Guide to choosing and installing underfloor heating

Underfloor heating is an increasingly popular option for homes. The trend has particularly taken off in new properties, which are now more frequently being built with underfloor heating as a standard feature.

If you are considering the installation of underfloor heating into a property, The Electrical Guys team has created this guide to underfloor heating. We hope it will help you to understand the benefits of underfloor heating and the types available on the market.

If you have experience with home renovation projects, or work in this industry, we’ve also included a guide to installing underfloor heating yourself.

In this guide, you can find information about:

  • The best underfloor heating types
  • The benefits of underfloor heating
  • Installing electric underfloor heating

Read on to find out more.

The best underfloor heating types

There are two main types of underfloor heating you can choose from, depending on the setup of your home and your personal preference. The main types of underfloor heating are:

Electric underfloor heating – also known as a ‘dry system’

Electric underfloor heating works by heating up mats fitted with heating cables, which are installed under the floor. Dry systems work with all different types of flooring, and there are a range of different options available depending on your requirements. An electric system is the most popular choice of the two, with 69% of underfloor heating owners choosing this option, according to a recent Which? survey.

Water underfloor heating – also known as a ‘wet system’

Water underfloor heating works through a series of pipes that run underneath the floor, which are heated up from the home’s boiler. These systems are slightly more complex to fit, but run off a lower temperature than radiators, ultimately saving on energy bills in comparison to central heating.

The benefits of underfloor heating

No matter what type of underfloor heating you choose, both varieties have a number of benefits that are making it an increasingly popular choice. We have highlighted some of the benefits of underfloor heating for you.

It offers an even distribution of heat
As the whole floor is heated, the warmth is distributed evenly around the room at the same time, instead of coming from one smaller source like a radiator or heater. This means that the whole room heats up at the same time.

A new level of comfort!
One of the most noticeable befits of underfloor heating is its comfort under foot. We’ve all winced on cold winter mornings when we’ve stepped barefoot onto the cold floor, but a warmer floor makes it that little bit easier to get out of bed!

It frees-up wall space
With traditional central heating systems, radiators in the room take up wall space, but with underfloor heating, walls are freed-up and your heating system is hidden. This gives increased opportunities for you to experiment with interior design and create the look you want.

It adds value to the home
As underfloor heating becomes more popular, it becomes more desirable to property owners. Choosing to install underfloor heating may therefore increase the value of your home.

It helps to get rid of cold and dampness
Cold or damp floors have a reputation for housing dust mites. Heated floors help to eradicate any cold or damp and create an environment that is too dry for dust mites to live and breed in.

Installing electric underfloor heating

You may be considering installing electric underfloor heating for yourself, if you’re working on some home improvements, or if you work in the trade. Please bear in mind that you need to be (or need to hire the services of) a qualified electrician to connect the system to the electric mains, and test the system.

Our team has created this step-by-step electric underfloor heating installation guide, which should make the process as simple and easy to follow.

  1. Decide on how much space you intend to cover and take measurements. This will determine how big your cable mats need to be.
  2. Choose your cable mats. There are a number of different varieties that can cater to the size of the room you’re hoping to heat, so make sure your measurements are accurate. The Electrical Guys stocks a range of different underfloor heating cable mats by leading brand Flexel
  3. Make sure you also purchase a thermostat sensor. This will allow you to control the temperature of the heating.
  4. Prepare a flat base on which to lay your underfloor heating. An insulated wood board is a good choice.
  5. Roll out your cable mat onto the base. Do not place heating cable mats under heavy-duty white goods such as washing machines and dishwashers, or under kitchen units.
  6. Trim the mat to fit if it is too large, but make sure to avoid the red heating cable when you’re cutting. You (or the electrician) need to make sure a power source can be accessed to connect the mats up.
  7. Make sure you fit the floor sensor underneath the cable mats, between two heating cables, or as the directions specify.
  8. Fix the cable mats to the floor. Most mats will have adhesive attached to the underside of the mat which should allow you to do this.
  9. Tests should then be made to determine whether the power source and the mat is working correctly. This should also be the responsibility of a qualified electrician.
  10. Once confident that the mat is laid and powered, you can now lay the surfaces on top.

We hope you’ve found our guide to underfloor heating useful, and feel more confident in potentially choosing it for your home, or recommending it to your clients.

If you need any more information about the heating options available to you before choosing underfloor heating, The Electrical Guys also stocks a range of other heating products including central heating and commercial heating products. We also stock a range of radiators for commercial and domestic use, and have created a guide to the best types of radiators to assist our customers in choosing the right product for their needs.