Installing Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating is super easy to install. But like most things in life require particular specifications to achieve the perfect result. And these specifications are usually determined by the floor covering. So let’s start with under tile heating.

Under Tile Heating

The Sub-floor.

So…. When installing heating under a tiled floor. There are a few things to consider, and the best way to look at this is from the ground up.
Starting with sub-floor is it concrete or wood? Why is this important well it plays a very big roll in your underfloor heating system. A concrete floor will absorb heat faster than any heating system can produce heat. Which is why with water based underfloor heating for example. Can often take a long time to heat up as the heating will slowly heat the concrete. And once all the concrete has reached temperature only then will the heating rise upwards. Which is why a suitable insulation is required no matter how much insulation is under the concrete. But we will come back to that. If on the other hand, you have a wooden sub-floor, well wood is a natural insulator. So if you were to miss the insulation it wouldn’t be the end of the world. However, that being said an insulating layer will eliminate any uncertainties and guarantee a high performing underfloor heating system.

Insulation for underfloor heating.

So the importance of insulation is abundantly clear. But which insulation should I choose? Well, the answer to that question is thankfully very simple. If you have a concrete sub-floor you will probably be using a (flexible) tile adhesive to stick your boards down. Now the options available are the XPS insulation boards and the tile backer boards. The tile backer board core is the same material and has the same compression strength as the XPS insulation. The only difference is that the tile backer board has a cement coating either side of the board. Which simply allows you to screw the board down to a wooden sub-floor. So on concrete save yourself the cost and use the XPS insulation board. On a wooden sub-floor, you can use the XPS insulation board and simply stick it down with (flexible) adhesive. However, it maybe less messy and quicker to screw the boards down with specially designed tile backer board washers.

The Heating System.

Your heating system will all come down to how awkwardly shaped your area is. For example, do you need to manipulate the heating around toilets, baths and sinks? And is your area a high heat loss area much like a conservatory. In a bathroom where you do have an awkwardly shaped area, the underfloor heating cable can often achieve the best coverage. However, the mat can have the cable detached from the mesh backing and laid free hand. So almost offers the best of both worlds in the way that you can cover straightforward areas quickly and manipulate the mat where needed. However, Roma Heating offer a free design service if you would like to take advantage of this we can work out exactly what you need.

The Finishing Touches

And last but least, Is tilling the floor. The heating cable can be tiled directly onto with a full bed of adhesive. The adhesive needs to cover the entire cable as the adhesive draws the heat away from the cable ensuring the cable doesn’t burn out. That is why it can often be better to self-level over the heating first. As it, first of all, protects the heating cable from tilling trowels and other sharp objects. And secondly, it creates a very even conduction of heat throughout the floor.


Under Wood & Laminate Heating

Installing heating under wood and laminate works much like under tiles.In fact, you could install the under tile heating system under wood and laminate. With the only difference being that you have to lay the self-leveling compound and must be at a depth of 8-10mm. This is so that the levelling compound can spread the heat evenly through out the floor. Otherwise, you end up with a zebra like effect where the heating is and isn’t placed. This isn’t the case with tiles because the tile and tile adhesive absorb the heat whereas wood and laminate will constantly try and deflect the heat.

However, we also have heating systems that don’t require levelling compounds for under wood and laminate floors. The 150w Heat Foil and the 200w Heat Film.

The Sub-floor & Insulation.

So like heating under tiles, the insulation can and does play a huge roll in the underfloor heating system. For the same reasons, However, with under wood and laminate floors, the insulation is designed for use with floating floors. And is also designed to be comfortably soft under woods and laminates whilst still maintaining a high compression ratio. But not only that the insulation is designed to easily scored so that the cables can be pressed into these scores. This hides the cables from the floor surface so that no pimpling of your floor happens over time. And it also protects the heating system from any sharp or foreign objects from the sub-floor piercing the heating system.