Underfloor heating.

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kwackers
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Underfloor heating.

Postby kwackers » 19 Dec 2017, 12:46pm

Does anyone have this? Probably more importantly, do you have it and can compare the before and after?

I'm about to start a major bout of redecorating and am tempted to fit it.
I can fit it myself but I'm after some 'honest' opinions rather than the sales pitch and fake reviews that seem to dominate the internet these days.

In particular answers to the following:
Does it work? (i.e. how does it compare to radiators)
Does it save money?
Did you have it retrofitted? If so how did you handle stuff like existing kitchens and bathrooms?

I can only fit it a room at a time which possibly means having a step between them. In particular the kitchen and bathroom are unlikely to have it fitted for a while unless there's a way to retro fit to these rooms easily.

The floor of my house is concrete so it'd need to sit on an insulator of some description. There are a number of companies selling slim panels that supposedly insulate and hold the pipes in place. (I'm thinking of using my existing boiler rather than electric under heating).

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Spinners
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Re: Underfloor heating.

Postby Spinners » 19 Dec 2017, 1:00pm

My only experience was that our recent holiday rental cottage in Brittany had it built in from new and I was ever so impressed!
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Vorpal
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Re: Underfloor heating.

Postby Vorpal » 19 Dec 2017, 1:38pm

kwackers wrote:Does anyone have this? Probably more importantly, do you have it and can compare the before and after?

I'm about to start a major bout of redecorating and am tempted to fit it.
I can fit it myself but I'm after some 'honest' opinions rather than the sales pitch and fake reviews that seem to dominate the internet these days.

In particular answers to the following:
Does it work? (i.e. how does it compare to radiators)
Does it save money?
Did you have it retrofitted? If so how did you handle stuff like existing kitchens and bathrooms?

I can only fit it a room at a time which possibly means having a step between them. In particular the kitchen and bathroom are unlikely to have it fitted for a while unless there's a way to retro fit to these rooms easily.

The floor of my house is concrete so it'd need to sit on an insulator of some description. There are a number of companies selling slim panels that supposedly insulate and hold the pipes in place. (I'm thinking of using my existing boiler rather than electric under heating).


I have electric underfloor heating in two rooms, and I would love to have it in my entire house. We've had in our bathroom since we moved here (it's common in Norway). Mini V's bedroom needed to be redone, so I investigated various possibilities when I redid her room. What I found is that most people in Norway save between 10 and 20% installing electric underfloor heating in an insulated room (versus electric radiators). It's colder here, so the savings are likely smaller, there. I can't tell what we might have saved because I improved the insulation at the same time that I installed underfloor heating.

I used Veria Clickmat, which is similar to Pergo Quickheat. I originally selected the Pergo one, but it wasn't readily available in my area, so I picked a similar solution that was. I selected it for 3 reasons:
-it's thin, so I wasn't going to lose much height in the room (low ceilings) and transitions to other rooms is easy
-it can be installed under wood or laminate (many underfloor heating systems are designed for tile & stone)
-it did not require an electrician (some installations theoretically have to be done by a certified electrician in Norway)

I'm very happy with it. It was easy to install and it works well. Mini V's room used to be cold all the time, and most particularly, her floor was really cold, and now it is comfortable. I think it gives a much more even temperature compared to the radiator we used to have in there.

I only put it in in August, so I don't have any idea about durability, yet.

I think piped underfloor heating is the most effective if it is installed into a concrete floor. A couple of years ago, I helped a friend of mine insulate her floor for piped underfloor heating. She took the old concrete floor out, we insulated (it was a layer of insulating panels, topped by these panels that were meant to hold the pipes in place), her plumber installed the piping over the insulation, then she had the new floor poured. I think it was a special material for underfloor heating. Her uncle is a contractor, doing installation like that. I gather he poured her new floor. She was following his advice on the matter.

Tackling it one room at a time is likely much easier with the electric heating mats I've used. I plan on doing more rooms with them as we redecorate.
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Paulatic
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Re: Underfloor heating.

Postby Paulatic » 19 Dec 2017, 7:36pm

I helped my neighbour lay some. An old house he’s being working through it room by room insulating the outside walls and under the floors. Fortunately they are stud walls and wooden floors. I would say the insulation, Celotex 50 - 100 mm, has made a huge difference.
In his living room and in the bathroom we laid underfloor heating. A real diy job by laying a ply board and routing a groove into it then laying the pipe into the groove. Protected the pipe with a foil tape and laid tiles over the top. We T eed them off from the radiator circuit but with their own isolation valve.
I’ve noticed they don’t always have the underfloor heating and often just seem to keep using the radiators. This might be because the living room is large and having the underfloor heating on alone is not enough by itself. A closer spacing could have helped with this. When the underfloor is on though it feels lovely underfoot.
I did consider underfloor myself but because I use a ASHP for heat I was advised that I would need to set it off a day or two before the cold day it was needed on. I.e. not switch on today and off tomorrow system. I imagine direct electric eliminates this.
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dodger
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Re: Underfloor heating.

Postby dodger » 19 Dec 2017, 8:13pm

My brother installed electric underfloor heating in his kitchen and utility with thin insulating panels under and quarry tiles over. It is heaven to walk on in your bare feet or socks and takes the chill off the room. I don't know running cost, although you can work that out from the wattage you install.
It was relatively low cost, quick and simple to lay and only raised the floor by around 30mm.

kwackers
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Re: Underfloor heating.

Postby kwackers » 19 Dec 2017, 9:06pm

dodger wrote:I don't know running cost, although you can work that out from the wattage you install.

I'm assuming (hoping!) that they don't need to run flat out full time. There's also the insulation rating of the floor to consider.

It did seem quite complex to work out and required good figures for the current system (which I don't have) which was why I figured if someone had already done it they could give me an idea of whether it was cosier and cheaper.

PDQ Mobile
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Re: Underfloor heating.

Postby PDQ Mobile » 20 Dec 2017, 11:03am

It is my layman's opinion that unless you can insulate very, very well electric powered is prohibitively expensive to run.
Off peak supply absolutely essential.

A nieghbour has a older electric installation that he does not use on running cost grounds and he is quite wealthy.

The really big advantage of a fluid system (pipes) on the other hand is that it works well with low input temperature.
Ideal for solar, or ground source/air source heated water.
Input temperatures as low as 25 or 30c are ok. Though a conventional boiler is also fine.
And such a system can be very thermally efficient.
Ideally the pipework should be set in a very well, all round, insulated slab that stores the heat. Often not an option on anything other than a full renovation.
Though other high tech solutions are, I think, available

Solid flooring (stone, tiles) is easier than wood, and it turns a "cold" floor into something quite delightful.
Wood needs to be of very low moisture content before fixing or all sorts of shrinkage/warping problems can occur.
You need someone with experience, to use wood I think.

The living with such a system is very cosy. An ambience of well being.
The heat rises in slow eddies throughout the room.

Just my humble twopenneth.
And I am not up on latest technologies and developments!

reohn2
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Re: Underfloor heating.

Postby reohn2 » 20 Dec 2017, 11:21am

I've no advice to offer on underfloor heating,other than it being good,but only from what I've read and heard.
But good insulation beneath it is a must with both suspended and solid concrete floors,so all the heat comes upward into the room, I suppose a solid concrete floor would hold heat longer as a heat sink but take longer to warm up from cold.
As an aside when I was completely refurbing our current house I needed a lot of 100 and 150mm Kingspan sheeting and found a company in South Wales that dealt in secondhand Kingspan/Celotex.
The 8x4 sheets were what was left on site after big building projects,some had small corners knocked off or dings in them or were a bit muddy,delivery was either free or really cheap,can't remember which.
Anyway they saved me quite a bit of mular :D
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Mick F
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Re: Underfloor heating.

Postby Mick F » 20 Dec 2017, 11:37am

No real and recent experience of underfloor heating except for the early 1970s when we were not long married. We rented a married quarter in Rosyth, Fife, and it had electric underfloor heating in the kitchen and hall. We tried it despite being warned by neighbours that it was prohibitively expensive to run ...................... and they were right! :shock: :shock:

Despite that, if and when we re-do our bathroom, we'll be fitting underfloor heating.
The bathroom floor is a couple of inches lower than the doorway, so it's a step down. I could raise the floor to the correct level with some sort of heating beneath. Solid concrete base.

We have an almost inexhaustible amount of wood-fueled hot water, so we could use water pipes via a thermostatic pump. Sometimes we have so much hot water, we have to put on the central heating to stop the system boiling.

Electric heating would be simpler as I wouldn't have to cut into the existing plumbing, though the hot water idea has a great deal merit.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Underfloor heating.

Postby Vorpal » 20 Dec 2017, 12:39pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:It is my layman's opinion that unless you can insulate very, very well electric powered is prohibitively expensive to run.
Off peak supply absolutely essential.

A nieghbour has a older electric installation that he does not use on running cost grounds and he is quite wealthy.

The really big advantage of a fluid system (pipes) on the other hand is that it works well with low input temperature.
Ideal for solar, or ground source/air source heated water.
Input temperatures as low as 25 or 30c are ok. Though a conventional boiler is also fine.


Electric systems have changed a great deal in recent years. And insulation has become better, as well. It is easier to insulate in less space, and many electric floor heating systems now come with integrated insulation, or are purchased as heating & insulation together. The mats that I used have insulation and heating integrated in the same mat. The only thing I had to do in preparation is level the floor, and install a vapour barrier. I am certain that the underfloor heating is cheaper to run than the radiator was. The underfloor heating is lower wattage, but does a better job heating. What I don't know is how much of the savings on electricity is due to the change in system, and how much is due to the improvements in insulation I made.

Our electric system is low temperature. If the floor is set to 20 or 21 degrees C, the room is usually at 18. When Mini V was sick a couple of weeks ago, she turned it up to 25, and the room was about 23.

The floor in our bathroom gets warmer compared to room temperature. The cat likes to sit in there on cold days :D
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom