At UK Screed we help a great many families install underfloor heating systems in their home and we understand how it can be a worrying time due to the perceived complexity and cost of the project.
However, as long as you’re following some industry best practices, using the right materials and tools, and working with qualified professionals who have existing experience with UFH systems, there’s no real need to worry.
The best thing to do is arm yourself with a good basic knowledge of the requirements so that you can make the right preparations.
What Kind of Problems Might Arise with a UFH System?
The combination of underfloor heating (UFH) systems and floor screeds can lead to a number of problems when it comes to new floor projects.
For example, you might experience uneven dissipation of heat in the UFH system, cracking or collapse of screeds. Some people also witness the cracking of floor tiles which can become dislodged and cause a safety hazard.
These issues can be caused by the underfloor heating design, application of floor screed, or both. Much relies on the UFH system being installed correctly before the screed is laid. Addressing various quality issues later down the line can be incredibly costly and frustrating, to say the least.
As UFH systems are embedded in the floor, there’s no easy way to fix or maintain the system once the cement and final coverings have been laid. So if you’ve chosen to install one of these systems, it’s crucial that you get the job right the first time round!
Causes of Underfloor Heating Failure
Below are some more specific causes of failures or issues with UFH systems, caused by your contractor or yourself.
- UFH structure has not been installed correctly
- Floor screed has not been installed correctly
- There is excessive moisture in the screed stopping it from drying properly
- The wrong type of screed has been used
- The screed has been laid down too thickly preventing heat from spreading properly through the floor
- The UFH design is not well-suited to your floor plan
- Your liquid screed layer is not well suited to your floor plan
Floor Plans and UFH Systems
The layout of the underfloor heating loops should take into consideration the way your home is arranged. The goal is for heat to penetrate the floor evenly through your flooring. If you don’t carefully plan for this, you might experience inconsistent heat distribution throughout your home.
The spacing and layout of the pipework should be even but may be adapted around the external perimeter of rooms to compensate for the additional heat loss that occurs here.
Underfloor heating pipework loops can be laid out in several patterns, but the most appropriate layout for a particular home should be confirmed by the system manufacturer and verified by your screed contractor.
Floor Surface Temperatures
It’s unlikely that your floor’s temperature will rise so high it will be uncomfortable to stand on it with bare feet, but it’s common that temperatures that exceed 27°C can damage your floor coverings (tiles, vinyl etc.)
Installations should be designed and specified as an integrated package by the system manufacturer to ensure compatibility of your floor finish with the UFH system and screed flooring.
If you commission multiple people to do different things throughout the process, it could lead to a lack of cohesion and problems with temperatures arising. Inconsistent temperatures that fluctuate a lot can also be damaging for your floor coverings.
The pipework, which supplies hot water from the main heat source to your UFH system, should be completely insulated. If not, heat losses from the underfloor heating can also contribute to system inefficiencies.
All components of a UFH system should be securely fixed to ensure no leakages occur and that nothing becomes dislodged.
Want to Learn More?
If you want to learn more about what it takes to install a UFH system in your home and how to avoid the potential problems that might occur during the process, get in touch with us at UK Screed.
We offer services for underfloor heating in Newbury and throughout much of the country and can help tailor your screed flooring to your home’s future heating needs.