Underfloor Heating for Beginners

An ambitious DIY project, not too far removed from serious property development, is installing a new kitchen. Underfloor heating is a great way to heat it and should only take you about a weekend to do. Don’t worry, it may sound daunting, but it’s hardly the province of architects and you won’t need a degree in engineering. 

Underfloor heating is essentially a heating coil, which is held in position by mesh. All you have to do is unroll the mesh and lay it flat on the floor. When you come to a wall, cut the mesh, but not the wire and come back in the opposite direction, right next to the first strip. Take care not to overlap the wires and avoid laying the mesh beneath kitchen units.

You’ll see that the system has a separate sensor, which must be wired directly into the thermostat. This wiring must pass through an electrical conduit, which needs to be chiselled into the wall and behind the skirting. You’ll need to tidy up afterwards with a touch of painting, decorating and plastering, but no serious building work is involved.

Where the wires enter the conduit through the skirting, apply some silicone to seal the aperture, this stops tile adhesive from setting around the sensor. At this point you’ll need to call in a qualified electrician to connect the system to the mains power.

The final step is to lay adhesive over the mesh and coil matting, put your floor tiles in place and you’re done. If you’re laying a laminate or wood floor, you may have to include an additional layer of Marmox insulation board.

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