3 key pipe considerations when installing underfloor heating

Underfloor heating pipes laid

If we were to ask you what the biggest change to the plumbing industry has been over recent years, we’re willing to bet half a dozen push-fit installers would say installing Underfloor Heating. Environmental concerns, rising energy prices, and improved heating performance are just some of the reasons why so many people have turned to UFH as a preferred heating solution.

While this is great news for installers, it also presents a number of challenges when you start to understand the potential issues associated with installing underfloor heating. For example, copper is too rigid a material to maneuver around corners in the floor, which is an installation requirement of most UFH projects.

Layflat Pipe is solving all the problems

This is exactly why we invented our ‘Layflat’ polybutylene pipe coil in 2012 (and are continuing to manufacture it today, from the UK).

JG Layflat® pipe ensures that the pipe always lays flat and stays flat when removed from the coil. It is extremely flexible and therefore, easier to use, especially when manipulated in cold weather.

We like to think that when it comes to installing underfloor heating, Layflat answers the three biggest pipe considerations outlined below:

If it flexible and versatile for the underfloor heating project?

We all know that plastic is a more flexible and versatile pipe material than copper and installing underfloor heating is the perfect testament to this. For installations of this kind, pipes must be laid in patterns on the floor that will eventually be screeded over.

In most cases, pipework will follow two main patterns: serpentine or counterflow. In either case, the pipe will have to be flexible enough to manoeuvre around several tight bends, given that the pipes are typically laid at a distance of 150mm or 200mm.

For example, copper is simply too rigid to achieve this. Layflat makes the job easier, quicker, and more efficient since it can easily be manoeuvred into required patterns.

Layflat pipes being used in stud walls

Is it a cost-effective solution?

Plumbers love a bargain – who doesn’t? So when we tell our installer network that our Layflat is a more cost-effective pipe for underfloor heating projects than many alternatives, it’s little wonder they get excited.

Whilst there is still cut-off material generated when using Layflat, any excess can be reused for other plumbing projects, representing a greater return on investment for plumbers.

This is a key advantage of Layflat and is made possible because it is available in pipe sizes of 10mm to 28mm, in coil lengths ranging from 25m to 300m. Using the same pipe for multiple plumbing projects increases the commercial viability of plumbers and reduces product wastage.

Pipes leading to underfloor heating manifold

Can it cater for both hot and cold applications?

It was underfloor heating that came first, quickly followed by the tools required for installation. However, for a long while, there was no specialist pipe on the market designed and manufactured primarily with UFH projects in mind.

This changed when we came up with the idea of Layflat. While the product can be used for most domestic plumbing applications, it is in underfloor heating projects where it really leads the market.

Layflat is designed with an inner barrier, which prevents the ingress of oxygen molecules, ensuring that there are no air loops running through a UFH system. It is also manufactured and Kitemarked to British Standard BS7291: Parts 1, 2 & 3: Class S, with the added bonus of being easy to handle when removed from the coil.

For screed systems, the pipe can be attached directly to insulation with staples, floor clips or mounting rails.

For Underfloor Heating, talk to us about Layflat Pipe

We understand that installing underfloor heating is tricky enough and by using a pipe that suits the requirements of the job with the added bonus listed above, you can stay ahead of the game.

We encourage installers to embrace new approaches and technologies that result in greater efficiency gains and cost savings. Layflat represents just one of these technologies.

Do you have an upcoming project?

Whether you need technical support or product advice, our teams are here to help and would love to hear from you.

Andy Lea Headshot

Andy Lea

Technical Sales Engineer

About the author

My journey in the construction industry began when I trained as a plumber.

Fuelled by ambition, I took the leap and became self-employed, running a successful business for eight years. Seeking to expand my knowledge and enhance my skills, I pursued a Higher National Diploma, which provided me with a broader perspective on the industry.

Today, I proudly celebrate 22 years with RWC, a company I've called home. As a spokesperson, I have the privilege of sharing my extensive expertise and insights, connecting with audiences and conveying RWC's vision and innovative solutions.