If you are thinking about buying underfloor heating for your home, you will probably have many questions. How much will it cost? How long will it take to install? Is it practical for your home? What type should you go for – electric or hydronic? What sort of flooring can be laid over it? The questions seem endless, but hopefully, in this article, we can provide the answers you need.

Buying underfloor heating suits new builds

One of the biggest problems when considering underfloor heating is floor space. Once property construction is complete, the space available under the floor may be limited. If it is, then the only option may be electric powered heating because hydronic (water powered) heating requires enough room to take the pipe through which the water flows.

With new builds that are under construction, the space can be engineered at the design stage so hydronic heating will not be a problem. The alternative, electric heating, uses thin wires to conduct the heat, and the product is much thinner, so either or is an option.

Existing builds with limited underfloor space can sometimes accommodate hydronic systems, if, like some of the products on offer from people like Warmup, they use smaller (16mm) pipes.

The general rule of thumb though is that when buying underfloor heating for renovation projects, people tend to use electric rather than hydronic.

Type of floor coverings

In theory, you can use any type of floor covering over underfloor heating. However, some conduct heat more efficiently than others. The surfaces that are better at heat conduction are stone and tiles. Wooden and laminated floor coverings vary in terms of conductivity because it depends on the type of material and its thickness.

The denser and thinner the substrate, the better its conductivity. Many people like wooden flooring because it reacts sympathetically with changes in temperature. Vinyl floor coverings also work quite well as does carpeting providing its rating is no more than 2.5 tog.

The same choice of floor covering material will be suitable for either electric or hydronic heating systems.

The comparative costs of buying underfloor heating

The price for buying underfloor heating will vary dependent on the type of system, and the floor area you wish to cover. You can get an idea of the price range by using the cost calculator on the Warmup website.

When it comes to installation, electric underfloor heating is the cheapest. There are no pipes to be connected as with hydronic systems and because the profile of electric is much thinner than that of water-based systems it only increases the height of the floor by mere millimetres. Electric underfloor heating systems are made to top quality standard and are very safe.

The only downside of buying electric underfloor heating is that it is more expensive to run than water-based.

Installing hydronic underfloor heating

Installing hydronic type systems not only involves more labour, but it requires many more items. You will need to think about your boiler, a manifold, a mixing unit, actuators and thermostats as well as the piping. Also, whereas a skilled DIYer can install electric units, you will need a qualified plumber if you are buying underfloor heating that uses hydronics.

If you live in or around South London, you can employ us here at CW Services Plumbing and Heating to carry out your installation. We have extensive experience with both electric and hydronic systems. We can also offer you professional advice.

Why not call us today on 020 7733 6812 or 07949 095 184 to arrange a free consultation?