How To Install Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating is becoming increasingly popular and it can be installed to any type of floor via an electric (dry) or water (wet) system. Below we discuss everything you need to know including how to install underfloor heating and its costs.

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How To Install Underfloor Heating
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Electric vs Water Systems

When it comes to choosing an underfloor heating system for your home, you have the choice of an electric or water system, which is often referred to as a dry or wet system.

Electric System

The electric system is the cheapest and it can be installed by laying out the wires or mats to the shape of the room. Less preparation is needed and it’s best suited to small rooms such as bathrooms. The only main drawback is that they are less efficient than conventional radiators and cost more to run in the long run.

If you are looking at doing it yourself as a DIY project, some of the best rated electric underfloor heating kits come with everything you need in a box. This can include the wires, installation hardware, screed, thermostat and much more.

Water System

Water based systems on the other hand are more complex to install but much cheaper to run. They are connected to your boiler via a manifold, which allows you to adjust the temperature as you would with your radiators.

Due to the fact that it connects to your boiler, it’s advised that a professional installs this type of system as it’ll be expensive to fix if something was to go wrong.

Installation of Underfloor Heating

Depending upon the system you wish to install will determine the method in which you install underfloor heating. Therefore, below are brief guides to the installation process of each system to give you an idea of what’s involved:

How To Install Wet Underfloor Heating

  1. Remove any jaggered edges that could damage the pipes.
  2. Thoroughly clean the subfloor.
  3. Install a damp-proof membrane and insulation.
  4. Install the manifold.
  5. Lay the water pipes as per manufacturers guidelines.
  6. Apply a thin layer (70-80 mm) of screed on top (optional).
  7. Test the heating and ensures all areas are heating up.

How To Install Electric Underfloor Heating

  1. Remove any jaggered edges that could damage the wires.
  2. Thoroughly clean the subfloor.
  3. Install a damp-proof membrane and insulation.
  4. Connect the system to a power source.
  5. Use a multimeter to perform a resistance test.
  6. Lay the wires/mats as per manufacturers guidelines.
  7. Apply a thin layer (70-80 mm) of screed on top (optional).
  8. Test the heating and ensures all areas are heating up.

How Much Does Underfloor Heating Cost

The cost of underfloor heating is highly dependent upon how large the area is to be covered and whether you use a wet or dry system. It also depends upon the complexity of the current flooring because you will need to remove the current floor in order to install underfloor heating. However, below are some approximations of the cost of underfloor heating:

System TypeBuildingTotal Cost
WaterRenovation£6,000 – £6,500
ElectricRenovation£4,000 – £4,500
WaterNew Build£16,000 – £17,000
ElectricNew Build£6,000 – £7,000

*The above approximation costs for underfloor heating are based upon a 100m2 area.

Underfloor Heating Thermostat

A thermostat is the “brain”of a heating system and when it comes to choosing an underfloor heating thermostat, you have a wide variety to choose from. However, it’s worth pointing out that an electric system may require a specific type of thermostat that’s dedicated to underfloor flooring. If you are using a water system, you can use the same setup as your radiators, which means you can use a smart thermostat.

Conclusion

Underfloor heating is a great addition to any home and they can be installed to any type of flooring. Whether you install it yourself using an electric system or have a plumber install a water based system, it’s a worthwhile investment that you won’t regret. To avoid disappointment, ensure that you prepare the subfloor to the best of your abilities because once its installed, you don’t want to rip the floor back up to perform repairs.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

author dan darimo

Dan Morgan

As a keen DIY’er, gardener and somebody that loves the latest tech, Dan is someone that brings years of experience in multiple trades. Since buying his first house, he has been obsessed with renovating properties and filling it with the latest products. This has led him down the road of testing hundreds of products and creating in-depth “how-to” and informative guides that offer his first-hand experience. Other interests include working on cars, keeping fit through sports or his home gym, caravanning and drinking great coffee.

If you would like to read more about Darimo and the authors, you can visit our about page. This goes into great detail regarding how we test products, create our guides and everything else.

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