Underfloor heating is incredibly popular these days in homes that favour innovative and design-led living environments. It’s also a well sought after feature of many home renovation projects where individuals are looking to introduce some added comfort, improved energy consumption and aesthetic minimalism to their properties.
Essentially, underfloor heating turns your whole floor into a radiator. Through the very surface of the floor, heat is transmitted and radiated around your home, delivering a warm air temperature without using as much energy and heat as you would need with a traditional radiator system.
What’s wrong with conventional radiators?
Radiators transfer energy using convection, which heats the air surrounding the radiator unit. This in turns warms up the air in your home gradually, but requires much higher temperature levels. Additionally, much of the heat emitted from these radiators rises quickly to the ceiling, leaving your floor surfaces cooler than the rest of your home.
Quite surprisingly to most, while radiators sometimes need to be as hot as 75 degrees Celsius to heat a room to an adequate room temperature during colder times of the year, an underfloor system can much lower at between 25-30 degrees Celsius, achieving the same effect.
Underfloor heating also provides a consistent level of heat across an entire floor’s surface area, meaning there are no cold spots in your home. This is useful in areas such as kitchens with tile flooring.
(Note: Check with individual UK screeders in Somerset, London or other parts of the UK – for more specific information about heating temperatures for your property.)
Types of underfloor heating
One of the most common methods is electric based underfloor heating, which works by heating up wire cable structures that are installed directly under the floor level. This wiring is typically thin, allowing it to heat up quickly and providing heat to the floor surface.
Another underfloor heating method is the water based system, which utilises warm water that circulates through pipes that are installed under the floor surface. It often requires the adjustment of floor levels, to cater for the structural pipework.
The other consideration is that pipes must be connected to a heat source, such as a boiler. This will affect the shape of the pipe structure and require pumps and regulators to make sure that the temperature of the water is even throughout the whole system to deliver consistent temperatures to the property.
Flooring materials for underfloor heating
Certain types of flooring materials are more suited to underfloor heating than others, as they work more dynamically with the heating systems to transfer heat from the heat source to the floor above. The most important thing is that floor surfaces must be thin enough to transfer heat efficiently.
If a floor surface is too thick, this will be harder to heat up and more costly in terms of energy bills. Materials such as liquid screed have become incredibly popular recently as they offer a floor surface that does not exceed the maximum thickness for underfloor heating systems and also offers improved characteristics to other floor types when it comes to how it is mixed and applied.
The overall ability of your home to heat up and cool down will also depend on your choice of floor finish, such as tile, carpet, wood, laminate and vinyl finishes as well as how you choose to insulate your home. There are various types of screed and floor surface materials available today, so check with your building contractor, project manager or designer about the best options for your particular home and thermal performance requirements.
Installing underfloor heating
There are a number of professional contractors and companies throughout the UK who can help you plan and install an underfloor heating system for your next home build or renovation. You’ll find reliable and effective underfloor heating installers across the south of England and beyond, such as UK screeders in Somerset, Northampton, London and many other parts of the country.