What is the best flooring for underfloor heating?
It is important to realise that some floor coverings will ‘trap’ more heat under them than others. Thick carpets, deep layers of wood or floorboards, are all good insulators of heat and therefore do not make the best flooring to go on top of your underfloor heating.
Tiles are a good option and will help conduct the heat into the room.
If you tell us the floor covering that you would like to use, at the design stage, then we can take this into account when we calculate the pipe layout.
More Questions About UFH
Can I retrofit hot water underfloor heating?
Yes it can be done, you should be aware retrofitting underfloor heating can be more expensive and a lot more work than installing in a new build property. Considerations need to be given to the floor heights and the first question we’ll ask is how invasive a renovation are you undertaking? What are you doing to your floors? What types of floors do you have? Do you want to end up with a mixed system – retaining radiators in some areas of the house and installing underfloor heating in other parts?
Be reassured the team at R A Brown have in depth knowledge of all the products you need. We have access to some of the finest low profile, pre grooved boards available in Europe today.
The other option to laying the heating pipes on top of the existing floor is to dig up the floor to provide new depth – we do have customers that opt for this. It is messy but can be effective and can mean there are less compromises on design.
Finally, there are other variables and floor structures – such as floorboards – just ask us and we’ll be more than happy to advise you.
At the end of the day – if you choose not to retrofit wet underfloor heating don’t despair – we have hundreds of innovative solutions to offer you – radiators are amazing these days.
Can underfloor heating be fitted to both the ground and first floor of my property?
Yes. We have various methods of installing UFH to upper floors.
With new builds we can install the pipework on aluminium diffuser plates, installed before the floors are laid on the upper levels.
In existing properties you will need to consider our overlay ufh system that is installed on the existing floors.
Is underfloor heating expensive to run?
The cost of hot water underfloor heating is dependent on the heat source – the boiler or the heat pump. One important factor to bear in mind is that hot water underfloor heating costs less to run when the controls are kept simple.
We will design an underfloor heating system which is controlled to work in the most efficient way. Underfloor heating is more expensive to run if it is heating the thermal mass of the floor from cold.
It runs most effectively and is most energy efficient when it is gently topping up the temperature. This is another reason underfloor heating and heat pumps that work using ‘weather compensation’ work so well together.
Electric underfloor heating is expensive to run as it is of course a form of direct electric heating. If you hear someone saying their underfloor heating is expensive to run it is probably electric (what we call ‘under tile’ heating) that they are referring to.
What type of thermostat controls do I need for UFH?
We will recommend the most suitable room thermostats for your application.
These could be simple dial stats or weather compensating smart stats.
Does it take a long time to heat a room controlled with wet underfloor heating?
UFH warms the room gently and continuously, although it is not as responsive as a high temperature system it is a much more comfortable and even heat in the room.
Can I install Underfloor Heating directly onto my existing floor?
We do offer an ‘Overlay’ type system that can be laid on your existing floor surface. It is made up from insulation with an aluminium cover and the pipes are installed in to pre cut grooves in the insulation. Our overlay system is 25mm thick. You will then need to install a structural floor covering on top. For example, engineered wood flooring.
When should an UFH low profile system be used?
We would only recommend installing low profile systems once accurate heat loss calculations are carried out and the design determines that the energy given by the low profile system will be adequate to heat the room properly.
Will I save money on energy bills with UFH?
If installed with a low temperature system such as a heat pump, or a modern condensing boiler, then underfloor heating is a more efficient system then traditional radiators and will save you money.
What are UFH zones?
UFH is laid out in zones that can be controlled separately. For example, each bedroom may want to be a different temperature to the others so they are zoned so that they can be controlled individually.
Do I need UFH room stats in every room?
Underfloor heating is zoned as there are optimal lengths of ‘pipe run’. You may have more than one
‘loop’ of pipe in a large room. It is not necessary to have a room thermostat in every area or complex
zoning devices in addition to manifolds.
It is possible to turn the heating down in some areas of the house – such as bedrooms for example.
It is not a good idea to shut off rooms and turn the heating on and off on a regular basis in different
sections of the house.
Can I install underfloor heating myself?
Some customers do. We do work with builders and self-builders and will provide a design and supply service. One of the comments that we frequently receive about our amazing installation team is how much underfloor heating they can lay in a day. By the time you have surveyed the design plan, scratched your head, had a cup of tea, half of your ground floor could be covered in pipes! You will find working with us that we are flexible and supportive, but we will be realistic with you.
Do I need to have my floor screeded?
No, we can install overlay systems that can have boards and final floor finishes laid on top.
What is the difference between hot water UFH systems and electric UFH?
Hot water underfloor heating means pipes run across the floor attached to a manifold and a boiler or heat pump, electric underfloor heating relies on cables and electricity as the heat source.
Electric underfloor heating provides space heating and works from a direct electrical input and the running costs are much greater than that of a wet underfloor heating system.
We do not directly install or supply electric underfloor heating. We can provide this service through our electrical subcontractors. We specialise in renewable heating options which work most effectively with wet underfloor heating systems.
Can I have underfloor heating even if I don’t have a renewable heating system?
Yes, UFH can work well with both conventional and renewable heating systems, so you don’t have to change your heating system to have underfloor heating fitted in your home. You can also combine both UFH and radiators within the same system.
Why do UFH systems work well with heat pumps?
UFH systems work very well with heat pumps as they are both designed to work efficiently at lower water temperatures.
Can I install UFH in a single room or extension?
To put UFH into just 1 or 2 rooms, in an extension for example, could cost between £2000 -£3000.
It is important to consider the UFH manifold location and how we can connect the manifold to the existing heating system (usually near the boiler)
What is a low profile UFH system?
Low profile UFH systems are marketed to fit on top of your existing floors while increasing the floor height by the lowest amount possible.
It is important to design these systems correctly and they may not suit all properties as the pipes are smaller, they generally have no insulation underneath the pipes and they have to be very carefully installed so as to maintain a long working life with no problems.
Do I have to have underfloor heating with a heat pump?
These two technologies work together very well. In fact, we decided to start installing heat pumps in 2007 because we already specialised in UFH. They are compatible because they both work best at lower water temperatures. Significantly lower water temperatures than produced by a conventional boiler.
The answer is “No” – heat pumps work perfectly well with radiators – but they must be sized correctly for the lower water temperatures.
How much does underfloor heating cost to install?
The cost of an Underfloor Heating installation and the price compared with radiators varies from project to project. It is most cost effective to install in a new build project – it is quick to lay and is usually embedded in a screed floor on the ground floor. There are different price options for the screed, a basic sand and cement or a more sophisticated poured screed which conducts the heat more effectively.
There are different options for joists and floorboards with extra equipment such as grooved diffuser plates being required that adds to the cost.
One of the most expensive options is if a retrofit underfloor system requires pre-grooved boards that are low profile and enable floor finishes to be laid directly on top. To put UFH into just 1 or 2 rooms, in an extension for example, could cost between £2000 –
As we provide a full design service in-house, we can provide estimates for the different options that you want to consider depending on your budget and your project.
How much room height will I lose if I install underfloor heating?
Our overlay system is 25mm (1″) thick. Then you will have to install a finished floor covering.
We recommend that if tiling or placing carpets, then a structural board at least 18mm thick, will need to go on top of the overlay system first.
So your finished floor height in this instance will be 25mm + 18mm + the thickness of your carpet or tile.