Do I need to use insulation with Underfloor Heating?

If you want to save on energy costs then the installation of insulation boards with electric underfloor heating systems is highly recommended. In all cases, warmup times are reduced which lead to lower running costs.

Save on Underfloor Heating Energy Costs

  • The insulation increases the efficiency of the underfloor or undertile heating system used.
  • It will take less electricity to maintain your floor temperature setting.
  • Less energy is also wasted through the concrete or floor void.
  • If you are fitting undertile heating to an un-insulated floor then the use of insulation boards is especially important.

Using insulation boards with an electric underfloor system is not a cheap option.  You may need to budget about 50% of the cost of the cable mat heating system. However, with constantly rising fuel bills you will soon start to reap the benefits. If you read the Sunday Telegraph column by Jeff Howell, you will know that installing insulation is extremely beneficial, as long as it is fitted correctly.

Buy good quality insulation boards

Insulation boards can be called by different names depending upon the manufacturer, e.g. tile backer boards or marmox boards. Brands include Varme, Heatmat, Marmox and Wedi and boards come in a variety of thicknesses. However, not all boards are the same, so check the type you are going to use. Ensure your boards are coated, with some uncoated foam boards the tile adhesive may separate from the foam which could result in the floor lifting.

Varme tile backer boards are made of waterproof extruded polystyrene and are available in 6mm, 10mm, 20mm, 30mm, 40mm, 50mm and 60mm thickness.  They have a fiberglass mesh embedded onto each face into a cement polymer coating which provide exceptional compressive strength and rigidity. It also means they are suitable for use in a wetroom installation.

Varme Tile Backer Board

Varme Tile Backer Board

Deciding on the insulation board thickness

The board thickness you decide to use may depend on:

  • height restrictions
  • you need to bring the floor height up by a certain depth.
  • you may want to use the maximum amount of insulation board possible.

Generally, a 10mm board is installed as standard.

How to install your insulation boards

  1. You need to ensure the boards are fixed securely before fitting your underfloor heating and floor tiles.
  2. On a concrete floor, the boards should be adhered with the use of a rapid tile adhesive such as 20kg Ultra Rapid PB.
  3. For wooden floorboards, chipboard or plywood fix the boards with both rapid tile adhesive and galvanised screws at regular intervals.

For more information or to purchase tile insulation boards visit the insulation section of the Creative Tiles and Laminates website. Or if you require help in deciding which board to choose or need further advice, please call on 01922 610015.


About Susan

Joined Creative Tiles and Laminates as Marketing Manager in 2005. Complementing the senior management team containing 30+ years experience of fitting, flooring and customer services.
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