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  • FIRST POST
    • jscott08
    • By jscott08 31st Aug 17, 5:19 PM
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    jscott08
    Advice on fitting electric underfloor heating
    • #1
    • 31st Aug 17, 5:19 PM
    Advice on fitting electric underfloor heating 31st Aug 17 at 5:19 PM
    My flat has no central heating so i want to install electric underfloor heating. Ideally i would like 3 separate zones that could be controlled independently - bathroom (taking in to account where the shower will be), bedroom, and kitchen/ lounge (with the heating not going under the kitchen units). The picture attached shows the zones i would like. How easy would this be for me to fit under laminate flooring, and a small strip under tiles in the bathroom? I've fit laminate floors before with no issues and I would be getting an electrician to connect the heating up to the mains.

Page 1
    • fezster
    • By fezster 31st Aug 17, 5:57 PM
    • 215 Posts
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    fezster
    • #2
    • 31st Aug 17, 5:57 PM
    • #2
    • 31st Aug 17, 5:57 PM
    Aside from electric being very costly compared to gas, you just need to make sure you buy heating mats appropriate for the area you want to heat. You can buy mats upwards of 150W/m2 and there are online calculators for the various brands to establish which you will need. Each mat will have it's own thermostat/programmer.

    In my experience, electric underfloor heating is good for taking the chill off of a tiled bathroom floor, but not very good for heating the room up. For that, I prefer a traditional radiator. Make sure you use good quality insulation boards underneath the mats to allow them to retain heat and warm up faster.
    • jscott08
    • By jscott08 31st Aug 17, 9:28 PM
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    jscott08
    • #3
    • 31st Aug 17, 9:28 PM
    • #3
    • 31st Aug 17, 9:28 PM
    The building is electric only, no central heating. I don't think there is a more efficient way of heating the place than electric underfloor.

    Is there a way for all of the mats to be controlled from one panel?
    • jscott08
    • By jscott08 2nd Sep 17, 10:04 PM
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    jscott08
    • #4
    • 2nd Sep 17, 10:04 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Sep 17, 10:04 PM
    Anyone else have any advice here on how easy electric underfloor heating is to fit? Also, which mats would be best to buy or is there not much difference between brand?
    • fezster
    • By fezster 3rd Sep 17, 9:15 AM
    • 215 Posts
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    fezster
    • #5
    • 3rd Sep 17, 9:15 AM
    • #5
    • 3rd Sep 17, 9:15 AM
    Warmup, for example, allow multiple mats to be connected to one thermostat up to a 16 amp limit. Other manufacturers will be similar, you'll just need to ask them.
    • kev25v6
    • By kev25v6 3rd Sep 17, 5:26 PM
    • 141 Posts
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    kev25v6
    • #6
    • 3rd Sep 17, 5:26 PM
    • #6
    • 3rd Sep 17, 5:26 PM
    We got ours from screwfix for the bathroom floor, warms up pretty quickly and is nice and toasty. Got water ufh through the rest of the house and it keeps the house warm without needing radiators. Easily sits at 24 degrees.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 3rd Sep 17, 5:32 PM
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    Owain Moneysaver
    • #7
    • 3rd Sep 17, 5:32 PM
    • #7
    • 3rd Sep 17, 5:32 PM
    The building is electric only, no central heating. I don't think there is a more efficient way of heating the place than electric underfloor.
    Originally posted by jscott08
    Unless you have at least 2" of insulation below your heating mats you'll be sending about half the heat to the flat downstairs.

    Also you will be paying peak rate electricity prices which are about 3x as much as off-peak using night storage heaters.

    If the load is more than one thermostat can handle, or you want to use a central-heating style programmable thermostat / Nest etc, you control the heating mats through a contactor. Your electrician will advise.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • jscott08
    • By jscott08 3rd Sep 17, 10:24 PM
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    jscott08
    • #8
    • 3rd Sep 17, 10:24 PM
    • #8
    • 3rd Sep 17, 10:24 PM
    Unless you have at least 2" of insulation below your heating mats you'll be sending about half the heat to the flat downstairs.

    Also you will be paying peak rate electricity prices which are about 3x as much as off-peak using night storage heaters.

    If the load is more than one thermostat can handle, or you want to use a central-heating style programmable thermostat / Nest etc, you control the heating mats through a contactor. Your electrician will advise.
    Originally posted by Owain Moneysaver
    I'm on the ground floor so no flat below. I have the floors up so can put whatever insulation needed underneath them. I was under the impression underfloor heating would be the most economic way of heating the flat given theres no gas? The flat is less than 400 sq ft, and i wanted separate zones to be programmable so i wouldnt need to have it all on at all times.
    • lstar337
    • By lstar337 4th Sep 17, 10:15 AM
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    lstar337
    • #9
    • 4th Sep 17, 10:15 AM
    • #9
    • 4th Sep 17, 10:15 AM
    I'm on the ground floor so no flat below.
    Originally posted by jscott08
    I assume your flat isn't floating off the ground though?

    If you don't insulate below then the heat will just be absorbed into the ground.

    IMHO, Electric underfloor heating is just about the worst (save for wet electric heating) form of heating possible for a dwelling.

    I was under the impression underfloor heating would be the most economic way of heating the flat given theres no gas?
    Originally posted by jscott08
    Sorry but no. The most economical way to heat the space would be night storage heaters on an E7 tariff.

    How is your water heated? If you are already on E7 then underfloor electric would take the number 1 spot for worst heating option IMHO.

    The flat is less than 400 sq ft, and i wanted separate zones to be programmable so i wouldnt need to have it all on at all times.
    Originally posted by jscott08
    Then possibly programmable convector heaters would be better.

    Also, zoning is almost completely pointless unless you keep doors between the spaces closed at all times, and operate your home like it has an airlock system between rooms. For such a small space you are probably better just heating all of it. Also, not heating certain areas can lead to damp issues.
    Last edited by lstar337; 04-09-2017 at 10:17 AM.
    • jscott08
    • By jscott08 4th Sep 17, 8:04 PM
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    jscott08
    I assume your flat isn't floating off the ground though?

    If you don't insulate below then the heat will just be absorbed into the ground.

    IMHO, Electric underfloor heating is just about the worst (save for wet electric heating) form of heating possible for a dwelling.

    Sorry but no. The most economical way to heat the space would be night storage heaters on an E7 tariff.

    How is your water heated? If you are already on E7 then underfloor electric would take the number 1 spot for worst heating option IMHO.

    Then possibly programmable convector heaters would be better.

    Also, zoning is almost completely pointless unless you keep doors between the spaces closed at all times, and operate your home like it has an airlock system between rooms. For such a small space you are probably better just heating all of it. Also, not heating certain areas can lead to damp issues.
    Originally posted by lstar337
    The floor would be insulated, sorry that wasnt made clear. I have heard terrible things about storage heaters which puts me off putting them in. If i was going down that road i would probably just go with electric radiators. The flat is fairly well insulated and i will be getting the new double glazing in shortly which should mean it doesnt need a tremendous amount of heating. How would convection heaters be more economical than ufloor heating?

    As for the hot water, previously it was an electric shower, with the kitchen sink having a small water heater (the bathroom sink had no hot water). That has all been removed now, with the plan being to install an unvented cylinder to supply the hot water to all taps.
    • lstar337
    • By lstar337 5th Sep 17, 9:16 AM
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    lstar337
    The floor would be insulated, sorry that wasnt made clear. I have heard terrible things about storage heaters which puts me off putting them in.
    Originally posted by jscott08
    Storage heaters get a bad rap because they are misunderstood. A lot of people don't understand how they work, and don't take the time. Luckily, improvements in design mean that modern storage heaters have more user friendly controls.

    If i was going down that road i would probably just go with electric radiators. The flat is fairly well insulated and i will be getting the new double glazing in shortly which should mean it doesnt need a tremendous amount of heating.
    Originally posted by jscott08
    Well if your heating requirements are low, then convectors can be a good choice.

    How would convection heaters be more economical than ufloor heating?
    Originally posted by jscott08
    Generally, convection heaters are much cheaper up-front than underfloor heating, and you don't have to worry so much about the floor insulation.

    As for the hot water, previously it was an electric shower, with the kitchen sink having a small water heater (the bathroom sink had no hot water).
    Originally posted by jscott08
    I only asked because most all-electric properties have E7 hot water because it is easily the most economic way to do hot water in such properties. If you have E7 hot water then your heating should be E7 too, and that rules out a lot of heating options.

    That has all been removed now, with the plan being to install an unvented cylinder to supply the hot water to all taps.
    Originally posted by jscott08
    Hmm... If you are using direct electric then that could be pretty costly, and if E7 then your heating will be costly.

    It's obviously your place, your decision, and I can only offer advice, but it needs to be thought about. All E7 (heating/hot water) is pretty much always the cheapest to run, but can be a little costly to install. All direct electric can be suitable if you have low energy requirements, and it has the bonus of a (usually) low install costs. A mix of E7 and direct electric is usually the worst of all scenarios, with a high running cost and high install cost.
    • ThemeOne
    • By ThemeOne 5th Sep 17, 9:33 AM
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    ThemeOne
    I think it also depends on how you personally feel the cold. If, like me, you suffer from cold feet then underfloor heating is bliss.
    • lstar337
    • By lstar337 5th Sep 17, 11:27 AM
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    lstar337
    I think it also depends on how you personally feel the cold. If, like me, you suffer from cold feet then underfloor heating is bliss.
    Originally posted by ThemeOne
    And if you have warm feet (like me) it is a total nightmare. When I visit my parents house (they have underfloor heating) I have to shuffle my way around the outside edges of the rooms!
    • Wookey
    • By Wookey 5th Sep 17, 12:16 PM
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    Wookey
    If you are in a ground floor flat do you have any outside space to place an oil or gas tank? Ideally a small gas fired boiler running two rads and a towel rail/rad looks like it would suit. It should also be reasonably easy to give you instant hot water.
    Norn Iron Club member No 353
    • jscott08
    • By jscott08 5th Sep 17, 5:13 PM
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    jscott08
    If you are in a ground floor flat do you have any outside space to place an oil or gas tank? Ideally a small gas fired boiler running two rads and a towel rail/rad looks like it would suit. It should also be reasonably easy to give you instant hot water.
    Originally posted by Wookey
    Unfortunately not. It's a block so all outside space is communal
    • jscott08
    • By jscott08 5th Sep 17, 5:18 PM
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    • 2 Thanks
    jscott08
    Storage heaters get a bad rap because they are misunderstood. A lot of people don't understand how they work, and don't take the time. Luckily, improvements in design mean that modern storage heaters have more user friendly controls.

    Well if your heating requirements are low, then convectors can be a good choice.

    Generally, convection heaters are much cheaper up-front than underfloor heating, and you don't have to worry so much about the floor insulation.

    I only asked because most all-electric properties have E7 hot water because it is easily the most economic way to do hot water in such properties. If you have E7 hot water then your heating should be E7 too, and that rules out a lot of heating options.

    Hmm... If you are using direct electric then that could be pretty costly, and if E7 then your heating will be costly.

    It's obviously your place, your decision, and I can only offer advice, but it needs to be thought about. All E7 (heating/hot water) is pretty much always the cheapest to run, but can be a little costly to install. All direct electric can be suitable if you have low energy requirements, and it has the bonus of a (usually) low install costs. A mix of E7 and direct electric is usually the worst of all scenarios, with a high running cost and high install cost.
    Originally posted by lstar337
    Fair enough, thank you for the advice. I've only been in the flat for a few weeks, I haven't received the letter for the electricity so don't actually know what tariff the flat is on.

    Currently the flat is bare and has no heating of any kind. What would be the most efficient (for running) heating and hot water method for either situation - with E7 and without?
    • lstar337
    • By lstar337 6th Sep 17, 10:29 AM
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    lstar337
    What would be the most efficient (for running) heating and hot water method for either situation - with E7 and without?
    Originally posted by jscott08
    OK.

    E7

    1. [highest upfront cost/lower running cost] Newest design night storage heaters (such as Dimplex Quantum) combined with an Part L insulated E7 water tank. Large heat storage capacity heaters with an electronic heat release system so the heat is programmable. Plus a large amount of hot water available all day which is heated overnight. Used effectively, a rival to gas central heating in terms of cost. Costs can be reduced further by using high power appliances in the off-peak period where possible.

    2. [high upfront cost/lower running cost] Basic automatic charge control night storage heater (or "DUO" with backup convector built in) combined with an Part L insulated E7 water tank. Large heat storage capacity heaters providing all-day background heat and a simple boost control for colder evenings. Plus a large amount of hot water available all day which is heated overnight. Similar costs to above, but with reduced control over when the heat is released. Costs can be reduced further by using high power appliances in the off-peak period where possible.

    3. [low upfront cost/ultra high running cost] Low cost wall mounted convector/oil filled radiators with thermostat and timers built in, combined with an Part L insulated E7 water tank. On demand heat at any time with complete flexibility. Plus large amount of hot water available all day which is heated overnight. Very flexible system, but at very high running cost for heat. Direct heat is not a sensible choice with an E7 tariff


    Flat Rate

    1. [low upfront cost/high running cost] Low cost wall mounted convector/oil filled radiators with thermostat and timers built in, combined with an Part L insulated water tank on a timer. On demand heat at any time with complete flexibility. Plus hot water available at all times. Very flexible system, but at high running cost. Costs are not as high as direct heaters on E7 due to a lower tariff rate for daytime use, and can be kept lower down if the space is very well insulated, small, and you are out most of the day.

    2. [high upfront cost/high running cost] Underfloor electric heating combined with an Part L insulated water tank on a timer. On demand heat at any time with complete flexibility. Plus hot water available at all times. Very flexible system, as above but with very high installation costs. Costs can be kept lower down if the space is very well insulated, small, and you are out most of the day.

    Note that not heating for large portions of the day can lead to problems with damp and mould growth.
    • jscott08
    • By jscott08 6th Sep 17, 8:39 PM
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    jscott08
    OK.

    E7

    1. [highest upfront cost/lower running cost] Newest design night storage heaters (such as Dimplex Quantum) combined with an Part L insulated E7 water tank. Large heat storage capacity heaters with an electronic heat release system so the heat is programmable. Plus a large amount of hot water available all day which is heated overnight. Used effectively, a rival to gas central heating in terms of cost. Costs can be reduced further by using high power appliances in the off-peak period where possible.

    2. [high upfront cost/lower running cost] Basic automatic charge control night storage heater (or "DUO" with backup convector built in) combined with an Part L insulated E7 water tank. Large heat storage capacity heaters providing all-day background heat and a simple boost control for colder evenings. Plus a large amount of hot water available all day which is heated overnight. Similar costs to above, but with reduced control over when the heat is released. Costs can be reduced further by using high power appliances in the off-peak period where possible.

    3. [low upfront cost/ultra high running cost] Low cost wall mounted convector/oil filled radiators with thermostat and timers built in, combined with an Part L insulated E7 water tank. On demand heat at any time with complete flexibility. Plus large amount of hot water available all day which is heated overnight. Very flexible system, but at very high running cost for heat. Direct heat is not a sensible choice with an E7 tariff


    Flat Rate

    1. [low upfront cost/high running cost] Low cost wall mounted convector/oil filled radiators with thermostat and timers built in, combined with an Part L insulated water tank on a timer. On demand heat at any time with complete flexibility. Plus hot water available at all times. Very flexible system, but at high running cost. Costs are not as high as direct heaters on E7 due to a lower tariff rate for daytime use, and can be kept lower down if the space is very well insulated, small, and you are out most of the day.

    2. [high upfront cost/high running cost] Underfloor electric heating combined with an Part L insulated water tank on a timer. On demand heat at any time with complete flexibility. Plus hot water available at all times. Very flexible system, as above but with very high installation costs. Costs can be kept lower down if the space is very well insulated, small, and you are out most of the day.

    Note that not heating for large portions of the day can lead to problems with damp and mould growth.
    Originally posted by lstar337
    Thanks for all the info! very very helpful.

    So I have now found out that it is standard rate electricity. I would hope the running cost wouldn't be too high given im usually out of the house on a weekday from 8am till 10pm, and it is well insulated.

    I was thinking about a combo of the options you gave - underfloor heating only in the bedroom and bathroom (green and blue on the picture) which ends up only being around 4m2 of ufloor heating. Then in the kitchen/ lounge one convector radiator near the door. Would that be adequate for heating?

    As for getting the hot water, what should i be looking at installing? Just want an idea of what i will need install before i talk to the plumber.
    • lstar337
    • By lstar337 7th Sep 17, 10:40 AM
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    lstar337
    I was thinking about a combo of the options you gave - underfloor heating only in the bedroom and bathroom (green and blue on the picture) which ends up only being around 4m2 of ufloor heating.
    Originally posted by jscott08
    If you are desperate for underfloor then sure. My point was that the cost is often way over the top for something that cheap convectors could achieve. It was worth thinking about in case you thought underfloor offered some kind of advantage. As direct electric heating is 100% efficient, it doesn't matter if you spend £4k on underfloor, or £30 on a convector from Lidl, you'll still get the same amount of heat.

    Then in the kitchen/ lounge one convector radiator near the door. Would that be adequate for heating?
    Originally posted by jscott08
    Not possible for me to say. You need to work out the heat requirements for the space. There are calculators online that will give you a good estimate based on size of area/wall type/no. of windows etc. Use one of those to see how much heat you need, then you can select a heater(s) based on that. You may well find you need more than one.

    As for getting the hot water, what should i be looking at installing? Just want an idea of what i will need install before i talk to the plumber.
    Originally posted by jscott08
    Water is tricky on single rate. If you use a lot (got a bath?) then a big well insulated tank with an immersion heater on a timer (set a time likely to be before you need the water) is probably your best bet.
    Otherwise, if you are only using a little (washing your hands or doing the dishes) then where I work we have a little unit that holds like 4-6 litres and sits in a cupboard. It can heat that water pretty fast and because it only stores a little it costs little to run.
    • eastonian
    • By eastonian 7th Sep 17, 1:11 PM
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    eastonian
    We have electric UFH from Devi in our well-insulated 5m2 bathroom under ceramic tile and I wouldn't rely on it for heating exclusively. It's lovely and warm in the mornings (+evenings in winter), and I contemplated having nothing else to heat the room, but in the end added a large heated towel rail connected to our gas CH and very glad we did - the output just isn't enough from the UFH alone.
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