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Under-Floor Heating Systems

Underfloor heating systems have grown hugely in the last few years. Considered one of "life's luxuries", underfloor heating warms your home from ground up. Its offers many benefits from the ability to remove radiators to increased efficiency when heating your home. 

Systems are typically laid in ground-floor rooms but can be fitted anywhere within your home as long as floors an be taken up easily. Underfloor heating systems are often laid in kitchens, bathrooms and conservatories where tiles are often used. 

There are two types of underflooring heating systems

Hot-Water underfloor heating systems use water heated from the central heating system, pump hot water through plastic pipes laid in the subfloor. The final flooring is installed on top of the subfloor. This reduces water-heating costs as it uses water at a lower temperature than most standard radiators. 

Electric-Mat heating systems use elements integrated into mesh mats that are rolled out on top of the subfloor and linked to a thermostat through your homes mains power supply. The final flooring is then installed on top of the mesh-mats. This underfloor heating system is cheaper to install but are generally more expensive to run than wet systems. 

Considerations When Installing Underfloor heating

- Always check your home is properly insulated to ensure good heat retention. 

- Make sure there is room for underlay/insulation to be installed around the system.

- Consider where your underfloor heating system controls are going to be located i.e cupboard/shelf.

- The thicker the flooring, the longer it will take to warm up.

- Make sure the flooring you select is compatible with underflooring heating (just look for the symbol).

Safety Guidelines For Underfloor Heating

- Do not place anything flammable or incompatible with underfloor heating on top of your system.

- Do not drill or nail the flooring down over the top of the heating system.

- You must wait for your entire floor (including subfloor) to dry before you turn your heating system on.

- Slowly increase heat when using the heating system for the first time. Turn up over 48-72 hours.

- Make sure the correct thermostat is used with the heating system. 

Underfloor heating systems should ONLY be fitted by trained professionals.  

Advantages to Underfloor Heating

- Consistent heating of your home - underfloor heating systems will heat your home from the ground up with no "cold spots" or "focal heat spots" like fires/radiators.

- Improve the value of your home - underfloor heating systems are considered a luxury and can improve the selling value of your home. 

- Comfort - you can't put a price on moving around your home without the need for slippers or shoes. You can spin straight out of bed onto a nice warm floor. 

- Increase room size - as underfloor heating negates the need for radiators you can gain extra wall and room space where radiators would normally stand. 

- Energy-efficient - the water in wet systems is heating to a lower temperature than in radiators meaning you could potentially saving money on your heating bills. 

Disadvantages to Underfloor Heating

- Restrictions on furniture - you have to ensure furniture is all leg based and not flat based to ensure the heating system can expel the heat. 

- Heating can take time - as underfloor heating systems heat to a lower temperature, it can take longer than radiators to heat your home. 

- Initial costs - fitting costs of underflooring heating systems can be high. You may also need to consider the lifting and relaying of flooring to enable the fitting to take place!