How quickly does underfloor heating warm up?

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Because our system is really part of the floor construction, rather than ‘underfloor’, you’ll quickly feel the difference when the system comes on.  Our type of heating is also known as ‘surface heating’, ‘floor finishing heating’, or, in the US, ‘floor decor heating’. But how quickly does underfloor heating warm up?

How quickly does underfloor heating warm upIn practice there are a number of factors that will influence exactly how quickly you’ll get the comfort level you want including

  • thermostat setting
  • sub floor construction materials and insulation
  • rate of heat loss
  • the floor finish (tiles are the quickest to heat up)

Read more about Home Heating Economy Tips.

Conventional underfloor or in slab systems, both electric and wet (with a gas boiler), take up to 2 hours per degree C increase. That makes it very expensive to run as you need to leave them on 24/7 because you can not regulate the floor mass temperature.

Our system is on top of concrete and some on top of screed and insulation or underlay.  Temperature rise is up to 1 degree C per 2 minutes, or up to 60 times faster!!!  This means super controllability and the opportunity to have on/off with timers and energy saving.

How quickly does underfloor heating warm up depends on insulation under the heating and teh conductivity of the floor finish but optimizing all insulation aspects provides near instant natural radiant comfort.

Optimised BeWarmer heating means laminates warm from within 20 minutes, and ceramic tiles within 35 minutes. Thicker engineered woods within 50 minutes.

BeWarmer installation are just under the floor finish and don’t heat the concrete, or slab underneath. Instead the warmth is soon felt in the room above. All heating may be installed on top of as much insulation as you can fit.

What if the heating element gets damaged?

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KlimaGuardEach Coldbuster kit contains a KlimaGuard® installation monitor which will alert you to any damage to the element during installation or laying the floor covering. If the KlimaGuard® warning signal goes off, you should stop the installation and call for assistance.

The KlimaGuard® monitor offers a ‘continuous health check’ throughout installation and no-one should ever try laying a heater without it …ever!

The national chain of SPEEDHEAT® franchises have the equipment and the expertise to locate and repair damage quickly and efficiently.  PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE A CHARGE FOR THIS SERVICE.  SpeedHeat can pinpoint a single damage to within a pin drop, and the specialized equipment and expertise applied is 99,999% success and repairs 100% secure and safe.

Please ensure you have some spare tiles or planks – in the event that a heating element is damaged, some of the floor covering may have to be lifted and replacements will be needed.

What are the safety rules for floor heating in wet areas such as a bathroom?

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Bathroom Underfloor HeatingIf floor heating is to be installed in a bathroom, the following is important:

The thermostat as well as isolator or plug must be positioned at least 600 mm away from bath-tub or shower-pan (Zone 3). [box type=”info”]Best practice is to locate the isolator for the electric underfloor heating system on the outside of a bathroom.[/box]


  • The system must be properly earthed, and all metal objects in the bathroom like taps etc. must be interconnected to that same earth (equipotential bonding).
  • The system must be connected through an RCD (residual current device) rated at 30mA or less
  • Although legal, the heating will not have much effect under a bathtub
  • The heating element must have an earth sheath (all Coldbuster™ heating elements do).
  • The cold tails must be screened, double insulated or run in a conduit.


Underfloor Heating Electrical Connections and Certificate of Electrical Compliance?

If you install less than 3 kW, you do not normally require a separate circuit.

Power may be supplied from a plug, or the heating may be connected onto a 32 amp ring circuit with the use of a switched fused spur for under 3kw. Anything above that must be run on its own circuit.

Heaters not connected via a socket and plug have to be connected through a double pole isolator as they are considered fixed appliances.

Installation of the isolator and connection to the supply must be done by a qualified electrician.

Top Tip: Fit a wireless receiver/ relay box and make all connections outside of the bathroom, and have a wireless thermostat conveniently positioned in the bathroom for maximum control.  It’s safe to drop the battery powered thermostat in the water but not recommended (you may ruin it)!


Does underfloor heating emit electromagnetic radiation (EMR)?

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Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) exists all around us in the natural world but it is occurrence in man made equipment is something that needs special attention.

All types of electrical equipment give off EMR – including the computer or device you are using now – and manufacturers, quite rightly, go to great lengths to screen equipment.  This is because the dangers of EMR and the influence on our wellbeing have not been established, but as our nervous system and brain workings are based on electric signals, exposure to EMR should be understood and managed!

The Coldbuster™ heater elements are fully screened and emit such low EMR that it can only be detected with the most sensitive professional equipment.  Not all electric underfloor heating systems are created equal so be sure to check for EMR screening.

EMR facts:

  • EMR is a complex issue and health issues depend on exposure as well as frequency of waves. (Gamma, X ray, Ultra Violet, Visual light, Infra red, short wave, medium, Fm, etc).
  • It is not dangerous below Ultra Violet (UV), and in the low frequencies – though some don’t trust this ‘fact’
  • Radio signals are also all round and are not dangerous (purportedly)
  • The intensity and duration of exposure may affect one negatively, if exposed all day long (e.g. medical X rays)
  • Electricity is in the 50- 60 Hertz range, well below Infra Red (IR), and believed not dangerous.  However some claim health issues living in high dense electric environment.
  • EMR intensity reduces by the square of the distance from the source.

EMR can not be avoided but managed well is no issue to every day life and health.  Understandably people want to avoid ‘unknown’ risks which is why you may have heard the safety of sleeping with your head on a 50Hz electric blanket for 8 hours a night  being called into question.


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You can be sure your Coldbuster™ floor heating kit is the simplest and most reliable form of heating with no moving parts and nothing to leak or block up.  But in the unlikely event it doesn’t seem to be working as it should, there are a couple of things you can check.

If your heater does not get warm:

  • Check that there is power at the wall socket, that the heater is plugged in and switched on. In case of a manual thermostat: turn the knob and check if the pilot light comes on or listen for a ‘click’ sound.

If the above fails, call the Helpline 0333 121 0160


Is it best to run the heating continuously?

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If you’ve read our Home Heating Economy Tips you’ll know we recommend you consider running the heating continuously.

This applies principally to frequently used rooms during cold weather.  It means that if you turn the thermostat down when you are not in the room rather than switch it off, reaction time is fast when you next use the room.

But for occasionally used rooms the answer  is “no, switch the heating off when the room is not in use”.

As a footnote, you’ll be interested to learn that the thermostat works by switching the heating on and off to maintain the thermostat room  temperature (set point temperature).  This means the heaters are typically operating no more than about one third of the time – even when you think they are fully on!

How much does underfloor heating cost to run?

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COLDBUSTER® is a most efficient system when installed correctly and will give many years of trouble free operation.

In practice there are several factors that will affect the running costs so it is impossible to give totally accurate figures.  Power consumption will depend on heat loss*, sensible heat management, and the correct capacity installed.

Given a typical installation in the UK, COLDBUSTER® floor heaters should consume around 8-9 kWh of electricity per day for each kilowatt of installed capacity.  Insulation greatly assists in reducing the operating costs of floor heating and you should plan to have the greatest amount of insulation below the heater element as possible so the all the heat generated is radiated upwards.

If you’re comparing costs with conventional gas central heating don’t forget to factor in:

  • cost of boiler servicing
  • cost of boiler replacement
  • radiant heat (underfloor heating) thermostat set lower for a given comfort level

*heat loss is itself determined by energy gradient and insulation values (for more information please read Home Heating Economy Tips)

When you’re considering a modern high efficiency boiler, some other facts to consider:
1) Average life time burning effeciency of boiler around 80%.  Distribution effeciency from boiler to a certain room around 90%. Pump running reduces system efficiency by 5%.
2) Central heating needs to heat the whole system, radiator mass and water content each time it switches on, even for a small heat requirement in 1 room only.
3) Lower room temperatures maintained reduces around 15% energy loss from rooms. It is known and documented to be around 7.5% per degree.  And radiant heat offers a superior comfort level at lower room tempertures than convection radiators.

What size underfloor heating kit do I need?

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The size of the kit required is often dictated by the amount of available floor space available.

This is often quite restricted in bathrooms and kitchens where you do not want to heat the floor beneath cupboards, appliances, shower trays, WCs and other fixed objects.  In these situations you aim to heat all areas where people may walk, which normally means 90% of the available floor area.

Otherwise, if you have average requirements, you can cover about 60-75% of your floor with the Coldbuster heating system and gain a good comfort level.  But you should consider all of the following factors to be sure:

  • the size of the room
  • how much insulation
  • insulation value of windows and frames
  • orientation in respect of the sun
  • prevailing climatic conditions
  • use of the room
  • ventilation requirements
  • the comfort level you require

The guidelines for each product are:


TileWarm™ – High output floor heating kit to go under ceramic tiles:

2m² kit covers 1.8m² and is suitable for an overall room size of 3m². Total output 285 Watts.

3m² kit covers 2.8m² and is suitable for an overall room size of 4 – 5m². Total output 440 Watts.

4m² kit covers 3.6m² and is suitable for an overall room size of 6m². Total output 570 Watts.

5 to 6m² kit covers 4.8m² and is suitable for an overall room size of 8 to 9m². Total output 760 Watts.

6 to 7m² kit covers 5.9m² and is suitable for an overall room size of 9 to 11m². Total output 940 Watts.

8m² kit covers 7.6m² and is suitable for an overall room size of 10 to 12m². Total output 1210 Watts.

10m² kit covers 9.4m² and is suitable for an overall room size of 13 to 16m². Total output 1500 Watts.


WoodBWarmer™ – Self regulating floor heating kit to go under engineered wood or laminate.

4m² kit covers 2.9m² and is suitable for an overall room size of 4m². Total output 300 Watts.

5m² kit covers 3.6m² and is suitable for an overall room size of 5m². Total output 400 Watts.

6m² kit covers 5.1m² and is suitable for an overall room size of 6m². Total output 550 Watts.

7m² kit covers 6.3m² and is suitable for an overall room size of 7 to 8m². Total output 700 Watts.

9m² kit covers 8.1m² and is suitable for an overall room size of 9 to 11m². Total output 900 Watts.

11m² kit covers 10.3m² and is suitable for an overall room size of 12 to 14m². Total output 1100 Watts.

If you need further guidance estimating your heating requirements please use the contact form on this website.

Electrical connections and certificate of electrical compliance?

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If you install less than 3 kW, you do not normally require a separate circuit.

Power may be supplied from a plug, or the heating may be piggy backed onto a plug circuit (mixed loading).

Heaters not connected via a socket and plug have to be connected through a double pole isolator as they are considered fixed appliances.

Installation of the isolator and connection to the supply must be done by a qualified electrician.

Do I need a Thermostat and Controller?

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Yes, you do.

While the clever design of the Coldbuster™ element means it is self-regulating – meaning its power usage drops off as the temperature increases, limiting the maximum temperatures achieved – a good quality thermostat and controller are essential.

Not only do sophisticated controls control comfort and minimise running costs, they pay for themselves quickly through energy savings.

We recommend programmable thermostats which change the temperature setpoint at different times of the day. With energy prices as they are, significant savings can be made through clever programming.

And if you’re saving money you are also saving on your carbon emission as the nation’s electricity generation capacity is still predominantly fossil-fuel based.

Note though, even when the generation is Green, it should not to be wasted as it will not be cheap in the future.

  • Invest now in insulation and a good and fast floor heating system.
  • Save with timers and sensors for as long as the home stands.

The future of control sophistication is unlimited to your imagination. But the system must be compatible. ColdBuster and all its B-Warmer products are future compatible.