Matting or loose wire? should you use insulation board? why use underfloor heating in the first place? All you questions and more answered!
Loose wire or Matting?
There are two popular types of electric underfloor heating for use with floor tiles, Matting and loose wire. The main factor driving your choice is the shape of the room as matting can't be cut or shaped and so is ideal for square rooms. For awkward shapes loose wire allows you to contour the wire in just about any shape you require. If in doubt, choose a loose wire kit.
Once you have made your selection and fitted your floor, both options are safe, maintenance free and will provide controllable, overall warmth.
Should i use insulation board below underfloor heating?
The core purpose of insulation board is to force heat up through the floor, rather than down into the substrate. However away from this basic manufacturers instruction there are other things you should consider before spending the extra cash.
1. Substrate - If your floor is wooden (as it is in many bathrooms) you don't really need to use an insulation board. This is because wood isn't a good conductor of heat, its actually an insulator. However you do need to follow our instructions for laying tiles on wooden floors
2. How new\warm is your house? - If you are in a new, well insulated house you may 'get away' without insulation boards, even on a concrete substrate, this judgement is less of a science than an art so if in doubt choose to use a board, alternatively consult a heating engineer to calculate the heating requirements for your room.
3. Expectations - Are you just looking for a warm floor or do you wish to use underfloor heating as a primary heat source? As a guide if your room complies with standards in current building regulations you can use underfloor heating as a primary heat source but you should use an insulation board.
Laying underfloor heating using a loose wire kit
- Paint the floor with the primer supplied, use a small (gloss style) foam roller.
- Mark out even spaced lines with a pencil to give you a guide to where the cables go. Remember you do not have to heat every nook and cranny. A 100mm gap from the wall is acceptable.
- Lay out the cable in loops and temporarily tape into position using small bits of the silver tape supplied. Remember to start your run at the point the thermostat is positioned.
- Once happy with the layout, completely tape over the entire length of the cable to secure into position.
- Apply flexible tile adhesive using a notched trowel in the normal way and lay the tiles. Take care not to damage the cable.
- Grout using a flexible grout.
For further information, see the manufacturers leaflets and instructions below.