Bear feet walking on a warm heated laminate floor

8 Helpful Underfloor Heating Installation Tips

The demand for renewable energy is increasing, pushing the underfloor heating market exponentially to reach 3.45 billion euro by 2023.

That’s not a surprise.

It’s the perfect solution for heating up any space in your home. You are able to confine it to your bathroom or your room. But you can also install it for the whole house.

If you’re more of a DIY type, you can do the underfloor heating installation yourself!

The manufacturer should give you a manual that you can follow. On top of that, follow these tips to ensure a swift and safe installation!

Prepare the Materials and Manuals

Before you start the underfloor heating installation, make sure you have CAD drawings and instruction manuals with you.

You need the CAD drawings to figure out where to place the important parts and where the pipes will run in a wet system. Sometimes, they may run through a wall. If so, then it’s your job to drill the holes for them.

Keep in mind that a single loop requires two holes – one for the supply and one for the return.

The manuals give you step-by-step instructions on how you’re going to lay out the manifold and pipework. If there’s anything that leaves you in doubt, clarify it with the manufacturer.

Remove Dust and Debris in the Subfloor

Cleaning is a part of the preparation, and you should do it before laying out the pipes. Although the pipes in wet systems are durable, you wouldn’t want to put them at risk.

Sweep the subfloor to get rid of dust and debris. Jagged edges may damage the pipes, so it would be best to cut or sand them down. Fill any dents to have a clean and level subfloor.

Remember to do these after you have drilled the holes.

Decide Where to Place the Manifold

In wet systems, you have to place the manifold first. If you have CAD drawings, you’ll know where to put it.

If you don’t have CAD drawings, however, you have to decide yourself. When choosing a mounting site, consider the weight of the manifold and the pipes that will connect to it.

An underfloor heating installation in a single room can have the manifold in the same room. If you want a multi-room system, the pipes will have to run through walls or doorways.

More often than not, we recommend placing the manifold under the stairs or in the storage area. The hallway is not a good mounting site, as the system can’t regulate the temperature in it properly.

Choose a Suitable Flooring

Your finished flooring might have a maximum temperature restriction, so it’s important to consider that to avoid potential heating hazards.

Wood, carpet, and vinyl can take up to 27C. Keep in mind laying down a laminate or a carpet can slow down the heat output.

As for your choice of wood, confirm with your supplier first if it’s compatible with underfloor heating systems. There are also engineered timber boards that are more stable. Still, you can only heat these to 27C.

Other materials such as tile and stone can handle a little higher temperature at 29C.

Stone, porcelain, terracotta, slate, and ceramic provide higher heat output. Thus, these are better choices.

Have Proper Underfloor Insulation

Adding insulation will improve the efficiency of your underfloor heating installation.

The system itself can generate 40C to 65C, which puts the floor temperature at 23C to 32C.

This is lower than the output of radiators, which also means lower costs. However, this doesn’t mean that you should skimp on underfloor insulation.

Underfloor insulation can help you get the most out of your system. It prevents heat escaping downward the subfloor and foundation. Hence, it takes the heat above the floor, right where you want it.

Also, it has significant effects on the time it takes to warm up a room. You won’t waste heat by having it go somewhere else. Over time, you’ll notice serious savings in energy and cost.

Calculate Heat Loss

People often don’t consider getting a heat loss calculation because it costs extra.

However, an underfloor heating system is typically enough to warm up a room or a house on its own. There are factors that come into play regarding its capabilities.

You have to look at a room or house’s insulation. Poor insulation, for example, hinders its efficiency when temperatures outside drop.

Have a professional measure how much heat you lose. This will show you how much you need to keep a room in the desired temperature. Depending on the results, you may need to add insulation. Or you may also require fewer cables, which reduces cost.

Test the System Before the Final Floor Covering

After all the stages of underfloor heating installation, test the system to make sure it works. Better yet, ask an electrician to do it for you. Make sure to do this before you lay the final floor finish.

There are plenty of homeowners who are successful in installing a heating system. But this doesn’t mean that nothing can go wrong.

For safety measures, have a professional do the testing for you.

Turn It On After the Underfloor Heating Installation

After completing the steps, keep testing the system to reach your desired temperature. Note that it may take 12 to 24 hours before your bathroom or house warms up at first.

On the first day, turn on your underfloor heating system to its lowest setting. Leave it this way for about three days. Over the next few days, increase the level bit by bit until you arrive at the temperature you want.

Remember to consider what type of flooring you have before you crank it up to the highest setting.

Consider Other Bathroom Heating Ideas

Do you need more ideas for heating up your bathroom? You are not confined to an underfloor heating system. There are other options, such as heating panels.

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