When you are installing underfloor heating in a property it is always a great idea to install insulation boards. These can be obtained in different thicknesses and are installed on top of the substrate before any heating system is put into place. They work by having low conductivity and this prevents the thermal mass from escaping downwards, thus reducing the amount of heat absorbed by the subfloor. Instead, the heat goes upwards into the floor of the room which is where you want it to go. It allows the heating system to warm up the floor and the room faster, which in turn conserves energy and reduces heating bills.
At UK Screeds, we install liquid anhydrite screeds which are composed of calcium sulphate instead of cement. Using this floor compound in Surrey, or anywhere else for that matter, has several benefits when compared with traditional sand and cement screeds, not the least of which is that the thermal conductivity is nearly double that of sand and cement. Again, this reduces the amount of energy required to bring the room up to temperature.
Another benefit is that our liquid screeds do not need to be as thick as traditional screeds. They only need to cover the heating pipes to a depth of about 30 mm which makes a total depth of about 45 mm. This compares with a traditional screed which will usually be at least 75 mm deep and possibly more if curling is to be reduced. Our screeds do not curl, and shrinkage is absolutely minimal. It has to be said that the material cost of anhydrite screed is greater than sand and cement, but this is offset by the fact that we don’t need to use so much of it.
Another very great benefit of liquid anhydrite screeds is that they are far less labour intensive. When you install a sand and cement screed, it has to be trowelled into place by a labourer on hands and knees, and this takes a lot of time. Our liquid screeds are poured into place using a long hose and a pump: it has been calculated that this is as much as 20 times faster than laying sand and cement, and that obviously has the effect of reducing the labour cost to a fraction. Our expert teams can lay as much as 2,000 square metres in a single day. Furthermore, our screed will be dry enough to walk on in 24 – 48 hours, so it has no detrimental effect on any other contractors who need to work on site.
On top of that, when you are installing underfloor heating, a liquid screed will completely cover the heating pipes leaving no gaps. This means that you get 100% heat transfer into the room totally evenly. With a sand and cement screed it is very difficult to completely cover the heating pipes, so the result is that heat transfer into the room can be less effective.
Underfloor heating can be used in conjunction with many different floor types. Many people love to have carpet in their rooms, and this is fine. In fact, underfloor heating is beneficial because it means that the atmosphere in the carpet is too dry to accommodate dust mites, so it is beneficial to anyone who suffers from allergies. One point to consider is that the overall tog value must not be greater than 1.5 including any underlay. The carpet should also have a hessian backing, and any underlay must not be felt as this could create a thermal blockage which could affect the heating system.
Tile or stone floors are ideal with underfloor heating because they heat up quickly and retain heat well, making for an efficient system. If you have tile or stone floors with a radiator system, the floors will always be cold, whereas with underfloor heating the opposite is true.
Wood is another choice for flooring and whether you use engineered wood or natural wooden floorboards the key is once again thermal conductivity. The thinner and denser that the wood is, the faster the heating up time will be, and therefore the more efficient the heating system will be overall. Underfloor heating can also be used with laminate or vinyl flooring, and even with concrete.