Steve Harris, Technical Support Engineer for Heating and Cooling at Wavin, offers his advice on installing underfloor heating systems.
One of the key benefits of underfloor heating is its simplicity, and it is for this reason that you do not need a wealth of plumbing and heating experience to lay and secure an underfloor heating system. You should ensure, however, that all electrical works and boiler connections are carried out by a qualified tradesperson so to guarantee the system’s integrity.
There are three main types of underfloor heating installations – staple systems, system plates and panel systems. Panel systems work best in retrofit projects because they can be fitted on top of existing flooring. By contrast, staple systems and system plates are laid on top of floor installation and screeded.
You can apply any type of screed to both staple systems and system plates, but liquid flowing screed is recommended to ensure optimum system performance. The depth of screed required will vary depending on exactly which screed you use.
However, in systems where the floor installation has pre-cut channels to hold the pipe, less screed is needed. These systems can be installed, and dried, more quickly than other systems, particularly handy if you’re working to a deadline.
Generally, it takes no more than a day to lay the pipework for an underfloor heating system. Of course this can vary depending on the number of circuits required and the size of the property, but it is nonetheless a time efficient process.
It will take longer to fit underfloor heating within a wooden joisted system as you’ll need to fit additional support to existing panels and notch the joists.
Contrary to popular belief, installing underfloor heating as part of a renovation is no more complicated than new build installations.
In most instances, any existing flooring will need to be lifted to increase its insulation value, so in theory it isn’t more complicated in a renovation.
If you want to simplify the process, you can install underfloor heating directly on top of the existing floor, however you may need to alter door heights and lift skirting boards to accommodate this.
This will have a knock on effect on occupant safety, especially if you’re adjusting floor heights by stairs as this can change step heights and potentially cause a trip hazard for residents.
Wavin’s Hep2O underfloor heating systems are made from high quality insulation boards specifically manufactured to withstand years of footfall. If there is a leak, an easy to install Hep2O push-fit fitting can rectify it, giving you added reassurance when installing underfloor heating.
Furthermore, all Hep2O underfloor heating products are manufactured under a quality management system which is approved to BS EN ISO 9001:2008. The heating and cooling pipe and the Hep2O push-fit fitting are guaranteed for 100 years and 50 years respectively.
For more information on Wavin’s Hep2O product range click here.