Heat emitters

Getting to know underfloor heating [Part One]

Uflex MINI low profile underfloor heating systems installation in bedroom

Underfloor heating is becoming an increasingly popular feature within homes up and down the country. We have written a couple of blogs which explore some of the reasons why homeowners are choosing to have underfloor heating installed in their properties and the benefits it can bring to a home heating system.

In previous years, underfloor heating has commonly been ‘pigeonholed’ as only being suitable for certain types of installation. However, to meet the growing interest in this type of heating, the market has significantly developed with new systems now available which make underfloor heating viable for a wider range of situations. We have selected five benefits of underfloor heating to offer insight to homeowners, such as yourself, into the popularity of this type of heating.

Unobtrusive design & ultimate comfort
Underfloor heating can deliver an extensive number of benefits for both installers and end-users from easy, quick installation through to higher efficiencies, improved aesthetics and ultimately enhanced comfort. We shall take a look at how underfloor heating can help the entire heating system to work more effectively later on so let us turn to the other key benefits first.

A home’s aesthetics are unaffected by this type of heating installation. Laid as part of the floor construction within a room, underfloor heating is invisible, freeing up wall space as there is no need for wall mounted radiators. The design of a room can therefore be built around the homeowner’s wishes rather than having to consider the location of radiators when positioning furniture.

Meanwhile, the nature of underfloor heating and how it radiates heat into a room helps deliver maximum comfort in the occupied living space. Unlike conventional radiators, which can create localised ‘hot spots’ and ‘cool draughts’ at low level, underfloor systems evenly distribute heat upwards across the entire heated floor area of a room. Furthermore, an underfloor heating system provides the optimal comfort temperature in a room at the level where occupiers will be present (up to 2m), whereas the convection currents produced by other types of system allow the heat to rise up towards the ceiling.

Compatibility with multiple heat sources
It is widely acknowledged that underfloor heating is the perfect partner for renewable technologies. In particular, underfloor heating is ideal for low temperature systems which is why it complements air source heat pumps very well. The emitter surface area used (i.e. the floor) is large compared to conventional radiators which means that a low water temperature is required to achieve the desired comfort conditions.

In addition, underfloor heating can also be used with oil, gas and biomass boilers. These installations require a mixing valve pump unit to be fitted to the manifold. This unit automatically reduces the water temperature from the boiler making it cool enough to enter the underfloor heating pipework.

An UFH solution for almost any home
You may be under the impression that underfloor heating can only be installed in new builds or extensions but, today, this is not the case. In addition to traditional systems which are best suited to the new build market (such as Grant’s Uflex range), there are underfloor heating solutions which can meet the demand of the retrofit market as well (for example the Uflex MINI range). With so much choice available, underfloor heating really can be installed in almost any home.

The traditional set-up of underfloor involves the laying of the pipework within the screed of a solid floor construction. These systems are more commonly used during the early phase of a new build development or extension because the underfloor heating pipes need to be installed at least a month in advance of the laying of the floor covering to allow for sufficient screed drying time.

To meet the demand of installing underfloor heating upstairs, a couple of options are available. The first involves the use of heat emission plates which are supported by and lie between the joists of the suspended floor with the pipework laid within groves in these plates. Heat emission plates require significant insulation below them to ensure minimum downwards heat loss. They must also be in close conductive contact with the underside of the floor that they are heating to ensure sufficient heat transfer into the room above.

Another solution for first floor installations are compact underfloor heating systems which involve the use of self-adhesive pre-formed panels which have castellations within them into which the underfloor pipework is clipped. These systems are usually very low in profile and often suitable to be installed over existing floor coverings, provided they are flat, sound and level, which eliminates the need to lift the flooring. What’s more, this type of underfloor heating system can be installed on ground floors, first floors, in new builds and retrofits.

Please click here to read Part Two of ‘Getting to know underfloor heating’. Alternatively, please follow the link here if you are interested in reading more about Grant’s underfloor heating ranges.

Uflex underfloor heating system delivers warmth and comfort beneath your feet
Helen Rishworth
Content & Communications Manager at Grant UK
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