Underfloor heating questions answered

Considering installing underfloor heating? Find all the advice you need on choosing the right system for your home, with help from Martin Dootson, underfloor heating expert at Polypipe Home Solutions

Why choose underfloor heating?

Alongside the luxury feel, there are many benefits offered by underfloor heating, which have helped seal its approval from homeowners, including:

Radiant heat

Improved design options

A family friendly environment

Indulgence

The ability to connect to renewable heat sources

What is new in underfloor heating?

The latest product launch from Polypipe is Overlay Lite™. It is unique in that it can be fitted under existing flooring, including carpets and laminate. A plumber simply lifts up the existing carpet or wooden floor boards, lays the underfloor heating below, and then places the original carpet or flooring back down with minimum fuss. Overlay Lite™ is only 18mm in depth, which means it can be installed in any room in the house, and where traditional underfloor systems would either require expensive excavation or the floor to be raised to an unacceptable level.

Is it cheaper to have Overlay than traditional methods of installing UFH?

Overlay is more expensive but the beauty is that it can be purchased from B&Q, so if you are confident with DIY then you can purchase and fit a lot of the system yourself. This means that you’ll only need to pay for a plumber to come out and connect the system to the rest of your home’s plumbing, saving time and money.

How much will underfloor heating cost?

The price of underfloor heating will depend on many factors, including the system you select as well as the size of the room(s). The best thing to do is send in the plans of your property and an expert will design a system and send back a full specification breakdown and price quotation.

How long will installation take?

Depending on the type of underfloor heating you are fitting, you don’t need to experience a lot of disruption. Overlay Lite™ can be fitted quickly and easily over existing floors, eliminating the need for timely renovations. For an average sized room, an Overlay Lite™ system can be fitted in just one day.

What should a homeowner consider before opting for UFH in their home?

If you are looking for a heating solution which will create an even temperature throughout your home, a family friendly environment and reduce your bills, then underfloor heating could be the solution for you. There is an underfloor heating system for every project and every home, so careful planning will ensure you make the right choice. One of the first things to think about is which underfloor heating system will be most appropriate for your property. With a variety of options available, you should consider these simple things to help your decision:

1.    Whether the heating will be laid under a new or existing floor

The answers to these questions can then be used to help inform your choice of system.

What maintenance is involved?

Underfloor heating systems are virtually maintenance free, meaning once it’s installed, you can forget about it and just enjoy the benefits that it brings.

Can you use any type of flooring under the underfloor heating systems?

There is an underfloor heating system available for almost all types of flooring. So whether you want to have underfloor heating fitted under carpet in the bedroom, or under tiles in the bathroom, there will always be an option. Remember that your flooring choice – be it carpet, vinyl, hardwood or otherwise, will be impacted by which system you select. For example, Overlay is more suitable for lightweight coverings, such as carpet and laminate. Make sure you check with your installer before you decide on your flooring.

How long will it last?

Most systems will be covered by an extensive guarantee – all of our underfloor heating products are covered by the Polypipe 50 year guarantee!

Are there any drawbacks?

Generally underfloor heating systems will be more expensive to install than traditional radiator-based systems, however, they are cheaper to run in the long-run meaning you’ll easily recoup that additional spend. Another common misconception about underfloor heating is that a room or area can take longer to heat up, compared to traditional heating methods. While if you are looking for a sudden burst of warmth into a room, you won’t get it with underfloor heating, a good system will have programmable controls. These will allow you to pre-programme the heating to maintain an ambient temperature or for it to come on when a room dips below a certain heat, meaning there should be no need for that sudden burst of warmth.

Is UFH more energy efficient?

A water-based underfloor heating system should affect your bills for the better. In the long run it can be more economical to run than a radiator based system, as the water is kept at a lower temperature to produce the equivalent heat output. What’s more, unlike electric-based underfloor heating, it won’t be affected by future energy price hikes.  To make the most out of the system, it is important that there is good insulation underneath the flooring to minimise heat loss.