Underfloor heating systems can also add space and convenience to any room. By eliminating the need for large radiators, it’s possible to increase the usable floor and wall area of a house by 10-20%. New parents typically appreciate underfloor heating systems, as it’s far safer for young children compared to traditional radiators.
Strangely enough, underfloor heating systems come closer to the definition of a ‘radiator’ than an actual radiator is. By heating the whole floor, heat is more effectively transferred and spread throughout the entirety of a room. When heating a room from the ground up, customers won’t experience any cold spots – or get chilly feet on a frosty morning!
Types of Underfloor Heating
Underfloor heating comes in two main variations – water systems and electric systems. Let’s compare the two:
Underfloor Electric Systems (Dry Systems)
· Heats the floor via a network of electric heating wires that are connected to the mains electricity supply.
· Are relatively easy to install – smaller rooms can be fitted with an electric underfloor heating system in 30-45 minutes.
· Reaches the target heat much faster than traditional radiators or underfloor water systems.
· Offers an initially cheaper, easier to install and highly versatile way to implement underfloor heating.
Underfloor Water Systems (Wet Systems)
· Heats the floor via pipes that distribute water under the floor. This is connected to the household heat source.
· Takes longer to install – may be better suited to larger spaces or new builds rather than room renovations.
· Higher initial cost, but lower running costs in the long term compared to an electric system.
· Water systems heat concrete flooring far better than electric systems
Underfloor water heating systems
(also known as ‘wet systems’) come in two main variations – surface mounted underfloor heating
, and buried underfloor heating
Surface mounted underfloor heating systems – These systems use specialist insulated panels that the pipes flow through. These panels absorb the heat for slow release, and are easier to install than buried underfloor systems due to their low profile. Most surface mounted underfloor systems only add 1-2cm to the overall floor level.
Buried underfloor heating systems – Buried underfloor heating systems are generally more effective for extensions and new builds where users are installing completely new floor screeds. The pipes run through the floor screed, and the pipes are then buried deeper under the floor.
Buried systems are the most practical and economical systems available, and the upfront costs are typically cheaper than surface mounted systems. The trade off is that they’re not always suitable for retrofitting, and take far more time and effort to install.
Which Underfloor Heating System Is Best?
Most rooms can be heated successfully with an underfloor heating system. Yet with a varied range of underfloor heating options available, it’s important to pick the most effective one for the room in question, to ensure you (and your customers) are getting the best bang for your buck.
Generally speaking, wet underfloor heating systems are far more effective when building a house, garage, or extension from scratch. Additionally, they’re generally more cost-effective if you’re planning a whole-house underfloor heating system.
On the other hand, electric underfloor heating systems
are preferred in smaller, singular areas due to its easy-to-install, almost plug-and-play nature. We commonly see electric UFH systems installed in bathrooms or small bedrooms.