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A guide to underfloor heating

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

While being a mainstay in Scandinavian homes for years, underfloor heating is seeing an increase in popularity in the UK. And if you are thinking of a home renovation project and incorporating it you might want to weigh up the positives and negatives and see if it's right for you.


The benefits of underfloor heating


Free up your walls

Your room might not flow correctly with that clunky radiator sitting there under your window. Well good news, with underfloor heating you can do away with them, freeing those areas for you to play with and make full use of every part of your room.


Increase your cosiness

Underfloor heating creates a more comfortable feeling thanks to that warm feeling you get when your feet touch the floor. Additionally, as the entire room is heated at once, instead of just the area around the radiator, a more balanced climate is created for you to enjoy.


Lower running costs

Typically, an underfloor heating system will be cheaper to run than conventional radiators. How much they will save you will depend upon how efficient your house is insulated and whether you go for a wet or electric system.


Better hygiene

Would you believe it that underfloor heating is more hygienic? It helps to eliminate the high levels of moisture and humidity at floor level which are the ideal environment for creepy crawlies and dust mites.


Control at your fingertips

Each room with underfloor heating becomes independent from the other giving you complete control over which rooms to heat, which to switch off, and at what temperature. Of course, now that we have systems like Hive on the market you can get a similar setup with traditional radiators.


What about the negatives of underfloor heating?


Cost

It’s going to cost you to install. You will need to take up your floor, put down a substrate with the heating elements on top, and then a new flooring. Plus, you're going to have to redo all your skirting along the wall too. It is a very invasive procedure to undertake. Not good news for that new floor you’ve just put in.


It’s going to raise your floor

With all that going under the floor it’s going to raise your floor, so if your rooms have low ceilings, will it be practical?


How much it will rise will depend upon whether you install electric or wet-based underfloor heating. You can read more on the positives and negatives in our other blog here.


There are however products that fit between the joists of your floor eliminating too much level change. It is however slightly more complicated to lay but has numerous benefits such as little to no loss of room height.


Speed

If you want heat fast, this might not be the best way forward. A radiator is hot within minutes, but underfloor heating needs to heat its elements up first, then your floor, before it can start on the air within your room. Conversely, it will take longer than a radiator to cool down afterwards as well.


When things go wrong

Should it stop working, you will need to take up your floor to investigate and fix the problem.


Installation time

It will take longer to install than a series of radiators. Regardless of whether you go for an electric or wet-based system, you will need to allow for at least 48 hours from laying to installing your floor to ensure there are no leaks, breaks or other faults that will cause problems further down the line.


So, is it right for you?

Personally, we love underfloor heating. The way it feels on your feet, and how it creates this feeling of a warm blanket. But whether it is right for you will depend upon what you want, the property you are considering installing it in, and what your budget is.


The good news is we are here to help, if you are considering installing underfloor heating as part of a wider renovation project, give us a call and we will be able to talk you through the entire process as part of your wider refurbishment requirements.

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