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Pros and cons to underfloor heating?
5 Answers from MyBuilder Bathroom Fitters
Dudley • Member since 30 Oct 2008 • 111 jobs, 96% positive feedback
dont use under real wood under tiles or laminate ok, only think to remember you need to use a thermostat to control temp
Answered 17th Feb 2011
Cons - it will add around £500 onto the overall budget for an average bathroom (the kit itself and additional labour involved, including extra time needed to tile over the top of the heater properly. Additionally, if the heater, probe and thermostat are not fitted correctly. there is every chance it may fail and you either have to leave and forget about it or pull all the tiles and start again.
Pros - tiled bathroom floors with underfloor heating are much more pleasant to use, the bathroom is likely to wear better and be easier to keep clean (especially the floor grout), modern thermostat-controllers are easy to program so that your bathroom is only warm and cosy when you need it to be (not just on all day wasting money), as heated floors become more popular they are becoming a selling point highlighted in estate agent's details
My qualification - I've been fitting U/F heating in bathrooms for over ten years... none have failed and nearly everyone who didn't have it fitted, then wished they did....
Answered 17th Feb 2011
You can purchase a kit for laying under laminate. I fitted a Warm up kit from Topps Tiles for a customer and it worked well. Had to use a fire retardant underlay and the kit consumed about 150w/metre, ithick 180w in total.
As with virtually all the kits it uses a floor probe thermostat and not a wall thermostat, as in most cases the thermostat probe connects back to the thermostat/programmer and you overide its internal stat. The programmer has to be fitted outside of the bathroom, I have fitted many kits over the years mostly under tiles and some under wet room floors to help dry off the tiles quickly, the heating wire are wrapped in earth screening, so if damaged with quickly blow the MCB or trip an RCD, I usually double earth for safety. The 17th Edition Wiring Regulations has a list of stipulations regarding fitting electric underfloor kits that the installer should follow as well as the installation instructions. The programmer is very flexible and rather like a programmable rooom thermostat, it has a comfort level and a heating level. The warm up programmer will also tell you how much energy you have used. On solid floors you must add a layer of insulation underneath the wires or mats, usually you ar offered 6mm board, but if possible go for 10-12mm, thicker is better, the floor warm up time is halved. I have never had any complaints about the performance kits or running costs. They are not very easy to install and need careful planning and they make tiling on top much more difficult, i often use a flexible leveling compound on top of the wires to avoid air pockets and give me a good surface to tile on. I often go for the wire system rather than the mats as they are thinner. In most bathrooms the floors are a very small area so max power is 200-300watts = 3 to 5p/hour when in use.
Answered 17th Feb 2011
Accrington • Member since 16 Dec 2010 • 28 jobs, 100% positive feedback
Definitely the number one pro would be comfort as radiators heat with radiant/convected heat the heat mostly goes straight to the ceilingand this part of the room is generally the warmest with the floor being the coldest. With underfloor heating the floor is heated first so stays the warmest part of the room instead of the ceiling. The main effect of this is that your feet are nice and warm and if your feet are warm you are warm. You are not wasting energy heating the area above your head before you get to feel the benefit.
Underfloor heating, generally more complicated to install having to work arround other issues depending on the type of room it is being installed in.
There are different problems depending on the type of system (electric or water)
but both are well worth giving serious consideration during any refurbishment.
It has happened to me a couple of times other people have drilled into the floor damaging the under floor heating, both were electric systems and are tricky to repair but both were repaired successfully and carried on to work with no further problems.
Answered 18th Feb 2011
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