Parkes
Underfloor heating is becoming increasingly popular. In Scandinavia, around 80 per cent of homes are warmed using this type of heating system, and coverage in the UK is also growing quickly.
As a result more electricians will be tasked with installing electric underfloor heating. While this may be daunting if it is something you have never done before, the installation process is fairly straightforward.
These tips will help you install the heating system
Check the sub-floor
Before installing any sort of underfloor heating system, you should check the type of sub-floor the system is to lie on top of.
If there is a concrete sub-floor, you will need to put insulation board in place, before you lay the heating system.
Without the insulation board, the cold concrete will be heated first, which can dramatically affect the output of the system.
If there is a timber sub-floor, there will not be the same sort of affect, but you may want to put tile backer board in place, before laying the heating system.
Ensuring the sub-floor is insulated will help your underfloor heating system work at maximum efficiency.
Choose the system
There are various types of underfloor heating available, and the one that is best for you will depend on many factors. These include the sub-floor, the floor covering and simply personal preference.
You may want to install an in-screed cable. This is typically installed in new-build homes or extensions, as it housed within the screed - an integral part of the floor.
Of course, this option is not practical if you are installing the heating system under an existing floor.
In this case, you may want to use a heating mat or a flexible element.
A heating mat is the ideal choice if you have tile, stone of slate flooring. It heats up very quickly and the heat transference to these materials is high.
If you have laminate or timber flooring, you may want to consider a flexible heating element. This is very thin and can be laid directly under the flooring, without raising the floor.
While laying the underfloor heating system is fairly simple and could be completed by anyone with some DIY expertise, the final connection should be carried out by a qualified electrician.
They will also be able to approve the installation and, if required, test the system.
Once installed, electric underfloor heating needs very little maintenance. There are no moving parts to corrode - so you should expect a lifespan of between 15 and 30 years.
Underfloor heating is very popular, and could replace central heating in the UK - much like it has in Scandinavia. These tips should help you learn to install these systems.