Are you ready to take the plunge and install an underfloor heating system in your home? If the answer is yes, you might be wondering about the best way to do it. Should you have a trained professional come in and get the job done, or should you try to save costs by doing the job yourself?
Before you make a rash decision, there is quite a bit of information you need to know. First, you need to figure out what type of underfloor heating system you want and the pros and cons of installing the system yourself.
Luckily, we have the information, so keep reading to find out all you need to know.
Understanding underfloor heating and screed
Underfloor heating and screed both contribute to warming up your home or property. But how exactly do they work?
Underfloor heating warms up your home from beneath your floors. There are two types of underfloor heating systems you can choose from:
- Electric underfloor heating systems include a series of cables or heating mats below your floors. Electricity runs through them, heating them up and then transferring the heat to your room.
- Water underfloor heating systems include a connection of pipes and tubes below your floors. When turned on, warm water is pumped and circulated to heat up the room above.
Screed is a layer of concrete that is installed alongside wet underfloor heating systems. They are placed on top of the system during installation to help level out the floor’s surface and ensure the underfloor heating runs as efficiently as possible.
Pros and cons of DIY installation
If you want to take matters into your own hands and install your new underfloor heating system and screed yourself, here are a few pros and cons you should consider first:
- You save costs on purchasing materials yourself and do not have to pay a professional whose fee includes labour costs.
- You have greater control over the project, allowing you to customise it to your preferences and schedule the work whenever it best fits with your schedule.
- You have the opportunity to learn new skills and gain hands-on experience that could help you with future DIY projects for your home.
- You gain a deeper understanding of how the underfloor heating system works, which can help you perform maintenance in the future.
- You need a level of technical expertise to perform the installation, so you might have to spend a lot of time researching and practising techniques.
- You have a higher chance of making mistakes during installation, which could negatively affect the system in the long run.
- You may be unable to maintain the warranty on your materials if a trained professional doesn’t complete the installation.
- You might take much longer to install the underfloor heating system than a professional, which could cause a lot of inconvenience.
Pros and cons of professional installation
Many people choose to go the professional installation route regarding their underfloor heating systems. Here are the main pros and cons to consider if that is what you want:
- Professionals have specialised knowledge in underfloor heating and screed installation, which minimises the risk of any errors and future problems.
- Professionals provide you with the best quality around as they use industry standards to ensure the system functions well.
- Professionals might have a labour fee, but it saves you costs in the long run as you won’t need to pay for repairs, and you’ll have lower energy bills from a well-running system.
- Professionals often offer some form of guarantee which will cover your underfloor heating system for any potential issues that arise.
- Professionals come with higher upfront and labour costs compared to if you were to do the job yourself.
- Professionals won’t be available 24/7, so your underfloor heating installation will need to fit in with their schedule rather than yours.
- Professionals won’t give you as much visibility into the installation process, meaning you won’t be able to customise the project as much.
- Professionals might not always understand your vision so clearly, which means there could be a miscommunication in the final result of the project.
Best practices for DIY installation
If, after careful consideration, you still choose to install your underfloor heating system, there is a lot of research you’re going to need to do. Before you get started, here are some of our top tips for DIY installation:
- Consider the heat output your underfloor heating needs to provide. You can determine this by looking at whether your room is well insulated, how many windows it has, and the overall fabric of your property.
- Don’t skimp on the cost of your underfloor heating system, and ensure you choose one that is of high quality. This guarantees you’ll have a system that lasts a lifetime, and you won’t have to pay twice for repairs.
- If you’re installing an underfloor heating system in an existing properly over existing floor, it’s important to choose a low-profile system that will minimise any disruption to the fixtures and fittings already in place.
- Consider the weight of your underfloor heating system and whether you’ll have the right tools or manpower to move each component during the installation process.
- When installing a water underfloor heating system, ALWAYS get help from a trained professional to help finish the installation. They can also double-check that the system is working fine.
Installing an underfloor heating system in your property has many benefits, from better warmth throughout each room to lower monthly energy bills. However, before enjoying these benefits, you must choose how it will be installed.
While you can gain a lot of experience and save some costs by doing it yourself, you can never go wrong with a trained professional. So, even if you want to complete the bulk of the job on your own, always ensure you have an engineer or plumber come and check over the system before you finish.