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Fitting Underfloor Heating Into A Carpeted Room

Nov 3, 2007
When my wife and I bought our house this year, I decided to replace the old heating system with electric underfloor heating. The previous owners had told me the boiler was old and temperamental, and the ceiling showed scars from previous leaks, so I decided to look into different types of heating systems, and concluded underfloor heating was for us because:

- Underfloor heating meant no more damp air, it is clean, and allergy friendly - very important for our son who has asthma

- Easy DIY installation - important as I was installing it with my friend

- Underfloor heating is energy efficient - we are trying to reduce our carbon footprint

- It is invisible - underfloor heating does not require radiators and rooms are streamlined

- No more cold or hot spots within the house

- Underfloor heating is quiet and there are no moving parts

- No leaks

- It is safe and easy to use

- It can be fitted into any room with any type of flooring

The first room we fitted with underfloor heating was the carpeted living room. I measured the room carefully and deducted a further 5% of the total room measurement for the perimeter allowance. I informed the underfloor heating company of the room measurements to ensure I bought the correct amount of underfloor cable mats. They were really helpful, gave me lots of advice, and reminded me I could cut the matting to size, but I must not cut the cables that ran within the mats.

There were some basic floor preparations we had to do before we started to lay the underfloor heating: remove the carpet, check the subfloor was structurally sound and secure with no movement. Tighten any loose floorboards and ensure the floor was free from dust and debris so there wasn't anything to protrude into the insulation and the cable heating mats.

Next, we laid insulation tiles over the whole floor, so heat generated from the underfloor heating system was not lost into the subfloor; it would improve the performance of the underfloor heating system and reduce electricity costs. We laid the insulation without any problems and the next step was to position the floor sensor and thermostat. The thermostat was located near the electricity supply within the room, and I carefully cut a channel in the thermal insulation board approximately 10 mm x 10 mm deep, and 300 mm long for the floor probe conduit.

We put carpet gripper rods around the edges of the room, about 40 mm from the wall, and placed the underfloor heating cable mats between the gripper rods, ensuring the cable heating mats did not overlap. We were keeping the open fireplace in the living room because my wife and I felt it added character to the room; so we had to leave a 200 mm gap around the fireplace to protect the heating cable mats from the direct heat of the fire. We used double-sided sticky tape to secure the underfloor heating cable mats to the insulation, taking care not to drop any sharp edged tools on the underfloor heating cable mats, and we tried to walk on the cable mats as little as possible so we didn't damage them. I have kept a note about the exact location of the heating cable mats, for future reference.

When the installation of the underfloor heating was complete, we were ready to lay the carpet and underlay that was suitable with underfloor heating, and get a qualified electrician to connect the underfloor heating system to the electricity
About the Author
The Author, Linda Sumnall, wrote the article on 'Fitting underfloor heating under carpet' and recommends you visit www.floorheating.ltd.uk for further information on underfloor heating.
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