Ahh, electric underfloor heating. It’s a bit of a hot topic at the moment, and it’s still one of the more popular heating options for modern homes, or people going through remodels who happen to get cold feet a lot. This is mainly because it’s completely invisible once it’s installed and heats your home from the ground up, giving you more options for decorating, cleaning and warming your home. So, this winter as the chill starts to set in, we wanted to share with you some of the pros, and the cons of electric underfloor heating, so you can decide if it’s the right solution for you.
What Is Electric Underfloor Heating?
In case you haven’t heard of it before, underfloor heating is pretty much what it says on the tin. It is a method of heating your home that lives underneath the floors, rather than relying on radiators on the walls. There are generally two varieties – ‘wet’ underfloor heating (that uses hot water pipes) and electric underfloor heating, which uses heating elements not unlike those you find in your oven. A thin layer of filler is then spread on top of the heating mechanism, and this is what allows you to get an even spread of heat. Insulation board is always laid under the heating elements for a really energy-efficient system, and the temperature is usually controlled room by room with a thermostat on the wall.
But as with anything in life, there are some pros and some cons to it.
- Space Saving: The main advantage of electric underfloor heating is that it is very slim and space saving. That’s compared to both standard radiators and wet underfloor heating. The electric mesh lies underflooring completely flat, unlike traditional piped underfloor heating. This means that floors don’t need to be sunk or raised to accommodate bulky pipes, saving a huge amount of space.
- Even Heating: Because the heating elements are distributed underneath the entirety of your floor, you will get a much more even heat in the room. So not only will it keep your feet warm in the winter, but it will ensure there are no cold or superhot spots in your rooms.
- Zoned Heating: Because electric underfloor heating is controlled room by room, it allows you to effectively ‘zone’ your home into different areas and heat only the ones you want. So for example if you know you want the bedroom warm in the mornings and evenings, but don’t need it heated during the day, you can program it for that. Similarly, you can program the living room to be heated during the hours you use it, and automatically turn off when you don’t need it. This can be both cost and energy saving.
- Long Heat Up Times: Unlike piped heating or electric radiators, electric underfloor heating takes a long time to heat up fully. This means that you either need to turn on your heating hours before you need it, or leave it on permanently through the colder months, both of which mean slightly higher power bills for you.
- More Involved Installation: Unlike your standard carpet or laminate flooring, electric underfloor heating is a much more complicated product to install. Rather than replacing the top layer of floor, you are instead having to dig up the base of the floor so that the insulated bases and heating instruments can be installed properly. This means you will need to be prepared for the room to be out of commission for a bit longer.
- Increased Insulation: In order for you to have electric underfloor heating installed, you will need to invest in a good base. You can’t just put it down on top of a concrete slab. Underfloor heating mats have to be installed on top of a highly insulated base. If they aren’t, they won’t provide you with much heat at all in colder weather – particularly if it’s your primary heating method.
At Floor24 we are experts in floor installation – so it’s safe to say we know what we’re doing. We also partner with a range of trusted electricians to deliver high-quality installations every time. Our team loves everything about flooring, and electric underfloor heating is just the kind of challenge we enjoy! We pride ourselves in providing tailored advice that will help you make the best choice for you. For more information about electric underfloor heating, or to find out if it would work for you, just get in touch with us today.