One of the fastest growing home improvement projects in the UK is that of installing underfloor heating because of the considerable benefits over and above a radiator system. Certainly, there is a cost involved, but the savings on energy usage and efficiency pay for themselves in a surprisingly short time, and from there onwards it is savings all the way. Underfloor heating also adds to the value of a property.
If you are considering having underfloor heating retrofitted, then you have to accept that you will lose some height in the room, although not a considerable amount. In any event, most rooms have enough height so that the loss of four or five inches is not going to make a lot of difference to day to day living conditions.
If you are having a new home built, then you should certainly include underfloor heating because of the many benefits. There are two types of underfloor heating, either electric or water based. An electric heating system uses either an electric heating cable or a heating mat with cables built into it. A heating mat is very quick to install as it simply needs to be rolled out on to the underfloor.
Water based heating takes longer to install and costs more, but it is far preferable to electric. Electricity prices are already going through the roof, and they are not likely to come down any time soon.
Water based heating works by using heating pipes which have water warmed by a heating source pumped through them. That heat source could be your boiler, an air-source or ground-source heat pump, or solar panels. You will need a screed deep enough to cover the heating pipes, and you should opt for a liquid screed. At UK Screeds, this is the type of screed that we use in our floor preparation service in Marlow, and when installing underfloor heating anywhere else as well.
A Whole List Of Benefits
This is because a liquid screed has a whole list of benefits that make it superior to the traditional sand and cement screeds that have been used for years. The traditional screed is laid by a labourer on hands and knees using a trowel, and it is very difficult to fully cover the heating pipes. In fact, it is almost certain that there will be gaps and voids where the heating pipes are not covered, and this has a detrimental effect on the heat transfer into the room because it will not be even.
On the other hand, our liquid screed is – well – liquid, so it is pumped on to the substrate using a long hose, and therefore it totally envelops the heating pipes, leaving no gaps. There is another big benefit too, and that is the thermal conductivity. This is almost twice the thermal conductivity of sand and cement screeds, so the room will heat faster and use less energy to do so.
Our liquid screeds can be laid thinner than sand and cement as well, so if you are retrofitting underfloor heating, you will not lose as much height in the room.