A guide to buying underfloor heating

When considering buying underfloor heating, there are several things you need to consider. Careful planning will help ensure you choose the underfloor heating system that is right for you.

First, decide on whether you want to go for an electric or hot water system. Electric underfloor heating has several advantages over hot water heating. Electric systems are much easier to install, meaning they are suitable for refurbishment projects and installation costs are reduced dramatically. In fact, aside from the final connections (which must be made by a qualified electrician) electric underfloor heating can be installed by a competant DIYer.

Installing water based underfloor heating is a much more complex and disruptive process. Installation costs will be significantly higher, as it must be installed by an expert. It is more suited to new build projects than refurbishments.

Assuming you choose electric underfloor heating, the next decision is what the final floor covering will be. This will define the type of system you use. For example, if you are installing a tile or stone floor in a fairly large room, you should choose a cable mat. If the room is smaller, or an unusual shape you may want to consider loose cable.

If you want to install a laminate or wood floor, then heating film is the best option. For carpet or vinyl, you should choose film combined with an overlay board.

Finally, if you are installing laminate or wood in a wet room, then a foil heating mat is the right choice.

Once you have chosen the correct electric underfloor heating system, the next consideration is insulation.

Generally, the more insulation you install under the system, the most efficient it will be. This will save energy and reduce running costs.

When using cable mats or loose cable, you should install a cement coated insulation board. As well as acting as insulation, this will help stabilise the subfloor. If you are installing film or foil based systems, then a polystyrene foam insulation must be used.

The final choice is the thermostat that will be used to control the system. Whether you choose a manual, digital or a wireless thermostat, it must include a floor sensor. This will give you total control of your underfloor heating system.

Deciding on the correct system and accessories will ensure the installation process is quick and easy, and will ensure your system runs effectively and efficiently.

At Flexel International, we are here to answer any questions you may have about electric underfloor heating.