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 that you’ll say 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 underfloor heating installation. For example, copper is too rigid a material to manoeuvre 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 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 underfloor heating installations are the perfect testament of 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.
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.
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 underfloor heating projects are 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.
Contact John Guest
We’d love to hear some of the challenges that Layflat has helped you overcome in domestic plumbing projects. Tweet us @jgspeedfit using the hashtag #Layflat and tell us your story.