WORDS: Donna Webeck
If you’re looking for an efficient, allergy-friendly and whisper-quiet way to ward off the cold and keep your house cosy, underfloor heating is the ideal solution for you. Not only does it feel fabulous underfoot, but it is also a gentle and unobtrusive way to distribute heat throughout your home.
Before you embark on this though, it’s essential to have a well-insulated house and know which rooms will require subfloor heating, with bathrooms, kitchens and living areas the most common hot-spots. Floor types are also important, with underfloor heating working best under natural stone, ceramic tiles, laminate, vinyl and engineered timber floors.
Here’s a look at the two main types of underfloor heating in the UK – electric underfloor heating and water (wet) underfloor – and what you can expect to pay and why you would consider installing it.
What are the benefits of underfloor heating?
“While you might consider it expensive to install, underfloor heating can save you money in the long run,” confirms Tom Bentley, Operations Manager, Refresh UK. “It also delivers an even heat flow in your home and has been proven to be 15% - 40% more cost-effective when it comes to saving on energy.”
“Asthma sufferers will also benefit - the underfloor heating system will help to reduce house dust mites.”
Electrical heating vs Gas Heating
Studies conducted by independent energy sources have shown gas prices increase 92% since 2003. Compare this with the 54% increase in electricity and you're looking at trend that shows which electrical heating to be the best choice for the long term. If you also consider that the average lifespan of a boiler system is 10 years, and most underfloor heating systems come with a lifetime warranty, you'll be saving yourself maintainence costs while increasing the value of your property.
What is electric underfloor heating?
In an electric underfloor heating system – also known as a dry system - a series of electric wires or electric heating sheets are installed beneath or within your flooring. These are used to heat an area or a room through various methods: in-screed, under-tile and in-slab options.
In-screed coils are paved over a waterproof membrane and a screed is poured over to encase the coils and protect them, with flooring laced over the top. Under-tile sees the coils placed directly under the tiles, while the in-slab technique revolves around the coils are embedded into the concrete slab. This is very popular and cost-effective with new builds.
What is water (wet) underfloor heating?
Wet underfloor heating uniformly heats the house, with heated water running through insulated pipes under timber flooring or embedded in insulated concrete slabs. A series of pipes are linked to solar panels or a hot water system or can be heated by gas, diesel, logs or wood pellets boiler or air to water heat pump.
Controlled by temperature and zones, this makes newer systems more cost effective to run than the earlier models. It is an easy system to maintain and work with, allowing you to choose your desired temperature set on a timer.
It can be retro-fitted but is expensive to do so – it’s far more cost-effective at the new build stage or during a full refurbishment.
How much does underfloor heating cost?
Research shows in the UK, underfloor heating installation costs per m2 to be around £50-£75 when using electric heat mats. Cost may vary depending on insulation, heater controls, and electrician fees. Hydronic underfloor heating systems can much more, generally over £2,000.
For more information on how you too can bask in a soothing, even heat, which eliminates cold spots and draughts through the use of hidden technology, contact your local United Kingdom Refresh Renovation expert today!
*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations specialist. All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.