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  Discount Floor Heating

Electric Underfloor Heating

Welcome to Discount Floor Heating - Sole Warming....

We provide the electric underfloor heating solution to suit your needs at affordable prices.

You can have the practicality of tiles; with the underfoot warmth of carpet.

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Banish Winter Blues, with underfloor heating it's Summer all the year long 

Click on bullet points for information:  

  • Underfloor Heating and the Romans in Britain
  • Underfloor Heating FAQs
  • Underfloor Heating Cable Installation Guide

Underfloor Heating History

The Romans were the first to invent under floor heating. Obviously not as we know it today, not only did they develope heating the floors but also how to warm the walls too. There were no radiators around during the iron age. The form of heating they discovered was radical for its day. Until the Romans arrived, we British only knew how to heat one room by using a fire. Such heating could be dangerous due to materials in the homes also from the smoke that could become trapped and in turn suffocate the dwellers. To understand how the Roman system of heating worked, take a look at the photo left which is from the Roman villa at Newport, Isle of Wight.
roman underfloor heating pic1
You can see the floor is laid out with a series of concrete slabs which are raised up on tiles, there would be a furnace at the bottom of one of the external walls. Placing the fire there the draught would take the heat under the floor and up through the wlls to the chimneys located in the corners of the room. The stack of tiles height would usually be about 2ft, this was found to be the most eficient height for the air to travel through. When the air had passed under the floor it was then drawn into the walls and up the flues by the action of the hot air already rising in the flues creating a partial vacuum and so pulling the air below into the walls. The walls in a Roman home were often made of bricks with two holes horizontally through them, this made the effect of passing the air through te ealls and into the flues, thereby warming the walls as well. Roman baths, had a furnace placed next to the hottest room caludaruim with which three walls of the room were heated so that the room reached a temperature of up to 120 degrees F (50 degrees C). Tepidarium, the warm room, only had one wall heated which made this room cooler than the calundarium The heating system then was very labour intensive, it required constant attention to feed the fire and remove the ashes. Obviously only the wealthy and those with influence could afford such a heating method.
roman underfloor heating pic2

The furnace which was the heating source of the underfloor heating was placed on the outside of the house below the floor that ran under the room that was to be the hottest room in the house. One room was always warmer than the rest. Air flowing under the floor would naturally lose some of its heat as it travelled under the floor. A slave regulary attend the fire, or a household worker would to rake out the ashes with a long handled tool and use the same tool to push new fuel into the fire. To keep the fire burning they used mainly small branches and twigs, usually 3 inches in diameter and up to two feet long which was placed 2-3 feet into the furnace opening. This allowed the air to be drawn in and around the wood and so make sure the air flowed freely. Logs were not used as these burned too slowly to be of any effect and too many of them would block the passage of air. The height of the fire was restricted to around half the height of the opening so that air could flow through the flames and so increase the heat output. It was essential in the baths where the maximum amount of heat had to be generated.

Underfloor Heating FAQs

Q Why would I use loose cable as opposed to cablemat as my underfloor heating system ?
A For small or complicated areas such as bathrooms

Q What if I have a large area for underfloor heating ?
A For areas larger than 13.3m2 you will require 2 cable or 2 underfloor heating mats connected in parallel

Q Can the underfloor cable be cut if it is too long ?
A No under no circumstances can you cut the orange underfloor heating cable If the heating mat is too big select the next size down in the range

Q Can I exchange the cable heating mat if I have mistakenly ordered one that is too big ?
A This is of course possible providing that you have not cut or damaged the heating mat in any way we will exchange and refund the difference

Q Are the thermostats programmable and can I adjust the temperature of the underfloor heating system ?
A Yes a 16 amp programmable, digital thermostat that you can adjust to your required heat settings controls each underfloor heating system

Q How quickly will my tiled floor warm up with underfloor heating ?
A This depends entirely on what material your sub-floor is made up of; a concrete base will be extremely slow to warm-up without any insulation barrier between the underfloor heating system and the concrete. We recommend the use of Marmox tile backer boards as the insulation barrier. If the sub-floor is floorboards these need to be covered by ply screwed fixed at 300mm centres.

Q Are cable heating mats suitable under laminate or wood flooring ?
A No the Manufactures recommend that only 100w/m2 cables are suitable and must be encapsulated in flexible tile adhesive prior to laying the laminate flooring.

Q Do I need an Electrician to connect the underfloor heating system ?
A Providing you follow the comprehensive instructions it is reasonably easy to install the underfloor heating system however due to Part P Regulations we always recommend that a qualified Electrician checks out and connects the underfloor heating system
Q How is the Underfloor heating system connected to the mains power supply ?
A This must be done using a fused spur to allow the underfloor heating system to be isolated for any future maintenance.

Q Can I Use normal tile cement when installing underfloor heating ?
A A flexible tile cement must be used to allow for any movement through expansion or contraction.

Q Are there any special tools required for installing underfloor heating systems ?
A It is recommended that a plastic trowel is used so as not to damage the underfloor heating system. Using a multimeter; a check must be made on the under floor heating system prior to tiling.

Underfloor Heating Cable Installation Guide

Note: For guide purposes only; use manufacturers instructions (supplied) when installing.
From 1st January 2005 Installations must comply with Part P Electrical Safety regulations click here for details.

Ecofloor cables are manufactured from double insulated 3mm twin core heating cable, surrounded by a braided earth screen to allow installation into wet areas.

Measuring up for laying under floor heating cable mats/cable.

It is extremely important to measure area correctly; re check your measurements before attempting to fit the underfloor heating cable. If the underfloor heating cable has been taken off the reel and it does not fit we will not accept it as a return.
Measure the room; avoiding all permanent fixtures e.g. showers, baths, fixed units etc., this is important to avoid causing possible damage to the floor due to 'thermal blocking'; this is when the heat cannot radiate from that part of the floor because it is being blocked by a solid object e.g. a kitchen unit which results in localised heat build up.
Once you have calculated the total area to cover; reduce this figure by 5% to allow for the perimeter clearance.

Output Requirements

Apart from timber floors where 100 W/m² output is recommended, install the optimum heat level possible for the available floor area. Different heat levels can be achieved by varying the cable spacing: 160 W/m² for optimum output use 70mm spacing 130 W/m² for comfort heating use 90mm spacing and 100 W/m² for background heating use 110mm spacing (Recommended for timber floors). Greater areas can be achieved by laying individual cables; in any configuration and connecting them in parallel. If in any doubt contact Discount Floor Heating for advice.

Planning of laying under floor heating cables/cable mats.

This example shows a room with units that are to be permanently fixed in place (e.g. a kitchen). The floor size is: 5m x 4.5m; a total area of 22.5m². Now deduct the area covered by units:- kitchen units 1m x 4.5m + work unit 1.5m X 2m + corner unit(.4m x .6m)/2 = 4.5m² + 3m² + .12m² which is a total of 7.62m² reducing the available area to 14.88m², a further 5% must be taken off to allow for perimeter clearance; giving a total heated area of 14.13m². Select the nearest rounded down cable/s: 8.1m² (EK10-1300) + 5.9m² (EK10-950). As Ecofloor cable is a twin conductor heating cable; connection to the electricity supply is at one end only. In this example more than one cable is required to make up the area to be covered; these are connected in parallel as shown. The thermostat sensor must be positioned centrally between cable loops as shown.

Insulation for underfloor heating cable mats/cables.

It is advised to use insulation to avoid heat loss to the sub floor; resulting in poor floor heating performance. Fix the insulation to the floor using a flexible tile adhesive applied with a fine depth tiling trowel, lay the boards so that where possible the joints are staggered.

Under floor heating Thermostats.

The location of the thermostat is your choice but it makes sense to locate it as near to the electricity supply as possible and is normally in the room being heated. Note for wet areas (e.g. bathroom) it must be outside of the room. Connect via a fused spur or use a dedicated supply with its own RCD (consult your electrician). The thermostat sensor must be positioned between cable loops so measure where this will be and cut a channel approximately 10mm x 10mm deep and 300mm long in the insulation to locate the flexible floor probe conduit in. The thermostat is rated at 16amps and will control a maximum heated area of 3680 watts.

Laying underfloor heating Cable.

The black connecting wire can be cut as required once you have established that you have enough to reach your supply, however never cut the orange heating under any circumstances. You must leave a minimum of a 50mm gap from the walls and any other fixed object. You must never have the cable closer than 70mm to the next cable and cables must never cross over each other. Before you take any cable off the roll make sure that you have ordered the correct size as it can only be exchanged if the kit is still intact. After laying the cable you can use an ohmmeter to test the circuit; the resistance should be as shown on the sizing guide in the manufacturers installation instructions. Avoid excessive traffic over the cable prior to applying the floor covering. The final connection should be carried out by a qualified electrician.

Floor covering

The use of suitable protection boards will prevent any possible damage during floor covering.

Tiling over under floor heating cables/cable mats:

Chipboard floor; fasten the board at 300mm centres. Wood floor boards; cover with 15mm ply, fix at 300mm centres. If the chipboard or ply has not been treated then apply a suitable primer. Use a good quality flexible tile adhesive to fix tiles in either a single or double layer operation to accommodate the 3mm cable thickness. You must use a plastic notched trowel to avoid damage to the cable and cables must be fully encapsulated by the adhesive; leaving no air spaces.

Wood/Laminating:

Contact: Flexel International Tel: 01592 757313

Testing of underfloor heating cables/cable mats.

It is highly recommended that you connect your system via a fused spur (to isolate the system for future maintenance) and/or a safety contact breaker (RCD); an electrician will be able to advise you. The electrician should affix a suitable advisory warning notice on the electricity distribution box and complete the attached certificate which must be retained to serve as part of the guarantee requirement.

Switching on under floor heating.

Allow at least 3 days for the adhesives to dry naturally before powering up your underfloor heating Before switching on the underfloor heating allow a minimum of 3 days for natural drying of the tile adhesive and grout. It is recommended that you gradually increase the operating time of the system over the first week from 1 hour, increasing by a further 1 hour per day to full continuous use.

Underfloor Heating Benefits

Heating from conventional radiators systems convect hot air rising from the radiator up to the ceiling and then drops downwards as it cools causing a draught at floor level. The heat source (radiator/s) have a relatively small surface area and so require a high temperature in order to force the heat to be convected from one end of the room to the other.
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Under floor heating systems provide a large surface and so do not require high temperatures to heat the room as the heat is radiating from the floor upwards.
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Underfloor heating is maintenance free. Underfloor heating is unobtrusive allowing furniture to be positioned with complete freedom of choice. The movement of dust particles is vastly reduced with underfloor heating; benefiting people with allergies or asthma. Cold tiled floors are a thing of the past with under floor heating, you can enjoy the instant warmth when coming in from the cold with underfloor heating. Under floor heating also reduces condensation and associated problems including draughts. Running costs are low with under floor heating due to the way it radiates heat rather than convects it. Our under floor heating comes with a 10 year guarantee.
Underfloor heating Safety Starndards Underfloor Heating Guarantee
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