Image credit: Resin Floors North East
Underfloor heating can leave many people puzzled when it comes to ascertaining how they work and how they can benefit those who have them installed. Here we’ve taken the 10 most common questions concerning underfloor heating and provided the answers:
- What are my options when it comes to underfloor heating?
There are two types of underfloor heating available, electric and wet. Electric underfloor heating consists of heat mats, packed with electric wires that warm up once connected to the mains electric supply and thermostat.
Image credit: William Beard Flooring
Wet underfloor heating utilises plastic pipes under the floor that heat up using warm water from the central heating system.
Image credit: Llama Developments
- Where can I buy underfloor heating?
Your local DIY store probably stocks underfloor heating kits that you can pick up off the shelf, but we recommend that you speak to an expert, such as The Underfloor Heating Store and visit their showroom to witness the benefits of such a system for yourself.
- How much does underfloor heating cost to install?
Prices vary depending on whether you opt for an electric or a wet system, but you can buy electric heat mat kits from £74.99 or a wet underfloor kit from £239.99. Then there’s the cost of installation, tools and labour for electricians and plumbers: put aside £400 as a starting point.
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- How much does underfloor heating cost to run?
This varies on the size of the room and the system used, but you are looking at an average cost of £248 per year, based on 25m underfloor heating running for four hours everyday for a year.
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- Which underfloor heating system is best?
Both systems can heat the room to the same temperature. However, bear in mind that a wet system is cheaper to run than an electric even though it requires more work to install.
Wet systems are also more energy efficient, a traditional central heating system requires the water it uses to be heated to 80°C, whereas an underfloor heating system requires just 45°-60°C and will still heat a room to a comfortable 21°C, with no cold spots. This will save you money in the long run and reduce your carbon footprint.
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- How long does underfloor heating take to warm up?
This all depends on the thickness of the floor, the insulation you lay down and how well insulated the room itself is. The general consensus estimates that it takes around 30 minutes to heat a wooden floor but can take a few hours with an un-insulated, concrete floor.
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- Can I install underfloor heating myself?
Anyone can install underfloor heating and treat it much like any DIY project. You will, however, require a qualified electrician or plumber to connect your system to the mains electricity or central heating system.
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- What size of kit do I need for my room?
The Underfloor Heating Store recommends that you buy an underfloor heating kit that covers between 80-85% of the free floor space in the room to reduce the occurrence of cold spots. It is also important that you do not order too much if you are using rolled heating mats because you cannot simply cut the cables.
Image credit: DDWH Architects
- What floors can underfloor heating be used with?
You can install underfloor heating beneath most flooring solutions, tiles, vinyl, laminate and even carpet can all be laid over underfloor heating, just bear in mind that better insulation is required for thicker floors.
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- Can I put furniture on top of underfloor heating?
Most free-standing furniture is fine to place on top of an underfloor heating system. Just be careful when placing items such as thick rugs or dog beds in the room because they can trap heat and cause issues.
Now you know the answers to the most commonly asked questions, it’s time to get your very own kit laid in the conservatory, in the kitchen or even the bedroom and enjoy toasty floors underfoot!