Which Underfloor Heating System is Right for Me?

Are you looking to install underfloor heating? When installing an underfloor system into your new build, renovation project or newly designed room, it can be difficult to know exactly where to start looking for your new system. With so many different types available, how do you know which one is right for you?

You may be wondering if it is worth getting an underfloor heating system over a standard convector radiator system – and the answer is yes! Underfloor heating systems have many health and safety benefits compared to standard radiator systems – details of which can be found in this blog post.

So, which system is right for you? Firstly, we must decide whether an electric or water underfloor system would be more suited to your project. Electric systems are predominantly for smaller one-room installations, such as a new conservatory or if you a refitting your kitchen.

Water systems on the other hand are ideal for larger installations, such as new builds or multi-room refits. They are also suitable for refitting living rooms and bedrooms, if the floor space is larger than an electric system could handle effectively.

This is because across larger areas, wet underfloor heating is more cost-effective, economical and efficient to run.

Snug Electric Underfloor Heating Systems

If an electric system sounds more suited to your project, it’s important to base the decision of the type of electric underfloor heating on two key factors; the heat source of the room i.e. if the underfloor heating is going to be the primary heat source or if there will be an accompanying heat source such as a radiator or heated towel rail. Secondly, the desired floor finish will also have an impact on the type of underfloor heating that is best suited for your needs. For example, a tiled floor will need a different underfloor heating solution to that of a carpeted floor finish.

Snug FME Mat

If you choose to have wood, laminate or carpeted floors we recommend using our Snug FME Mat, along with a layer of closed cell insulation underlay. It’s also helpful to note that if you select a wood or laminate floor, it’s best to install a floating floor finish if fitting underfloor heating beneath it, to allow for the wood to expand once it warms.

It is important not to screed over the FME mat as it will react with the foil and corrode both elements, rendering your system unusable. The Snug FME mat is a 150W/m² mat, so it is ideal for secondary heating and combined with the insulation it only uses 4mm of floor depth.

Snug Underfloor Heating Mat160W/m² Snug Mat

Another secondary heat source option is our 160W/m² Snug underfloor heating mat. This versatile mat can be used under tile, stone and marble or under vinyl, lino and Karndean if used with 10ml of flexible levelling compound. It features a helpful fully adhesive backing which makes installation quick and easy and at only 2mm thick, it’s one of the thinnest underfloor heating mats on the market.

200 W/m² Snug Mat

We also supply electric underfloor heating mats for primary heat sources, where the room would use the system as its sole heat producer – our 200W/m² Snug Mat.

Just like the 160 W/m² Snug mat, this system can be used under marble, tile or stone flooring, making it ideal for conservatories, kitchens or bathrooms. For a video tutorial on how to lay our Snug matting systems click here

Snug Loose Cable Systems

There are also loose cable options for awkwardly shaped rooms where mats would not fit. Our Snug loose cable kits come in either 10W/m (with a flexible levelling compound) or an 18W/m option to be used within a screed. These can be used under any floor finish and are a perfect solution as an economical primary heat source.  

All of the Snug Underfloor Heating mats and loose cable systems, come complete with a lifetime cable warranty, giving you complete peace of mind and a system that you can trust.

Snug Water Underfloor Heating Systems

To get the best results from a water underfloor heating system, you’ll need to choose the best one for your particular needs and there are three system types within our Snug Water Underfloor Heating range to choose from: in-screed, low-profile and suspended floor systems.

Snug-Screed Systems (Staples, Clip Rails & Castellation Mats)snug underfloor heating castellation mat pink

All of our Snug screed systems are perfect for new builds and large-scale renovation jobs; however, they require a minimum of 50mm of depth (for wet screed) or 60mm of depth (for dry screed) to install without compromising room height. They all use a 16mm pipe and are suitable to use with either PEX or AL-PEX pipe. The biggest benefits of the screed systems are that they are the cheapest, most efficient to run and emit the most amount of heat out of any system.

Our in-screed options are the staple, clip rail and castellation mat systems:

The Snug Staple system is our most cost-effective system available and is great for irregular shaped rooms. However, the staple system does require insulation boards when installing.

Our Snug Clip Rails are also cost-effective but are pre-spaced to save the installer valuable fitting time. Again, like the staple system, the Snug Clip Rail system requires insulation boards.

Finally, our Snug Castellation Mats are the quickest screed system to install and are simple to fit. They benefit from not needing insulation boards or a damp-proof membrane and are pre-spaced at 50mm.

Snug Underfloor Heating Low Profile SystemSnug Low-Profile System

If floor height is an issue, our Snug Low-Profile system is the ideal installation for you. It requires only 18mm of depth and doesn’t need additional levelling compound, which saves time, cost and valuable floor height. This makes it the perfect option for renovations or retrofit projects.

This system is suitable for a 12mm PEX pipe and comes complete with helpful Snug Low-Profile board layouts, as well as pipe lay plans. For more detailed information on our Low-Profile system, click here.

Suspended Systems (Suspended Heat Plates & Fit-from-Below Heat Plates)

Our suspended systems are designed for use in properties which feature joists, either in the ground floor or upper floors and benefit from not needing a screed or damp-proof membrane. The Snug Suspended Heat Plate is ideal when regular spaced 400mm joists are present and the floor height cannot be raised from its original level. The heat plates have self-retaining grooves, making installation an easy one-person job.

Our Snug Fit-from-below heat plates system can be installed without taking up the upstairs floor, making it ideal for installing underfloor heating when renovating the room below while the joints are exposed. The single tile plates allow for fitting in irregular spaced joists, increasing their versatility.

Both Snug Suspended systems work well in irregular shaped rooms and use 16mm PEX or PEX-AL-PEX pipe

Pipe

All of our Snug water underfloor heating systems use PEX-AL-PEX and / or PEX pipe. Made from five-layer cross-linked polyethylene with an EVOH oxygen barrier, it makes the system last longer compared to other pipe variations. Using PEX in your system is more affordable and easier to lay with a team of installers whilst AL-PEX contains an aluminium core that retains its shape once bent – making it invaluable for single installers. The AL-PEX pipe is also WRAS approved meaning it can be used for potable water.

Now you know which underfloor heating system is right for you! If you have any additional questions, please call us on 01772 761 333 or email sales@firsttrace.co.uk – our team are technical experts and are always happy to help!

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