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Underfloor heating for your tiles

Complete Guide to Underfloor Heating for Your Tiles

Layla Sawyer

Tiles have endless benefits – they’re sturdy, beautiful, versatile and easy to clean (just to name a few). However, there is one small drawback of fully tiled floors that becomes more of an issue in winter. Unfortunately, a tiled floor can feel a little cold underfoot once the temperature starts to dip. One way to curb this is with underfloor heating, a great solution if you’re not into slippers and socks.

We’re here to talk you through everything you need to know about underfloor heating for your tiles, from the cost to the installation logistics and all that’s in between.

 

How does underfloor heating work?

The process of underfloor heating is actually quite fascinating and falls into two categories – wet and dry. In dry heating, thin wires are placed on top of the concrete slab and below your tiles. Radiant heat is transferred directly from the wires into the tiles, warming the surface and the room.

Wet heating requires hot water to be pumped through pipes in the floor. This method is often powered by water heated by a boiler but is also amenable to renewables like solar panels and heat pumps.

Thanks to floors having a large surface area, heating them is one of the quickest ways to warm up a room. Stand-alone heaters really can’t compete with that sort of reach! Underfloor heating isn’t just for tiles, either – it can be installed beneath natural stone, timber floors, laminate, cement finishes, and even mirrors and carpet if you fancy.

 

How much does underfloor heating cost?

There are several factors that will determine how much your underfloor heating will cost. Installation expenses and chosen flooring materials are two key things that need to be addressed. With ThermoGroup’s Thermonet system, you can break down the underfloor heating cost per m2 as follows:

ThermoGroup Underfloor Heating Kit 2M: $619
ThermoGroup Underfloor Heating Kit 2.5M: $695
ThermoGroup Underfloor Heating Kit 3M: $771
ThermoGroup Underfloor Heating Kit 3.5M: $847
ThermoGroup Underfloor Heating Kit 4M: $923

Once you’ve got your materials, you’ll need to engage someone to get the installation sorted. Like most trade jobs, how much you pay can vary widely depending on the specific contractor you engage. That being said, HiPages estimates that in-screed electric heating costs an average of $115 per m2 to install.

After the initial material and installation costs, there’s another question that tends to pop up – how much does underfloor heating cost to run in Australia? It all depends on the size of your installation area and the temperature you run the system at – plus the difference between operating on off-peak or standard power rates. 

For example, Thermogroup’s Thermonet 200W underfloor heating system would cost 5 cents per hour to run, based on an electricity tariff of 34 cents per kilowatt-hour. This is based on the system running actively for a full hour — once it reaches a set temperature, it only expends the energy needed to maintain that temperature.

The best way to control your running costs is with a thermostat, so you can set up a heating schedule. This means your system is only running when you need it.

Does underfloor heating work with tiles?

Underfloor heating is great for tiled surfaces. Tiles tend to conduct heat well, so the heat is transferred easily to the tiles and warms the room quickly. Tiles also have the benefit of retaining heat, making underfloor heating an energy-efficient option.

 

What tiles work best with underfloor heating?

When it comes to underfloor heating, not all surfaces are created equal. Your best options are solid surfaces such as ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles, as they have the least resistance and transfer heat effectively. Even if your tiles are thicker, this will have little effect on the heat output – although it can slightly increase the overall heating time.

Special care must be taken when laying the tiles during an underfloor heating installation. With ceramic and porcelain tiles, a de-coupling membrane and flexible adhesive are recommended as they reduce the potential for any hairline expansion cracks.

Here are our tips on the different types of tiles that people typically gravitate towards, and how they stack up during an underfloor heating installation.

Porcelain – Porcelain is a dense and durable material that conducts and retains heat effectively. This means you’ll get an even level of heating throughout the space.
Ceramic – The thermal conductivity of ceramic tiles allows them to heat up quickly and efficiently.

Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are strong, sturdy and low-maintenance to boot, making them ideal for not only underfloor heating but everyday living. 

What temperature should underfloor heating be?

This one is a matter of pure personal preference, but most sources recommend setting your underfloor heating to 24°C to start with. Take a few days to adjust the temperature up or down according to your liking. It’s also worth bearing in mind that decreasing the temperature by a couple of degrees might not feel too different underfoot, but it can have quite a positive impact on your power bill.

Embrace a new standard of comfort

If you can’t bear the thought of another freezing winter spent swaddled in layers, this is your sign to invest in underfloor heating. At TileCloud, we carry a comprehensive range of ThermoGroup’s Thermonet underfloor heating systems, which come complete with everything you need to carry out a flawless installation. Each system contains a Thermonet mat, programmable thermostat, floor temperature sensor, sensor conduit, fixing tape, cable monitor, installation guide and warranty form — so you’re covered from top to bottom.

Not sure where to start on your underfloor heating journey? Get in touch with our friendly team today to chat through your options. 

 

Layla Sawyer
Layla is a creative at heart, with an Advanced Diploma in Interior Design and being the Senior Marketing and Ecommerce Coordinator here at TileCloud she has a passion for staying up to date with the latest trends within the industry. Known for going down a rabbit hole on Pinterest and being a sucker for a good mood board to kick off any project.