28 Oct 2019

The heat is on

Why aren’t more people using underfloor heating in their self-build projects? David Playfoot, Segment Manager at Uponor, explores further.


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When working on any self-build, renovation or extension project, ensuring that each room is kept at an optimal temperature at all times is a crucial consideration. This can be efficiently achieved by installing underfloor heating which not only ensures heat is evenly distributed, but can also reduce energy bills, add value to a property and provide more creative freedom due to an absence of radiators.

However, despite the benefits of underfloor heating, Uponor research revealed that two fifths of homeowners would not be able to confidently consider it as an option in their property as they’re too confused about the different products and systems available. With underfloor heating representing an ideal option within new builds or as part of an extension or renovation, David Playfoot, Segment Manager at Uponor, provides some of the much needed details.

Available options

“When working on a new build or extension project, the most efficient underfloor heating method is known as solid screed. This option involves installing pipework into the floor during the construction stage and must be included within the initial design plans. Once the pipes are in place, a fast-drying cement is added on top, creating a solid floor which can be finished with a wide range of flooring types.

“Some of the confusion surrounding underfloor heating arises when it comes to renovation projects. Our research, for example, found that 32% of homeowners mistakenly believe that the floors of a property must be excavated in order to have underfloor heating installed. However, if you are working on a renovation project where you want to avoid digging up the floor, there are low-profile underfloor heating solutions available which are only 15mm thick and can be fitted on top of existing screed in just three days.”

Common misconceptions

“As well as the confusion over which method is most suitable, a lack of accurate information and misinformation has led to a number of myths surrounding the use of underfloor heating. For example, our research revealed that 34% of people think underfloor heating is more expensive than radiators when in fact it can provide considerable long-term cost savings. This is because underfloor heating gives the same heat output as radiators at a lower temperature, meaning running costs are often much lower. And when coupled with renewable energies like air source heat pump the saving can be even bigger.

“Another common and incorrect myth surrounding underfloor heating is that it only works downstairs. In fact, wherever underfloor heating is required within a property, there is a system available to suit. While a system fitted within the screed is common and most appropriate for ground-floor rooms, thinner overlay systems are ideal for retro-fits and upper floor installations.”

Get the facts on underfloor heating

“As already mentioned, adding underfloor heating to a property can make it more energy efficient, easier to design and more comfortable to live in. It is, however, crucial to ensure that you select the right option for your project. Our research has highlighted that many people are reluctant to install underfloor heating due to a lack of knowledge and misinformation surrounding it. To help with this, we’ve created the Tea Break Guide to Underfloor Heating, a quick source of information detailing all the underfloor heating essentials in just a quick five minute read.”

Further information....

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