Buyer's Guide to Underfloor Heating

Undefloor heating is growing in popularity in the UK as more and more British families are choosing to warm up their household this way. And it's no surprise since this is a method which is energy efficient and space saving at the same time. Read on for more information from what the underfloor heating types are to what they advantages are.


1. Energy efficient: Research shows it offers up to 25 per cent in savings because it uses insulation boards and capsulates heat within the heated premise. Furthermore, thermostats and their exact measurement of temperature indoors help stop using energy whenever the desired temperature has been reached. Not to mention that this type of heating emanates from the floor. This heat bottom-to-top progression see the air layers in direct contact with the human body warmer than the rest. This naturally results in a person feeling comfortable with less energy than would have been necessary to warm the same room to the same temperature with an alternative source of heating.

2. Stylish: Finally, the fact that it is laid below the floor lining, whether it be vinyl or wooden tiles, or laminates, makes it an invisible complement to the room's interior, unlike the oft bulky heaters and radiators. Not to mention that each single room has its own circuit, consequently, it can be heated independently and upon need.


1. Underfloor heating can take longer to heat up compared to a traditional radiator.

2. Some of the furniture may need to be re-arranged as some items can't be placed on top of underfloor heating such as pianos and other heavy items. 

Types of underfloor heating: electricity or water

The first thing you need to decide is what source of energy to use. Check which one costs less in your area and pick the more cost-effective option. Bear in mind that in case of electricity, you will have the cables and wirings, insulation boards, along with thermostats. In the case of water, your installation will be in need of a boiler, pipes, mixing valves and yet again insulation board.

Hot water (wet) systems - a system quite similar to your central heating system. It consists of plastic pipes laid under your final floor surface. Hot water is pumped through these pipes which are covered with special heat-conducting material which, once warm, retains its heat. An advantage to these systems is that they can be integrated with your existing central heating system, combining the two together. On the downside, since these systems work on lower temperatures, they take longer to heat. Another disadvantage is that these system cannot be ingrated without a major overhaul with your existing flooring. The avarage prices vary between £25 and £30 per sq.m.

Electric (wire) systems - these electric mat systems are usually cheaper and easier to integrate. They feature wires which are attached to mesh mats. The mesh mats are spead out on the floor, then linked up to a thermostat and the power supply. On the downside, electric undefloor heating systems are more expensive to run, making them less energy efficient. They cost on average £15 per sq.m.


Probably once of the biggest advantages of these systems is that they require virtually no maintenance. Once installed, these undefloor heating systems have proven to be quite robust. This is exactly the reason why most manufacturers will give you 15 years minimum expected lifespan, while some will even go up to 30 years. Remember to ask about guarantees and warranty before buying.

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