Choosing the right parts for your underfloor heating system

Article Date: 12 August 2020

So you're thinking of installing an underfloor heating system in your home? You're not alone. In 2018, the industry saw a 7% rise, demonstrating that underfloor heating is an increasingly popular choice.

They add warmth and comfort to a room, are generally low maintenance, and tend to remain more cost-effective than a standard radiator. However, do you know which parts are right for your property? In this post, we're going to breakdown the parts you need to consider for your underfloor heating system.

Electric v. wet system

The first decision you need to make before buying any parts is what kind of underfloor heating system you're going to use. Electric or wet systems are the standard choices, but each comes with its own benefits. Electric systems tend to work separately from central heating systems, making them cheaper to install but more expensive to run. Meanwhile, wet systems are more economical to run, reducing your overall expenses, but require a higher upfront cost.

Your choice may also vary depending on which room you choose for installation. According to a Which? survey, 55% of people install underfloor heating in their bathrooms, while 26% have it in their living rooms. While electric systems work best for single or small spaces like bathrooms, wet systems link to a central boiler, making them perfect for whole-house heating.

Which screed is best?

A screed is a seal that keeps the underfloor heating in place, and your choice of base flooring will determine which kind you need. The minimum depth of a liquid screed is at least 50m while sand and cement screeds are around 65-75mm. If the pipes are on a concrete floor, then you may need a thicker screed of up to 150mm to give a reaction time of more than four hours.

Insulation is key

To get the most from your heat supply, you need proper insulation. The flooring beneath will determine the thickness of insulation you need, varying from timber to concrete. Placing a thinner membrane beneath the heating system can insulate it from the sub-floor, helping to reduce the heat-up and cool-down times for efficient operations. Whatever insulation you use, check that the material is sufficiently heat resistant and won't melt. EPS or polystyrene is a popular choice for this reason.

Covering your floor

Finally, you need to choose a top layer to cover your floor that will optimise your heating's performance. Tiles and stones are popular as they tend to absorb heat to create a warming effect. While solid timber is often tricky, a thinner flooring can help radiate the heat effectively.

Get expert advice

With any underfloor heating, ensuring you have the right components and correct installation methods is vital for creating an effective system. While underfloor heating systems rarely breakdown, problems such as leaks are typically caused by human error.

If you're looking for expert advice on your underfloor heating system or would like to learn more about our installation services, get in touch today. At the Underfloor Heating Shop, we're happy to hear from our customers and answer their queries. Call us on 07411 722898 and we'll help you find the parts you need.

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