How to install underfloor heating
Why install underfloor heating?
Installing underfloor heating in your property offers a huge range of benefits. Not only can you walk around during winter without needing to don your fluffy slippers, it is also incredibly cost effective, energy efficient and helps you save space that would otherwise be occupied with radiators or other heating appliances.
Apart from its space-saving benefits, underfloor heating also distributes heat much more effectively throughout a room than other forms of heating, which only heat the air in the immediate vicinity. Installing underfloor heating for yourself can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. We walk you through the process of installing underfloor heating in your property.
Step 1: Preparation
Any type of renovation work requires preparation, and installing underfloor heating is no different. Here is the preparation work that you will need to do first:
- Pull up and remove any existing flooring
- Ensure that your subfloor is cleared of all debris. This will prevent any damage to the pipes when laid.
- In many cases, a damp proof membrane will need to be installed over the subfloor. If you are unsure, it is best to consult an underfloor heating expert like ourselves.
- (Wet underfloor heating systems only) A suitable location for the manifold must be chosen. This is the central control hub for your underfloor heating.
Step 2: Lay underfloor heating insulation
The thickness and type of insulation can vary, so we recommend that you consult an expert for advice regarding this step. The insulation layer will be sealed to the edges of the wall to ensure that no liquid screed penetrates through to the subfloor.
Step 3: Install the manifold (Wet underfloor heating systems only)
Before you start laying the pipes of your wet underfloor heating system, you should ensure that your manifold is installed in a suitable place, on a sturdy wall that can tolerate the weight of the unit and connected pipes. The manifold is the connected to the existing water supply.
If you are installing electric underfloor heating, you will require a qualified electrician to connect your underfloor heating to the mains.
Step 4: Lay pipe grips
Now that the foundation is in place, it is time to start laying the pipework. To ensure that your pipes remain fixed in position, you can use a variety of methods to achieve this, like pipe positioning panels or grip rails. Grip rails should be laid out at a 90° to the direction of the piping.
Step 5: Lay pipework
This step will be easier if you have already planned the layout of your pipe network in advance. If you do not have a design to work from, then piping should follow a snakelike pattern at 200mm intervals.
Remember, in a wet underfloor heating system, both ends of the pipework will need to connect back to the manifold.
Step 6: Installing liquid screed
Now that your pipework is ready and everything is properly connected, you can install the liquid screed over the top. Liquid screed is superior to other traditional screeds, as it is specially developed to ensure the best thermal conductivity.
At Wright Minimix, we have developed our own self-levelling Wrightflow liquid screed designed to dry within 48 hours. It also has a reduced risk of cracking and is quick to install whilst offering excellent durability and conductivity.
Step 7: Lay down your flooring
Once the liquid screed is fully cured, you can go about laying down your flooring of choice. Switch on your underfloor heating and relish the feeling of warmth underfoor!
At Wright Minimix, we are your one-stop-shop for all things concrete, including bespoke liquid screed. If you need assistance installing an underfloor heating system, our team are here to help. Get in touch today on 0117 958 2090 to discuss your requirements.