How To Install Underfloor Heating

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An underfloor heating system can be an ideal and cost-effective way of keeping your home warm. It can be easily installed yet does require a fair amount of preparation and time.

Even before installing an underfloor heating system, there are other ways to reduce heat loss in your home which can prove easy and budget-friendly.

Reduce Heat Loss

Before you even install underfloor heating or any sort of heating system, think about the ways you can reduce heat loss in your home.

There could be easy ways to reduce the amount of energy you need to heat your home which may help you decide which heating system you need.

After all, the more you can reduce heat loss, the more money you can save in the long term.

In a home renovation, there are several options that you should consider. Most new-build houses are built with insulation in mind yet there may still be some options to look into.


Retain the heat in your home by insulating the cavity wall and solid wall. The heat may also be lost through your loft and floors so with the proper insulation you can find it easier to heat your home efficiently.

Triple/Double Glazing

The windows can also be susceptible to heat loss, especially in an older home. Investing in primary, double, or even triple glazing can return your investment and then some over time.

Eliminating Draughts

To make your home draught-proof you would be advised to look into sealing any gaps such as brush strips at the bottom of any external doors. Thermal curtains and blinds can also help retain heat as can a rubber strip when added to a window frame.

For gaps in your frame-to-wall joints or skirting boards, look to airtight silicone which can close up the draught.

Choose The Right System

How To Install Underfloor Heating (1)

There are two primary water-based underfloor heating systems that can be used in your home; screed and overfloor

Overfloor System

An overfloor system only takes half an hour to heat up and Wundatherm underfloor heating is renowned for its aluminium covering which spreads the heating across your floor finish.

The material cost for the underfloor heating system would be more expensive than the screed system, yet the cost of a retro installation is reduced as it is much less labour intensive and doesn’t require new screed. It can also be deemed a DIY job.

Screed System

A screed system is buried in screed (a type of cement) up to 6 inches beneath your floor finish and can take between six and 72 hours to complete heating your home. The cost of underfloor heating materials is relatively low.

However, the total cost of a retro-fit screed installation can be much more, due to the cost of ripping and digging up the existing floor and relaying the screed. This extra cost for material and labour should be taken into account.

Pipe Diameter/Layout

When you are installing underfloor heating systems in your home, one of your primary considerations should be the pipe diameter. With a smaller diameter pipe, the pipe centres will need to be closer together and with more piping, you can expect a higher cost.

For instance, a 10 mm diameter pipe can only deliver a maximum recommended length of 40 metres for one loop, or approximately 4m².

This is compared to a 16mm diameter pipe and 100 metres for one loop, or approximately 15m² of heated flooring. Throughout your home, that added cost of piping can soon add up.

Floor Preparation

Ensuring that your floor is fully prepared is an essential part of your underfloor heating installation.

Firstly, they must be clean and rid of any damp, oil, or grease as well as free of any debris such as paint or dust. This is to ensure that the adhesive has a dry surface to fully adhere to.

Get out your spirit level and check various parts of the floor to ensure that it is flat level, and above all, stable.

Failure to prepare your floor could mean that your installation is doomed before you have effectively begun. If you are in any doubt as to what the installation would involve then further information is available to put your mind at rest.

Room Preparation

It is essential to check the floors in every room that you intend to use the heating floor system. Treat every room the same by ensuring that each one is free of damp, oil, or grease and that the floor is level and clear of any debris.

Should you fail to make sure that even one room is suitable for the underfloor heating system then you could scupper the entire job.

Heating System Installation

After you have checked and prepared each floor in each room, you should be ready to install the heating system. Should you have a copy of your pipe layout to hand, part of your preparation can be simply checking it so you have a good idea of where the pipes will go before you begin.

We also offer a free layout design with every single one of our heating systems. Before installation, do your research by reading our factsheet for the in-depth information you need.

Should this be your first installation of an overfloor heating system, lay the boards without any adhesive so you can that they fit together effortlessly. If they require any cuts, you can perform these now so the boards fill the space.

Now you are ready to lift each board and bond them individually to the subfloor. Give them the relevant time to bond then you can install the pipework.

Begin from the manifold then work the pipe into the channels in the floorboards just as the pipe layout drawing.

The plumber you have appointed can connect the manifold to the boiler though you can do this yourself. Further information on the manifold is available so you have an idea of what it entails and how it works.

Pressure Testing

Once your heating system has been installed, you need to perform a pressure test. This is to ensure that the installation was successful and that no leaks have been caused by damaged pipes which would expose the system as vulnerable.

The pressure test would help you identify any leaks so they can be repaired or replaced in good time before any further work. Any lacklustre connections to the manifold can be spotted early as they will begin to weep so this can be addressed too.

Zone Your Heating System

One important factor to consider is adding smart controls to your heating system as you can specify which rooms you want to heat and by how much. Call the team for more information or simply read further information about smart controls

Final Floor Finishes

With your heating system installed, pressure tested and appropriately zoned, you can apply your final floor finish. There are certain guidelines that you should follow for your floor finish which include ensuring that you do not exceed a total resistance of 2.5TOG.

Check the TOG ratings of your desired underlay and carpet before you put them down. Remember, the lower the resistance, the higher the output you will achieve.

The final floor finish is the last step to your heating system installation so you will want to choose wisely. In-depth information can be found on our factsheet for the different types of floor finish and how you can install them properly.

Final Thoughts

A Wundatherm underfloor heating system could be ideal for your home, even if it would prove to be a renovation project. Ensure that you check the pipe diameter first to keep your material and running costs lower and check that the floor is level and clean before installing.

The final floor finish is also important as a low resistance will result in a high output. However, there are other cost-effective ways of reducing heat loss in your home too which are well worth considering.

Contact us for further information on how to keep your home warm and cosy.

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