As we turn the corner into autumn and eventually winter, you might ask yourself, should I get underfloor heating?
There’s a lot to consider before deciding whether installing underfloor heating is “worth it”, but our underfloor heating guide should make your decision easier. We’ll take the weight off your shoulders by discussing commonly asked questions such as what type of flooring works best and, importantly, the benefits of underfloor heating systems. Read on to find out more.
Underfloor heating (UFH) is what it says on the tin: a system to heat your floors. Essentially, it will turn your floor into a radiator and can replace your radiator system altogether and act as your primary central heating.
There are two types of underfloor heating system: electric and wet. Electric UFH systems use electric wires or heating sheets, either underneath or within the flooring, which radiates to heat the room. Wet UFH systems use a network of pipes connected to your boiler to circulate heat underneath the floor, which in turn heats the room.
One of the biggest benefits of underfloor heating is comfort. Either system, electric or wet, will evenly heat your entire room, leaving no cold spots compared to a radiator which heats the closest object to it. Underfloor heating systems effectively offset the coolness of tiled floors in kitchens and bathrooms. Further, UFH offers a sense of warmth and luxury, especially going into autumn and winter.
Underfloor heating is great for saving space. Replacing your radiator with underfloor heating means you have more room for practical storage solutions. Equally, if you prefer a minimalist design, you can do away with clunky radiators for good.
Underfloor heating does not collect dust in the same way traditional radiators do; therefore, dust will not circulate when switched on, ultimately improving your air quality. There are also no sharp edges or hot surfaces to be aware of when little ones are around.
Compared to traditional radiators, underfloor heating is highly energy efficient. Underfloor heating only requires heating to 29 degrees Celsius, compared to 65-75 degrees in traditional central heating systems. While this differs slightly depending on the floor covering (with tiles being the most energy-efficient), overall, this is great for you in the long term, as underfloor heating provides savings on heating bills!
Many underfloor heating systems are installed with an on-the-wall thermostat allowing you to control your UFH system easily. Once installed, underfloor heating is virtually effortless to look after – no more bleeding radiators!
Another benefit of underfloor heating is that it works with different types of floor covering, giving you complete design freedom in your home. Although it is best to bear in mind that some coverings have different properties that affect heat conductivity and overall effectiveness.
Underfloor heating can go under most types of carpet and rug, offering comfort underfoot. As long as the overall tog value is less than 2.5, you’re good to go.
Like carpet, wood and laminate flooring are available in various colours and finishes and are low maintenance alternatives.
Underfloor heating and tiles are a winning combination when it comes to efficiency. With their exceptional thermal conductivity, tiled flooring makes a room warmer quicker, and is more effective at retaining the heat – therefore making more economical choice, too.
Your choice of tile depends on its purpose. For example, porcelain, ceramic and stone tiles are great options because of their strength and durability and high-end finish. On top of this, they are easy to clean, making them practical for kitchen and bathroom underfloor heating.
Note that carpet, wood and laminate floor coverings have top temperature restrictions of 27 degrees Celsius, compared to tile and stone which can heat up to 29 degrees.
While the cost of installation can be high, factoring in labour and electrician bills, the long-term savings on your utility bill, make the project worthwhile.
Naturally, installing a new flooring system requires a bit of time, and quicker if done in the build phase. While Wet UFH systems take slightly longer to install, it shouldn’t set you back more than a week.
As underfloor heating operates at a lower temperature to traditional central heating systems, it can take longer to heat a room
While underfloor heating is best to do during the building stages, it can be retrofitted with ease as an option with your bespoke kitchen or bathroom. If you have any questions about UFH installation, please get in touch with the Inter Ceramica team today to discuss.