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HPM September 2017

86 U N D E R F L O O R H E AT I N G Stay in control with electric underfloor heating Andrew Stimpson, CEO at Warmup, explains the benefits of installing underfloor heating in the bathroom and reveals which is the most suitable to use There are numerous benefits to installing underfloor heating (UFH) in a bathroom. Underfloor heating is simple and fast to install which means extra “value added” the installer. There is no need for multiple installers to fit it, which can be costly and time consuming, and the installation always guarantees a satisfied customer. For the homeowner, the benefits are undeniable – warm feet, clean and easy to use heating, no bulky radiators that take up wall space and lower running costs. Underfloor heating distributes even heat across the floor at a lower temperature than radiators and, therefore, cuts down on heating bills. What is the best type of UFH for the bathroom? The best type is dependent on the floor finish. However, most bathrooms are tiled and, therefore, the best form of heating is electrical. It minimises the requirement for raising floor levels and it can easily be installed by the flooring installer. What is the best type of floor construction: floating, batten, suspended, screeded or low build-up? Or does it depend on each job? It varies on each job. The job specification such as floor construction type and materials will determine the correct type of heater to suit the requirements. The main consideration before installing UFH is to ensure a stable and rigid subfloor, preferably with insulation to maximum heat distribution into the floor surface. If insulation is not present, insulation boards can easily be retrofitted, with only minor floor level increases. How long does it take to install UFH? It is far quicker to install electric UFH than most traditional forms of heating. The wire can be laid directly below the floor finish. Apart from a qualified electrician, no-one else is required to finish work first before you can complete the installation of the heater. Underfloor heating can be installed effortlessly prior to the floor finish being laid. How much does it cost to install UFH? The cost of installing electric UFH is generally far cheaper than more traditional forms of heating. For example, a 4m2 of electric mat with a thermostat would only cost up to £160. The need for just an electrician, the fast installation time and no requirement to install new pipework or connections to existing heating systems means costs are reduced. Underfloor heating is also highly controllable in individual rooms, resulting in lower running costs than centrally controlled heating systems. What things need to be taken into consideration when ordering and installing an UFH system? The main considerations are the size, shape and layout of the room. It is important to consider fixed installations, as these areas do not require heating. The type of floor finish also plays a significant role in choosing the system since there are different types of heaters designed specifically to perform with certain floor finishes. The correct heater for floor finish is essential. In most cases a heating mat is easiest and quickest to install. However, if the room is an irregular shape and has numerous fixed obstacles, such a toilets and sink pedestals, a loose wire system may be more suitable. Insulation boards are always worth installing where insulation is not present. This cuts heat up time and increases efficiency, reducing running costs. Underfloor heating requires a thermostat which can measure the floor temperature and turn the floor on and off as required to endure energy efficiency. How important are the thermostatic controls for any installation? The modern thermostatic controls for electrical UFH are highly advanced and control the heating automatically. The thermostats are designed to measure floor temperature and they come on and off as required. This makes the systems highly controllable and efficient, not only saving cost for the customer, but providing a comfortable environment when required. Do insulation boards always need installing with UFH? Insulation boards are always recommended to lay down on the subfloor unless sufficient amount of insulation is already present. Insulation boards direct the heat upwards quicker and reduce heat loss into the subfloor. As a result the installation is more efficient and controllable, saving energy and running costs for the customer. Why would you encourage installers to install UFH in bathrooms? There are many advantages for an installer to install UFH in bathrooms. It has become increasingly popular especially in bathrooms for the obvious reason – no-one likes cold tiles. Skilled installers for UFH are highly sought after, so acquiring experience in this field will lead to increased workloads and bigger profits. What are the advantages of UFH over radiators in a bathroom? As mentioned earlier, UFH is highly controllable in individual rooms resulting in lower running costs than centrally controlled heating systems. Another advantage is that the installer can generally install the system themselves without needing to employ outside tradespeople, apart from an electrician. The installation of UFH is cheaper and easier than radiators. In smaller bathrooms where wall space is limited, there is no need to worry about where to place a radiator. www.hpmmag.com September 2017 enquiry number 150 Gone are the days of cold feet in bathrooms as UFH continues to be a popular choice in homes


HPM September 2017
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