Underfloor heating has been one of the most recent innovations in the radiator world and is well known for its efficiency, space economy and simplicity of design. Underfloor heating is now sold in a wide range of different forms and is one of the most popular types of heating in both modern and traditional homes alike. If you’re thinking of investing in underfloor heating for your home but you’re not quite sure if it’s worth the investment or hassle, then we’ve created a definitive guide to help you better understand what UFH does and what it entails.
What is underfloor heating?
Underfloor heating utilises heating systems installed under the floor of your home to create a unique way to keep your home warm. As much as underfloor heating may seem like a new innovation, it is actually one of the oldest forms of heating out there. Underfloor heating installations have been utilised for millennia, and many ancient civilisations used hot stones in gaps under their floors to keep their properties warm. Of course, with the discovery of electricity and the creation of plumbing systems, this ancient Chinese method of home heating has advanced tenfold.
Put simply, underfloor heating consists of wires or hot water pipes placed underneath a mesh cover. Underfloor heating either comes as a “wet” or “dry” system or in layman’s terms, centrally heated or electrically powered through the rooms mains. These are installed underneath the flooring of a home and most often they are left turned on at a low temperature so that the home retains a comfortable temperature throughout the day. The reason for this is that underfloor heating systems have more surface area to warm up, and so keeping them on at a low temperature will, in fact, mean that they use less energy.
What types of flooring suit underfloor heating?
Of course, for underfloor heating to be useful, the floor under which it is installed needs to be breathable and conduct heat. Nevertheless, there is a wide range of floorings that are compatible with underfloor heating. Tile and stone are most effective with UFH systems due to their high thermal conductivity, whilst other materials such as vinyl and plywood can also be utilised for underfloor heating.
How do you install underfloor heating
Dry underfloor heating can be installed by the homeowner and whilst it can be retrofitted, it’s much easier to install before the floor of a home has been laid. Lay out the netting, tubing and heated metal plates across the desired surface area and feed the wires through to the mains. Turning on the mains should heat up the UFH system, allowing you to adjust accordingly. Despite the ease of dry underfloor heating installation, a plumber or expert should be hired when installing heated water pipes under your floorboards.
Benefits of underfloor heating
The benefits of underfloor heating are a dime a dozen, and with the slight caveat of the room you’re installing the underfloor heating in being rendered uninhabitable during the process, the pros certainly outweigh the cons.
Underfloor heating saves space in the home. Wherever you install it, underfloor heating will make sure that no walls in your home are over encumbered with bulky radiators, making your home look cleaner and more streamlined.