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  • FIRST POST
    • jscott08
    • By jscott08 31st Aug 17, 5:19 PM
    • 24Posts
    • 2Thanks
    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 2
    • jscott08
    • By jscott08 7th Sep 17, 4:07 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    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.

    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.

    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.
    Originally posted by lstar337
    I'm not particularly desperate for underfloor heating, however all the floor is up so theres an opportunity to put it in now. I would only need to pay parts as I will lay the mats myself, and the electrician will wire it up to the mains for free (as he is doing a lot of other work). It then backs out to costing me about £500 all in for ufloor heating for the space needed, which judging by the prices i've seen won't be too much different to 3 or 4 nice looking convection heaters. So if they heat the same for the same price and installation price is negligible, I may as well just get it all down while im doing the floors.

    As for water, I wouldn't want individual heaters as it would mean an electric shower as well which dont look good to me and dont have a very good flow rate. as for cylinders, i've tried researching it but i'm getting very confused. Do i need a vented or unvented cylinder or just a regular tank? and what size? I just don't want to get mugged off when i speak to a plumber. It will be for 2 sinks and a shower.
    • lstar337
    • By lstar337 8th Sep 17, 10:03 AM
    • 3,254 Posts
    • 1,750 Thanks
    lstar337
    I'm not particularly desperate for underfloor heating, however all the floor is up so theres an opportunity to put it in now. I would only need to pay parts as I will lay the mats myself, and the electrician will wire it up to the mains for free (as he is doing a lot of other work). It then backs out to costing me about £500 all in for ufloor heating for the space needed, which judging by the prices i've seen won't be too much different to 3 or 4 nice looking convection heaters. So if they heat the same for the same price and installation price is negligible, I may as well just get it all down while im doing the floors.
    Originally posted by jscott08
    Probably, for really nice looking units.

    As for water, I wouldn't want individual heaters as it would mean an electric shower as well which dont look good to me and dont have a very good flow rate. as for cylinders, i've tried researching it but i'm getting very confused. Do i need a vented or unvented cylinder or just a regular tank? and what size?
    Originally posted by jscott08
    I'm gonna break this down into your various points.

    Electric shower
    You don't think they look good, which is as good a reason as any to rule it out. Cost wise, it will be the same as heating a tank (actually a little less when you factor tank losses) as you are on flat rate. Flow rate is dependent on the power rating of the shower, but if you want really high flow then you are right, an electric shower is not the best choice.

    Cylinder - Vented vs. Unvented.

    [Vented]
    Well you have already mentioned flow rate for your shower, and that is a huge factor. High flow rate can only be achieved with a vented cylinder IF you use a pump, and then you run the risk of running the pump dry as the tank cannot refill as fast as the pump can empty it. This will damage the pump and possibly other parts of the system.

    The problem is that in a flat you have no access (usually) to a header tank. That means you normally have a 'combination' cylinder that looks like this:


    As you can see, the header tank at the top is very small, and cannot push water into the tank at a fast rate. If you take more water out than you put in, the tank will empty. This is all because the tank is a vented low pressure system.

    The advantage is that they are cheap (they have thin side walls), and don't require regular inspections.

    [Unvented]
    An unvented cylinder is a completely unvented (save for an expansion vessel), mains pressure system. See here:



    This means that the pressure/flow out is the same as the mains cold inlet to your flat. This is perfect for a good shower flow IF your mains cold into the flat is a good flow.

    The disadvantage is that they are more expensive (they have thicker side walls), and they require regular inspections as the are a pressurised system.

    A small note, the small tank I mentioned earlier is also an unvented cylinder, offering mains pressure hot water.

    As for size, that is down to you. You need to look at what space you have available, and fit a tank that fits in the space and holds enough water for you.

    I just don't want to get mugged off when i speak to a plumber. It will be for 2 sinks and a shower.
    Originally posted by jscott08
    It's always good to get advice to guard against rogue traders, but you really should talk to a good plumber. They will give much better advice than me, and if they are good, they won't mug you off.

    Hope that helps.
    • jscott08
    • By jscott08 14th Nov 17, 11:01 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    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.

    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.

    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.
    Originally posted by lstar337
    Probably, for really nice looking units.

    I'm gonna break this down into your various points.

    Electric shower
    You don't think they look good, which is as good a reason as any to rule it out. Cost wise, it will be the same as heating a tank (actually a little less when you factor tank losses) as you are on flat rate. Flow rate is dependent on the power rating of the shower, but if you want really high flow then you are right, an electric shower is not the best choice.

    Cylinder - Vented vs. Unvented.

    [Vented]
    Well you have already mentioned flow rate for your shower, and that is a huge factor. High flow rate can only be achieved with a vented cylinder IF you use a pump, and then you run the risk of running the pump dry as the tank cannot refill as fast as the pump can empty it. This will damage the pump and possibly other parts of the system.

    The problem is that in a flat you have no access (usually) to a header tank. That means you normally have a 'combination' cylinder that looks like this:


    As you can see, the header tank at the top is very small, and cannot push water into the tank at a fast rate. If you take more water out than you put in, the tank will empty. This is all because the tank is a vented low pressure system.

    The advantage is that they are cheap (they have thin side walls), and don't require regular inspections.

    [Unvented]
    An unvented cylinder is a completely unvented (save for an expansion vessel), mains pressure system. See here:



    This means that the pressure/flow out is the same as the mains cold inlet to your flat. This is perfect for a good shower flow IF your mains cold into the flat is a good flow.

    The disadvantage is that they are more expensive (they have thicker side walls), and they require regular inspections as the are a pressurised system.

    A small note, the small tank I mentioned earlier is also an unvented cylinder, offering mains pressure hot water.

    As for size, that is down to you. You need to look at what space you have available, and fit a tank that fits in the space and holds enough water for you.

    It's always good to get advice to guard against rogue traders, but you really should talk to a good plumber. They will give much better advice than me, and if they are good, they won't mug you off.

    Hope that helps.
    Originally posted by lstar337
    Thanks you for the advice its been very helpful! I now have an unvented cylinder fitted and all is good! I paid £1250 for parts and labour, and first fix of taps and waste which i feel is reasonable
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