Do Australian House Need Underfloor Heating Tiles

When the winter months approach, you start to feel it in your home first. Your toes start getting colder, getting out of bed in the morning is more challenging, and stepping onto tile flooring sends a shiver up your spine.

While we can't hold back the winter tide, we can make your home a much more comfortable place to wait for the return of warmer months. With under tile heating, winters are about to become a whole lot cosier!

Here at Trade Warehouse, we have a full range of insulation and underfloor heating systems that keep you warm but are economical, easy to install, and kind to bare feet.

If you're still scratching your head and wondering what the best underfloor heating systems are for you, then don't panic. We're going to take you through all things underfloor heating so you're clear on the advantages, disadvantages, costs, and maintenance of your new heating systems.

Let's get started.

What is underfloor heating?

Underfloor heating is a method of climate control in your house that uses primarily electrical embedded heating elements on the floor to achieve the desired temperature. This method is an excellent way of targeting cold spots in the home without running other heat sources.

It is recommended that you have either tile or any other ceramic-type flooring as it allows for the most effortless transfer of heat.

How does underfloor heating work?

Strap yourself in for a mini physics lesson. Like all other forms of heating, underfloor heating works by conduction, radiation, and convection. The under tile heating system spreads the warmth across the whole floor surface area at a low but constant temperature to keep the house comfortable.

The heating element warms a large surface area (space) at a low temperature meaning that you can achieve the optimum temperature for your bathroom, kitchen, or wherever you install your tile heating kits.

How much does underfloor heating cost?

We're going to split this into two categories: Cost of installation and cost of operation so you can make the most informed decision.

Cost of installation

It is recommended you have a licensed electrician install the underfloor heating system. You will need to connect the power source to the kit and install the thermostat and timers. So, prices can vary depending on who you get to do all the heavy lifting.

Regarding the heating system itself, prices vary per square metre; for example, 1sqm of under tile heating cable costs $180.00, whereas 6sqp costs $670.00.

Running cost

Eventually, the system starts to pay for itself in the long run, as the running costs are similar to fan heaters and cost a lot less than having the central heating running. Electric underfloor heating uses between 200 and 3000 watts depending on the area and room it is heating, cutting your power consumption significantly, which leaves a lot more money in your pocket for a rainy day. 

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of underfloor heating?

So, you're clear on the technicalities, but what are some of the more concrete advantages and (the very few) disadvantages? Well, let's start with the obvious, no more radiators! Say goodbye to gathering dust and cluttered space because underfloor heating has got you covered.

Everyone has that one radiator that just takes up too much room and gets in the way of the door, so underfloor heating clears the space of any radiators and any opportunity for dust to collect and impact those with respiratory illnesses like asthma and dust mite allergies.

Advantages of underfloor heating

On a more superficial level, underfloor heating removes unwanted radiators that make the room look cluttered so you can finally install that bath you've always wanted.

  • Systems Performance- Underfloor heating also works with many materials, including laminate, ceramic, lino, stone, and timber floors. While you can technically use underfloor heating under the carpet below 1.5 tog, it isn't recommended as carpet could potentially hinder the system’s performance.
  • Slipping- Sick of slipping all over the bathroom after a shower? Are you scared of tearing a muscle from doing the splits out of the bath? Underfloor heating can help! Underfloor heating systems make quick work of evaporating any spillages from slippery surfaces, so it's great if you find that your bathroom becomes an ice rink in the mornings.
  • Maintenance Costs- Underfloor heating carries minimal maintenance costs because, well, you can't get to it. With a thermostat, most of the maintenance and running can be done with the click of a button, so say goodbye to expensive and inconvenient maintenance visits!

Disadvantages of underfloor heating

Well, nothing is perfect, so, naturally, there are some downsides to a warm floor.

  • Installation Costs- Although one of the many benefits is the low maintenance costs, it's pretty hard to get to if there are any issues. So, there is a lot of pressure to get the installation right the first time; otherwise, the cost of fixing it could be eye-watering.
  • Heat Damage to Fixtures- You need to be mindful of the type of furniture or fixtures that you are placing on top of your underfloor heating, as there could be a potential for heat damage. However, due to temperatures running at such a low level, extreme damage is unlikely.

Thankfully, there are far more pros than cons so that you can start your project with confidence. Why not check out our entire stock of underfloor heating systems for some inspiration!

Installation on tough materials?

In other words, can I install a heating system on a concrete floor? Yes! Installing heating mats on tough materials like concrete can sound like a challenging task, but it's pretty simple. 

Using a concrete slab over a damp-proof layer with added insulation means that you can get the most out of your underfloor heating without any wasted electricity.

Do I really need an electrician?

Although this project can be a relatively DIY-friendly task after a decent bit of research, Australian standards dictate that a licensed electrician needs to carry out all the connections to the thermostat and power source. 

Unfortunately, unless you have that qualification, a how-to YouTube video isn't going to cut it this time!

Does under tile heating warm the rest of my room?

Back to our physics lesson! Underfloor heating can heat the rest of the room it's installed in because heat rises. Like with radiators, heating relies on a convection current where hot air rises from the source and cycles the area it is in before coming back down to the floor. 

So, underfloor heating can heat the rest of the room as heat works from the mats, through the floor, and out into the surroundings.

What tiles should I use?

For those of us who frequent a hardware store, you will have noticed that some tiles are thicker and thinner than others, so you'll probably want to know what kind of tile thickness is best for under tile heating. 

The good news is, that tile thickness is unlikely to have any impact on the heat output, so you're still going to have toasty toes no matter the tile you use. However, using a thicker tile might slow down the time between turning on the heating mats and having toasty toes. 

If you don't mind a few extra minutes, then don't sweat it, but it's worth keeping it in mind. Most tiles are around 10mm thick, so keep that as your ideal benchmark.

There you have it, your complete guide to underfloor heating! Before you go, make sure you check out our great selection of quality underfloor heating so you can brave the winter with warm feet and a smile!