Updated on 19th October, 2022 by Martin Astley
What is electric underfloor heating installation?
Electric underfloor heating appears to be an appealing option for heating your home. After all, it is much easier to install and has a much lower profile than traditional wet underfloor heating.
While electric underfloor heating installation has many advantages for your home, it also has some disadvantages that must be considered when deciding on your home’s type of heating system. Electric underfloor heating installation is better suited to certain types of projects and even certain areas of your home.
How does electric underfloor heating installation works?
Electric underfloor heating is a method of space heating that uses a thin heating wire installed under the surface of your floor. The cables warm up when required, heating the floor surfaces, which then gives off radiant heat to your room. The floor will also feel warm underfoot.
Which rooms are the best for the electric underfloor heating installation?
Electric underfloor heating installation is commonly seen in kitchens and bathrooms. These rooms typically have relatively hard floors (which often feel cold, especially when barefoot) and a lot of furniture and fittings, leaving very little room for effective use radiators.
Electric underfloor heating is also faster to heat up than wet underfloor heating systems and can be programmed to operate primarily during times when those rooms are in use.
To maximise the efficiency of the electric underfloor heating system, devices such as timers, motion sensors, light relays, and hot water sensors can be used.
What are the advantages of getting an underfloor heating system?
● Electric underfloor heating systems typically take up less space than wet underfloor heating systems. There will still be some build-up because you will almost certainly need a backing board, but the wires are much thinner, and the system can be much closer to the surface.
● Because it is frequently close to the surface, electric underfloor heating typically warms up a lot more quickly.
● Underfloor heating is ideal if you only need a small amount of heat for a short period of time, such as in an ensuite bathroom.
● Because electric underfloor heating does not require a manifold, it can be installed in a single room without causing any disruption to adjoin ing rooms or passageways.
The best underfloor electric heating surface
Consider a thin electric underfloor heating system with wires attached to a light mesh; the entire product is less than 2mm thick. The floor levels are not raised because the tile adhesive is applied directly to the mesh and the heater sits in the adhesive layer.
The installation of underfloor electric heating system
Although tiles are the first choice for any room in the home, they can be cold to the touch, which is why underfloor heating is a great, simple, and inexpensive way to heat your tiled floors. It is so effective that you can get rid of unsightly radiators, which is especially useful for limited space! Underfloor heating is less expensive and more energy-efficient, and there is also a warranty to give you peace of mind for years to come.
Electric underfloor heating is easy to install and comes in a variety of sizes and formats forany type of installation:
- Surface type Size Availability
- Self-adhesive matt (rolls out) 0.5-15m2
- Loose wire kit (taped down) 2-10m2
- Loose wire kit (laid into a self-adhesive decoupling layer) 1-16m2
Remember to measure your floor and buy the appropriate wiring because you CANNOT cut the wire to fit.
You may also need an electric underfloor heating kit that includes;
● Installation boards, which are available in depths of 6, 10, 12.5, 20, 30, and 50mm, can reduce operating costs by up to 50% (see the manufacturer’s guidelines).
● Thermostats come in a variety of colours to match any interior scheme, and some models are WiFi enabled, allowing you to control the heating from your smartphone (some can even control the boiler and central heating!).
● Floor probe: Examine the floor (usually supplied with the thermostat)
● Qualified expert: A Fully Qualified Electrician
ALWAYS follow the instructions that come with your chosen system.
What Supplies Will I Require to Install Underfloor Heating?
The type of system determines the materials required for an underfloor heating installation desired or required. There are two types of underfloor heating: dry and wet.
Dry underfloor heating
Electric or dry underfloor heating consists of electric wiring or mats laid over the sub-base and connected to an electric supply. This is ideal for use in single rooms because it is more expensive than a wet system, but it is less costly to install because the installation is more accessible.
You will need the following materials for this type of installation:
● Boards of insulation
● Tape for plastering
● Mat for underfloor heating
● Compound for levelling
Wet underfloor heating
A wet system, also known as water underfloor heating, is installed by connecting heating pipes to underfloor circuits, which power the system. Because energy bills are lower, this is best suited for whole-house renovations and large spaces.
It does, however, take longer to install and is thus more expensive than electric underfloor heating. Wet underfloor heating necessitates the following materials:
● Waterproof membrane
● Sheets of pipework
● Spreader plates made of aluminium
● Piping made of plastic
Preparation for underfloor heating system
To prepare your floor for the electric underfloor heating controller system, remove everything from it, including tiles, plaster, and anything else that may be covering the base.
You should also brush away any dust, dirt, or debris sitting on the floor base to have a nice clean surface to work on.
It is also critical that you inspect the sub-base to ensure that it is in good condition. If not, you may need to hire a professional to come and make repairs, or they may need to install a completely new subbase.
Step by Step installation
Dry underfloor heating
Step1: After inspecting the subbase prior to installation, lay down insulation boards in a checked pattern and cut the boards to fit perfectly in the room.
Step2: After you’ve installed the insulation boards, use plastering tape to seal the joints.
Step3: When you’ve sealed the joints, screw the boards into place according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step4: Screw the boards into place after you’ve sealed the joints, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step5: Once you’ve decided on a layout, it’s time to begin installing the underfloor heating. Some important things to remember are that the cables cannot touch, cross, or be cut, so you must select an appropriate cable for the room.
Step6: The next step is to unfold the heating mat and begin laying it, starting controller’s point at the point where the controller will be.
Step7: Then, beginning at the edge, roll it out. When you get to the other side of the wall, cut the mesh all the way up to the wire.
Step8: Turn your roll around and begin rolling in the opposite direction alongside the previously laid roll. Remove the heating element from the mesh for more difficult obstacle areas and freely move it around the obstacle.
Step9: After installing all of the floor heating, you’ll need to run the power lead up into the wall to the controller. To accomplish this, insert a hook and fishing line through the wall, connect your cables to it, and then pull them up to where the controller will be.
Step10: After that, you’ll need to cut a channel in the underfloor heating so the cable can sit flat. You can accomplish this by using a Stanley knife to cut a groove in the insulation boards, allowing the wires to lay flat.
Step11: You must do the same with your probe. To get an accurate reading, place your probe directly between two heating elements. To allow the probe to lay flat, cut a groove in the insulation.
Step12: It’s time to add the levelling compound now. Pour it on the floor and spread it evenly with a plastic trowel. Depending on how much you want to raise the floor, you can apply it at various thicknesses. However, a minimum thickness of around 3mm is recommended.
Step13: After the levelling compound has dried, you can install your flooring over it.
Wet underfloor heating
Step1: Begin by rolling a damp-proof membrane across the entire floor’s surface.
Step2: Once the damp-proof membrane is in place, you can lay out your pipework sheets on top of it. Cut them to length so that they cover the entire length of the floor.
Step3: The pipework sheets should then be fitted with aluminium spreader plates. They should fit easily into the gaps on the sheet and keep it together while you finish laying out the pipework sheets.
Step4: You can then draw a path for the pipes to follow, taking care not to route them under any appliances. Make a note of this with a pen or pencil.
Step5: Then, re-lay your spreader plates in accordance with your route markings.
Step6: The next step is to run plastic piping through the grooves in accordance with your route markings.
Step7: After you’ve installed all of the pipes, you’ll need to cover them with boarding. Fit the boards across the entire length of the room and cut them to size if necessary.
Step8: After you’ve laid down all of the boardings, you can add flooring on top as desired.
Regardless of which electric underfloor heating installation you choose to install, the initial setup should be a simple task once you understand everything involved in the process. Once the floor has been removed, the instructions provided by the system’s manufacturer will allow you to lay the pipes correctly. You should be able to avoid most of the problems experienced by new installations by having the relevant technician perform the final connection and testing.
Along with the underfloor heating system, you should also look out for installing a boiler system as well. Having a boiler in your home can give you peace of mind and can restore the warmth in winters.
Can I install electric underfloor heating myself?
Yes, you can, but the complexity of this process can put you in trouble, so it’s better to consult an expert to do the work for you.
How easy is it to fit electric underfloor heating?
If you are an expert and know the installation process, and have all the equipment ideally, you can do it quickly, but if you are not sure about it, it’s better to look forward to hiring an expert.
How do I connect underfloor heating to electric supply?
In most situations, Connecting Underfloor Heating to Electric Supply for any Underfloor Heating System, the electrician would take the connection supply back to the consumer board. However, it may be possible to take a spur of the main ring main depending on the existing loading and system size.
How to install electric underfloor heating?
There are several steps for the installation. You have to follow them all for the perfect fit. Make sure you don’t miss any or hire an expert for better fitting.
How Much Does Electric Underfloor Heating Cost to Operate?
Electricity costs approximately 15p per unit, and one unit is one kilowatt (kW) for one hour, so it is referred to as a kilowatt per hour (kWh). For example, if your electric underfloor heating is 125W per square meter, you will use 15p per hour that the system is turned on for every eight square meters of floor.
How much does electric underfloor heating cost to install?
There are numerous types of electric underfloor heating, each with its own set of costs for systems and installation:
● Thin mesh systems range in price from £45/m2 to £50/m2.
● Quick matting system: £55-£60/m2.
● Budget systems: £15 per m2.
● Under the carpet, foil systems range in price from £40/m2 to £50/m2.
● Loose wire system: £50-£55/m2.
How to install electric underfloor heating in the bathroom?
The electric underfloor heating installation process depends on several complex steps; it is recommended to consult an expert for perfect installation.
How much does it cost to install underfloor heating?
The system’s size and complexity determine the cost of installing underfloor heating. All systems need the removal of the floor, the system’s installation, the connection to a power source, and the installation of sensors/controls.