Electric floor heating systems are an increasingly popular heating solution for both new-build homes and existing home renovation projects. As well as providing energy-efficient warmth for your home, electric systems are also often much quicker and simpler to install than you might think. In this guide we’ll explore:
- Heating mats vs. heating cables
- The perfect floor heater to install for your needs
- The flexible sizing of our systems
- Electric UFH installation techniques
- The best flooring to install with underfloor heating
Different types of Electric Underfloor Heating
An irregularly shaped room with many units or fixed objects to work around would benefit from the flexibility of a heating cable. Whereas electric floor heating mats are more suitable to install in larger, more regular-shaped rooms – you can simply roll out the mat over the subfloor and cover large areas quickly.
Both heating mats and heating cables offer quick installation times and will bring cleaner, more efficient warmth to your home, saving you money on your heating bills.
Electric Underfloor Heating Mats
As mentioned before, floor heating mats are especially suitable for regular shaped rooms and for heating a large area evenly. When you measure and create the floor plan, remember to subtract any fixtures such as baths and cupboards to ensure you get the correct size mat for the floor area.
Our StickyMat System is a popular heating mat choice to retrofit in an existing home as part of a single-room refurbishment. It features an ultra-thin electric heating wire which means it does not alter the floor levels visibly and utilises a self-adhesive backing to securely affix the heater to the subfloor. The pre-spaced, pre-adhered heating wire allows the installer to focus entirely on laying the mat correctly, quickly and efficiently. Even if mistakes are made when laying the mat, the adhesive qualities of the mat allow it to be repositioned and stuck down once more without losing adhesion. The StickyMat is available to purchase in two different power variants, 150W/m2 and 200W/m2, offering precise heat output levels for your requirements.
The Foil Heater is an ideal heating mat to use with floating floor finishes such as carpets, laminate and vinyl. A great benefit of the Foil Heater is that it offers a ‘dry’ installation with no need for adhesives or screeds. If you’re considering installing the Foil Heater with a softer floor type such as carpet, it should be installed alongside our Insulated Underlay and Dual Overlay systems for a stable, energy-efficient floor heating solution.
Warmup also offer a unique wall heating solution with the StickyMat 3D System. This electric heating mat is ideal for bringing radiant heat and a touch of luxury to cold bathroom walls.
Electric Underfloor Heating Cables
Heating cables are great for installing in irregular-shaped spaces or rooms with many fixed objects.
The DCM-PRO Heated Decoupling System is available as a loose electrical heating cable and anti-fracture membrane combination. It is especially popular in bathrooms and kitchens with wider ceramic or stone floor tiles due to its decoupling attributes, which prevent cracking and damage to the tiled floor finish due to seasonal temperature shifts. The DCM-PRO System provides a bespoke, modular approach to the underfloor heated-area layout; you can personalise exactly where you wish to heat.
The Loose Wire underfloor heating system offers great versatility for irregular-shaped areas. The heating cable can be maneuvered around furniture in the room, whether that’s basins and toilets in bathrooms or washing machines and fridges in kitchens. Loose Wire can be applied to existing concrete or screeded subfloors, as well as directly onto our Insulation Boards.
The Inscreed Cable System is an ideal electric floor heating solution for new-build projects. It has been specifically designed for installation within concrete screeded subfloors and once installed, it can be covered with any flooring.
Warmup’s collection of underfloor heating mats and cables offer a bespoke heating solution to suit your exact requirements.
The StickyMat System can be purchased in a range of sizes, from just 1m2 to 15m2 and you can install multiple heaters in the same project. Furthermore, the mesh of the StickyMat can be cut where necessary to fit perfectly on the floor space in use, as long as the heating cable is not cut.
The DCM-PRO Heated Decoupling System has been designed so that one-meter of the heating cable fits 1 square meter of accompanying membrane perfectly. Therefore, no measuring or calculating is required to find out the correct length of the cable. You can still decide which heat output you want the heater to provide by adjusting the spacing of the cable on the mat to either increase or decrease the power output per square meter. In other words, the higher the density of cable channels, the higher the heat output. The recommended cable spacing is three castellations, or 90mm, which provides 150 Watts per square meter, also known as the optimal power output ratio. Find out more about installing a heating mat or heating cable in your next project.
Find out more about installing a heating mat or heating cable in your next project.
Can UFH Mats Be Cut to Fit an Area?
It is important that the correct size heater is installed based on the available space as the heating cable cannot be cut. This rule applies irrespective of whether you are using a mesh or a decoupling mat. Should you need to extend the cables, the floor probe and power supply cables can be extended to up to 50 meters by a qualified electrician. A certified electrician should be consulted for advice on extending the cable.
In order to fit your mat into a specific area, it may be necessary to cut and turn the mat (examples below). Never cut the heating element. When cutting and flipping the mat take care not to cut or damage the heating cable.
Every heating system has specific installation instructions and it is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s installation manual step-by-step to perform this correctly. If you have any doubts during any stage of the installation, always contact the manufacturer for help.
Installing the StickyMat System
The Warmup StickyMat system comes in 200W and consists of a thin Warmup Loose Wire spaced and taped to a sturdy mesh. This makes the installation quick as the mat can simply be rolled out a length, cut (never cut the cable, just the matting), flipped, and stuck down until the flooring area is entirely covered.
The heating mat has a 1.8mm pre-spaced wire with a multi-strand core and double insulation with advanced fluoropolymer. The sturdy fiberglass mesh is extra durable and has super sticky double sided tape for secure installation. Thus the mat simply needs to be rolled out to begin the installation.
StickyMat heating cable is so thin that it does not raise the floor height visually. Therefore StickyMat makes an ideal system for retrofitting where the floor heights cannot be altered much. StickyMat is the most popular system for existing floors and rectangularly shaped smaller areas.
Watch a step-by-step installation guide to the StickyMat System:
Installing the DCM-PRO System
The DCM-PRO heated decoupling system from Warmup caters for those looking for the fastest way to install and experience underfloor heating with all types of floor finishes. It is also built for slightly different project specifications than the StickyMat. DCM-PRO consists of a 5.5 mm thick mat and a cable possessing new innovative features to an electric underfloor heating system providing homeowners with a durable, protective floor heating solution that will last for years. The DCM-PRO heater raises the floor level more than the StickyMat and is therefore the best possible electric underfloor heating mat to be used in new builds where the floor height has not been set yet. The decoupling mat is suitable for all areas from living room and kitchen, to basement and bathroom and can be installed in minutes with less tile adhesive.
As discussed previously in the article, the DCM-PRO mat has pre-spaced channels to guide the insertion of the cable, so it is easy to space the heating cable evenly in the castellations of the mat. It is also notable that inserting the cable does not require any additional tools; the cable is effortlessly applied by pressing it in the castellation with your thumb. Furthermore, the channels on the mat are designed to perfectly accommodate all cable sizes.
The cable itself is durable, reliable and flexible, making it easy to handle and insert into the mat. With full confidence in the high-durability of the cable, Warmup offers a lifetime warranty when installed with the DCM-PRO Mat.
In addition to these features of the cable, the DCM-PRO decoupling mat has an adhesive backing layer so it is effortless to lay it down. The mat is attached directly to the subfloor without the need to mix tile adhesive and wait for it to dry. Make sure to clean the subfloor from any dust before starting the installation to ensure that the membrane glues to the floor properly.
The next step of the installation depends on your preferences. You can either apply a layer of tile adhesive on top of the system prior to tiling over it or you can pour self-levelling compound onto the system to give it a smooth surface before laying down the floor covering.
DCM-PRO can be waterproofed with a special tape to cover it and a layer of self-leveller to finalise the protection of the system. The castellations in the membrane allow for easy pouring and spreading of self-levelling compound, without the worry of any holes or air gaps. Installation of the DCM-PRO system in other rooms than a bathroom does not require waterproofing or self-leveller as an adhesive on the system is enough to apply the floor finish directly on it.
All electric floor heating systems should be installed with adequate underfloor insulation. Our Insulation Boards are perfect maximising the efficiency of your heating system and are available in a range of thicknesses. Make sure you carry out a heat loss calculation prior to any project if you are to use the system as a primary source of heat to guarantee efficient performance.
Watch a step-by-step installation guide to the DCM-PRO System:
Find more Warmup installation videos here.
UFH Mats with Different floor Types
Warmup provide underfloor heating systems suitable all floor finishes. The StickyMat heating mat can be used with tiles, stone, wood and vinyl floorings and it’s low-profile the 1.8mm system height will not raise floor levels. The Foil Heater is a popular heating mat for regular-sized rooms with laminate or carpeted floor finishes.
The DCM-PRO System is an especially popular system for installing with tiled floors due to its self-healing features that protect the tiles from cracking. However, DCM-PRO can be considered for use with all floor finishes. The Loose Wire System and Inscreed Cable System can be used with all floor types as they will require a layer of self-levelling compound or concrete screed.
Warmup has also a comprehensive range of heating controls that can be used on all systems making programming simple – even on multi-zoned projects. If you’re considering UFH for your home, get an instant UFH quote today.
Underfloor Heating from the Worlds Best selling Brand, Warmup, starts from less than £200 and costs less than £20 per year to heat a typical bathroom floor – all with a lifetime warranty”.