Amber’s top 5 expert tips for electric underfloor heating installation

Amber’s top 5 expert tips for electric underfloor heating installation

As the world moves towards a Net Zero future, electric underfloor heating has emerged as a modern, low-carbon, cost-effective and highly sought-after heating solution.

Homeowners and commercial businesses alike have embraced the many benefits of electric underfloor heating, leading to a rise in demand for its installation.

Here at Amber, we’ve been supplying underfloor heating solutions to the retail and wholesale market in the UK for over 30 years. Our team are experts in all things electric underfloor heating; from installation to technical support.

So, we’re sharing our top tricks of the trade for simple, hassle-free electric underfloor heating installation. But first…

What type of electric underfloor heating are you installing?

Electric (or dry) underfloor heating involves electrical heating elements which are installed within or beneath a floor and connected to the mains electricity. When switched on, the electrical elements heat up to warm a room from the ground upwards.

However, the installation process of electric underfloor heating will differ depending on the type of system being fitted.

There are two main types of electric underfloor heating:

Electric underfloor heating mats

Electric heating mats feature a series of heating cables or wires secured to strong, flexible, self-adhesive mats.

Heating foil mats also feature heating elements, but with an aluminium dissipation layer which helps to spread the heat from the cable even more effectively.

Ideal for regular shaped rooms with few obstacles, the mats can simply be rolled out for quick and easy installation.

Electric underfloor heating cables

Loose lay heating cables are individual heating elements which can be secured wherever needed. This makes them ideal for projects that require flexibility, such as irregular shaped rooms or awkward spaces with obstacles like sinks and toilets.

These cables can also be paired with a decoupling membrane which is a polypropylene membrane with studs designed to securely embed and hold the heating cable in place.

While there are a number of options available, the most suitable system for your installation will depend on a number of factors, including the type and size of the project.

5 top tips for electric underfloor heating installation

1. Consider your flooring

Before installation, it’s important to consider the type of flooring being fitted.

Electric underfloor heating can be used with most floor types, but some are more effective than others.

The most thermally conductive flooring, such as ceramic and stone tiles, are often the ideal choice, but other options like vinyl, linoleum, wood and even some carpets are suitable too.

However, it’s important to check with the floor manufacturer if you have any doubts about the suitability of your chosen flooring with electric underfloor heating.

You can find out more in our blog about the most suitable types of flooring for underfloor heating.

2. Plan, plan, plan!

    It’s vital to plan the layout of the underfloor heating system prior to installation.

    This plan can then be used to outline the heated area, so the mat or cables are spaced out evenly and any obstructions or close floor fitting objects like pipes, baths or cupboards are avoided.

    You should also detail the location of the cold tail (where the heating cable or mat starts), floor sensor and connection box.

    Our product installation guides feature a handy grid which can be used to sketch out your floor plan and product placement.

    3. Regularly test your products

    It’s vital to test the products before, during and at the end of the installation process.

    Using a multimeter, check that the heating cable is still intact and has the correct resistance.

    You should also use the multimeter to test for insulation, checking that the earth screen on the heating cable has not been damaged and shorted to the heating cables.

    Both the path between the blue cable and the earth screen, and also the black cable and the earth screen, should be tested.

    Optimal readings can be found in the product installation guide.

    4. Sufficiently prepare the subfloor

    Ensure the subfloor is even, stable, dry, clean and free from any sharp debris before installation.

    If the system is being installed onto existing floorboards, we recommend using tile backer boards first.

    At this stage, we also recommend installing an insulation board to the subfloor below the heating. This is particularly important if the system is to be the sole heat source as this will help to minimise heat loss and increase performance.

    5. Protect the product from damage

    Take care throughout installation to reduce the risk of damage to the system.

    Follow the installation instructions exactly to ensure the heating elements are not cut, and be careful not to damage the product when applying the adhesive or self-levelling compound.

    The product should be fully encapsulated in adhesive or self-levelling compound prior to the floor finish being laid, and the floor must be left to dry in accordance with guidance provided by the flooring adhesive and manufacturer.

    Providing electric underfloor heating for the retail sector

    Here at Amber, we’re experts in underfloor heating.

    With over 30 years’ experience, we supply both electric and wet underfloor heating systems to the trade throughout our retail and wholesale stockists.

    Our network of wholesalers, distributers and kitchen, bathroom and tile show rooms spans the UK and Ireland, so you’re never too far from an Amber stockist.

    For more information on the installation of a specific product, our handy, easy-to-follow installation guides can be found here.

    For technical support, our team are on hand to help. Get in touch today.