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Underfloor Heating - Should You Do It?

Why Do Kiwis Put Down Tiles In The Bathroom Without Some Form Of Heating?

New Zealanders go to Italy, USA, or even Australia and find that a lot of the bathrooms have beautifully tiled floors. If they are in these countries in the summer the floors are wonderfully cool to walk on... and so we have adapted the same ideas here however, in New Zealand in winter these same tiled floors are FREEZING cold!


The solution that most houses in NZ use is to put electric heating under the tiles... I was talking to one of my clients, Aaron, for my Web Doctor business today and he had quickly turned off his electric underfloor heating in his bathroom to reduce his power bill by $50 dollars a month - so this is not the best solution - definitely an initially cheap option - but over a year is going to cost you $600+ dollars in luxury - now don't me wrong - $600 is neither here nor there to me to spend on luxuries, however this is wasteful!


Below you will see that we simply laid out 3/8" diameter copper pipe on the floor (with a heatsink below the copper pipe made out of end cuts of linear weather board from the exterior of the house, with insulation beneath that again), created some standoffs and then laid 18mm thick fibrolite on top as the base for the weatherproof membrane that the tiles are glued on to...


This has worked out to a great solution. Just like with an electric solution it takes 1/2 hour or so to get up to temperature and then maintains a steady warmth - yummmmm.


We have implemented this underfloor solution in the 3 of the 4 bathrooms. In all of the them - including the laundry we have also taken a spur off and will install heated towel rails - made out of 1" copper pipe and have the hot water flowing through them to keep our towels toasty warm... (and keep the laundry on the colder southside warm and not a heat sink for the rest of the house :-)


In the 4th bathroom (guest bathroom) we have decided to put lino on the floor in that room as it is uneconomical to have the floor heated in a room that is not typically used Monday to Friday...


So why haven't we used more extensive underfloor heating eg. under a concrete slab? Click here and let's talk space heating!

Solar Energy House C/- Simon & Kristina Cope | 19 Manapau Street, Meadowbank, Auckland 1072  |  New Zealand  |  Contact us now to arrange your tour

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