Jo Langdon, Marketing & Communications Co-ordinator at CCL Wetrooms, provides five top tips for installing underfloor heating in a wetroom.

The latest AMA Research Underfloor Heating Market Report has revealed that the popularity of underfloor heating is on the rise. Both domestic homeowners and commercial interests are seeing the benefits of this technology and demanding it more often.

When it comes to installing underfloor heating, fitters have a number of options. There are also a number of considerations to make during installation. These include the type of system you use, managing the tanking and controlling the temperature. Underfloor heating comes in two main forms:

  • Electric systems 
  • Water systems.

Water systems are similar to classic radiator systems. They comprise pipes that are typically connected to your boiler, and use warm water from the central heating system. As such, they require some element of plumbing knowledge. By nature, they are more costly and disruptive to install.

With electric underfloor heating, heat emits from a wire and spreads throughout the layers of the flooring, just underneath the surface. This produces a very gentle uniform heating effect that warms the room, all the way up to the ceiling. Underfloor heating can easily be installed in wetrooms. Here are five tips to help the installation go smoothly.

Use an electric system

Electric underfloor heating systems are easier to fit, provide ample, easy to control heat, and have none of the risks associated with plumbing. There is no chance of leaks, which can lead to extensive property damage if it goes unnoticed.

Electric systems are also far less disruptive during installation. This is especially true if you are installing underfloor heating in a ground floor room. You don’t need to make room for pipes and connections. Instead, you just lay a mat. 

Use the right components

It is recommended that an earthed IP68-rated system is used for total flexibility and safety. An IP68 rating protects from both dust and full water immersion. This is important because tiling grout is not 100% waterproof. 

Eventually your underfloor heating system is going to be exposed to some moisture. A high quality product ensures reliability.

Manage the wattage

If the customer is considering electric underfloor heating in their wetroom, don’t go above 150w or 23-32°c per square metre. Bare feet are more likely to encounter bathrooms than any other room of the house. As such, you should make sure that the temperature of your flooring is safe.  

You’ll also need to ensure that the drainage trap doesn’t dry out due to evaporation, so you should leave a space of at least 300mm between the underfloor heating element and the drain.

The right tanking

In order to effectively install underfloor heating in a wetroom, you need to lay the heating component on top of the tanking membrane. It sits between the membrane and the floor tiles in order to provide optimum heat flow.

Use a tanking physical membrane, rather than a liquid-based one. Liquid-based membranes can leave gaps, while self adhesive membranes provide much better coverage. 

In addition, liquid-based membranes may get damaged while you are fitting the underfloor heating. Self-adhesive strips are much more durable.

Think under tiling

Underfloor heating elements work under any tiles, so consider options like fitting a heating system behind the shower wall tiles. It provides an immersive shower experience and helps the shower area dry faster.

Two-thirds of the underfloor heating market is in the domestic sector, including newbuilds and retrofit projects, thanks to the growth in open plan living and minimalist design trends. Opportunities are also arising in the care home, industrial, warehousing, leisure and entertainment, and commercial office and retail sectors.

For developers within these industries, the combination of a wetroom with underfloor heating meets the demands of style conscious consumers, while providing maximum design flexibility for the installer