Underfloor Heating FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions and answers about our Underfloor Heating products and services.
How do I calculate my heater size?
We have built up several rules of thumb over the years that we abide by to recommend the most optimal heater size for your space. These rules of thumb depend on several factors including (but not limited to):
- type of heater – under tile (including under floating timber, under laminate, under vinyl), under carpet, in screed or in slab
- size of area to heat – generally the larger the area, the less watts/m² required
- % of area to be heated – e.g. for bathrooms and kitchens much of the rooms go unheated as we do not typically heat under permanent fixtures such as vanities and counters
- For bathrooms, we generally use 150-200watts/m² of heated area.
- For tiled living area we generally use 100-150watts/m² of heated area.
- For carpeted area’s we generally use 100watts/m² of room area.
We suggest you take advantage of our valuable free service by sending us your floor-plans and we will promptly put together an obligation free quotation itemising every area separately that you may wish to consider, along with a professionally computerised drawing of where we suggest placing the heater. All we need are dimensions of the area (or a scale) and the type of heater and we do the rest!
If you don’t have a scaled floor plan, no problem! Just draw us a rough diagram (including dimensions) and we can work off that.
How long does delivery take?
Depending on your location and how many heaters you have purchased, delivery usually takes between 2 – 5 business days. Overnight and express shipping is available on request but may incur extra cost. We can also provide a tracking number, so you can track your parcel.
Of course, we do offer a free pick up service from our warehouse in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
What is the difference between In Screed and Under Tile heating?
The first and most obvious difference between the two is that under tile heating is a finer cable attached to a 50cm wide mesh roll and installed on top of the screed or floor base (directly below the floor type), whereas screed heating is a thicker, single cable that is affixed to the base or substrate. Screed is then poured over top and levelled out.
There are two main differences between providing heating directly under the floor surface and in the screed:
- heating directly under the floor surface is a little bit more expensive to supply than heating in the screed or slab
- heating directly under the floor surface is quicker to heat up, but the screed will retain heat longer once the heating is turned off.
If you plan on installing yourself, both options are relatively simple to install. Where there would be minimal cutting of the 50cm wide mesh required, then perhaps the under tile would be even easier. If you have an odd-shaped area, perhaps in screed would be a bit easier.
What is the difference between in slab and in screed heating?
In slab heating is usually used for polished concrete floor finishes. In slab heating is where the heating cable is affixed to the reinforcement rods BEFORE cement is poured. Your flooring is then laid on top.
In screed heating can be used where a screed layer is put in below the flooring. For dry areas, in screed heating is attached to fixing rails, which are affixed to the top of the concrete slab/floor base.
For wet areas (bathrooms and laundries typically), in screed heating can be attached using hot glue or cloth tape. In either case, the screed is then laid on top of the heater, followed by your floor type.
Is under floor heating suitable for the flooring products I have chosen?
Coldbuster has compiled extensive information and resources from carpet, timber, bamboo, vinyl and laminate flooring manufacturers, manufacturers of underlays as well as manufacturers of flooring adhesives and levelling products. Please feel free to contact Coldbuster for assistance in discussing or choosing these products.
I would like to have timber flooring. Can I use floor heating?
Of course! Our under tile kits are designed for use with FLOATING TIMBER floors. However, it is not advised to install under floor heating under solid timber floors that are installed using nails.
How thick is the element?
Coldbuster floor heaters are designed so in most cases the floor height is not affected.
The thickness of the various heater types is:
- Under tile : up to 4.3mm x 2.8mm(oval in shape)
- Under carpet : up to 4.6mm x 3mm(oval in shape)
- In screed : <6.4mm
- In slab : <6.5mm
Does floor heating heat only the floor?
No! One of the greatest benefits of under floor heating is not only does it heat the floor, but it can be the primary source of heating for the whole room. Floor heating produces radiant heat rising up from the floor – meaning it warms the occupied areas of the room, rather than wastefully heating the upper areas. This means that your home can most efficiently be heated from bottom to top by using Coldbuster floor heating.
Some of our clients want floor heating to heat the floor only because although they have alternative heating already, they just want that amazing feeling of walking barefoot on a warm floor in the middle of winter! If you only want to heat the floor and not the entire room, let us know and we will tailor the quote to your needs.
Can I heat in the shower?
You can certainly extend the heating into the shower. About 20% of our clients request bathrooms are done this way, so we don’t assume unless given specific instructions to quote into the shower. The advantage is obviously more heat in the bathroom and heated tiles in the shower. Also, we’ve had many comments that floor heating helps reduce/eliminate build-up of mould and/or mildew.
You’ll also want to confirm that your builder is happy to extend the floor heating into the shower, as we have come across a minority who do not wish to drill a hole into the angle (to fit the heater through) and then waterproof around it.
Can I install this myself?
All heating kits are in fact DIY kits, to enable you to choose to undertake installation yourselves or have your electrician, builder or other tradie on site do so. Instructions for installation are included in the kit and we also have online videos available. Of course, we are only a phone call or email away should any further assistance be required.
Is there a warranty on your products?
Coldbuster floor heaters are guaranteed for 20 years from their date of purchase; thermostats are guaranteed for 3 years; portable heating products (foot warmers, rug heaters and mirror demisters) are guaranteed for 1 year.
How long will my heater take to warm up?
Warm up times can vary widely as each room is different (insulation/ventilation, window area, aspect, size, floor substrate, depth of element below floor surface, ceiling height, etc). Our very general rule of thumb of approximate lead time to run heat to get to desired temperature is conservatively:
- under tile/timber/carpet: 1 hour
- in screed: 2 hours
- in slab: 3 hours
To reduce energy consumption, our thermostat models are very smart and within a few days will calculate each room’s lead time requirements to maximise efficiency and save heating costs. They work backwards to figure out the latest time to turn on to get to your desired temperature at your requested time.
Do you come to my house to quote for a heater?
In order to reduce costs and hence enable us to offer you the lowest priced heaters, we do not need to see the property to make a quote. All we need is a plan or even rough sketch with accurate dimensions.
Are the heaters safe?
Absolutely. All heaters are double insulated. They also have a full earth screen and of course must be connected to an ELCB (safety switch) by a properly licensed electrician.
How much does it cost to run?
Of course, this depends on your heating type and size but can also vary widely as each room is different in other ways (insulation/ventilation, window area, aspect, floor substrate, depth of element below floor surface, ceiling height, etc). Shoot us an email to email@example.com and we will send you our Running Costs Calculator, along with a quote for your space. This is a simple excel spreadsheet designed so you can simply input the variables (watts, times, electricity tariff, etc) and you can see a rough approximation of running costs you can expect. Almost everyone agrees it is much lower than they expect!
How does electric floor heating compare to Hydronic?
We have devoted a whole page to this discussion. Generally hydronic is used for new builds as it is installed into the slab while electric can be installed to any room at the time you are adding new flooring. READ MORE
Do we have to heat under the furniture? Like beds?
Our advice is always to heat under all furniture except where you are confident that the furniture will not move in the long-term. We would not want the situation where in 5 or 10 years’ time the furniture is moved and there is a large cold space with no floor heating. If you’re certain the furniture will be permanently placed, then to save money you can certainly choose not to heat underneath.
How long do the kits take to install?
Between one and three hours per kit for our installer. Once we have a quote drawn up, we will be able to give you a more accurate estimate.
Does the kit come with a monitor or is this an extra purchase?
Yes, each kit comes with its own monitor.
Does a programmable thermostat save me money?
Programmable thermostats are our top line products. Our models are very smart and within a few days will calculate each room’s lead time requirements to maximise efficiency and save heating costs. They work backwards to figure out the latest time to turn on to get to your desired temperature at your requested time.
How long do the quotes last?
Quotations are good for 30 days from the date of issue.
Are the cables safe while installing the floor?
Yes, they are. We do suggest taking that little bit of extra care when installing any floor surface over floor heating. Common sense is all that is required. Of course, the heating should only be connected once the flooring is completely finished.
Why do I need an electrician? Why does he have to come twice?
In most situations an electrician is required to be on site before the heater installation in order to install the conduits & power supply. After the heater is installed and the flooring has been laid, the electrician must connect the heater to the thermostat and hard-wire the thermostat directly to the power. Electrician costs can also be reduced by coordinating electrician visits with other electrician tasks often required during new builds and renovations.
Is it safe to buy online?
Yes. Our website uses an SSL certificate that encrypts all your information that is send on the internet. We also use secure payment gateways from PayPal and ANZ that secures your credit card payments. You will see in the address bar notification that our site is secure.