Radiant underfloor heating can be a very efficient and comfortable form of heating but it’s important that it’s installed in the right manner. In order to get the most out of it, you need to know how it works and avoid these common mistakes that people make while installing this type of underfloor heating.
Wrong Flooring Material
When it comes to flooring material, there are a variety of options available for use with underfloor heating systems but there are only a few materials that are efficient at distributing the heat evenly from the system into the home.
Since vinyl and laminate flooring can become discoloured at high heat, it is recommended to not use these materials with underfloor heating.
Wood is a great material for flooring and it can be easily used with underfloor heating but you need to account for potential warping over many years and you also need to consider the fact that most types of woods are not efficient at transferring heat to the entire room.
Glen Gilbertson, who is an expert in wood flooring, knows the importance of taking good care of wood floors. He had this to say, “Although it may be tempting to use wood for your underfloor heating, it’s necessary to consider the impact that heat can have on the wood. Excess heat can result in warping which, in turn, can require early restorations that will cost you more money in the future. So, make sure you think about how much heat you intend to expose your wood floor to before making your choice.”
The carpet also works as an insulator on its own which means that the underfloor heating system will be expensive to use and not the most efficient when compared with other options.
Stone, porcelain and ceramic tiles are excellent choices for use with underfloor heating systems as they allow an even spread of heat over the floor. Thicker tiles retain heat better which means that higher temperatures will be maintained for longer even after turning off the system.
In the summer months, tile flooring will provide a refreshing and cool feeling throughout the day. If you do prefer to use tile flooring for radiant underfloor heating, visit a tile store near you to get more information on the best option for you.
Inadequate Use of Screen or Tile Adhesive
Everyone knows that a flat surface is needed for the installation of tiles. Installing tiles on an uneven surface will lead to cracks, even if only a slight amount of pressure is being put on the tiles. This can result in problems before you’ve even thought about your underfloor heating.
Concreting specialists from K.J. Concreting are well aware of the importance of proper floor installation, saying, “Installing your floors on a flat and even service creates a great foundation for any work your want to do in the future. This can save you time and money in the long run as you have set the right base for your work.”
Hydronic radiant heating uses PEX tubing to move hot water beneath the floor. This tubing is usually 3/8 inches thick and needs to be installed either along with the subfloor or on an even layer of concrete. New tiles should be installed only after letting the concrete dry for a period of at least 24 hours.
In the case of electric radiant heating, electrical wire is used along with thin pads for underfloor heating. In fact, these pads happen to be so thin that they can be rolled directly beneath the tiles.
However, it is important to use a liberal amount of adhesive to ensure that there are no pressure points on the bottom of the tiles. If your tiles are installed directly on the heating pad, it is recommended to invest in a thicker and higher quality tile that is able to withstand greater force without the risk of cracking.
Failure to Account for Additional Floor Height
If an electric underfloor heating system is used, it adds minimal height to the floor but an additional inch of height can be added to the floor in the case of a PEX hydronic system being used. This is typically not an issue if you are installing the system in a completely new home or in an entire floor of a house.
However, if the system is being installed in a single room, it is important for you to keep in mind that the installation of the system will lead to a slight step when compared to areas without any underfloor heating.
If that’s not an option in your home, only the electric floor heating system should be considered for small areas in your home so as to ensure optimal comfort.
Interior designer, Gary Hamer believes that planning these small details can make a big difference. He had this to say, “Interior design is all about creating comfort in your home. So when making any major changes it is important to think about every possible detail to ensure the best result. Although it may not seem like a big deal, if you are encountering something like uneven floor height multiple times a day, every day you may start to feel differently down the track.”
Spread Out Heating Mechanism
It’s important to evenly space out the underfloor heating system. Also, the system should be powerful enough to make sure that the space between each pipe in case of a hydronic system or each wire in case of an electrical system is adequately heated.
In simple terms, it means that you need to do the calculations to figure out the heat loss for your home and invest in a system that is capable of efficiently heating your home. You then need to ensure that it is evenly spaced out over the entire floor.
Installation of too much piping is also a problem as it will not only lead to a higher installation cost but also an overheated room.
Electric Heating as a Sole Heating Source
Electric underfloor heating can turn out to be an expensive option when it is used over large areas. Therefore, it is recommended to use it for increased comfort levels rather than as your primary source of heat. This means it should be used in addition to other heating methods so as to maintain the overall temperature.
On the other hand, a hydronic underfloor heating system is one that can be used as the main heating system especially when the installation is done in a concrete slab as it will hold the heat over a long period of time.
Underfloor heating offers an efficient and comfortable form of heating but it’s important to find out what is the best underfloor heating system for you and to install the system in a proper manner in order to reap all the benefits.