Winter occurs because of the earth sloping away from the sun. There are several recreational activities you can get involved in during winter. However, as much as there are many activities to do during winter, including sledding, skating, ice fishing, and building snowmen, many people still resent the cold. A good underfloor heating system and flooring will go a long way in making winter not just bearable but enjoyable.
What is Underfloor Heating (UFH)?
Underfloor heating systems are old and can be traced back to Korean and Roman cultures. In Korea, as far back as 5,000 BC, they had heated or baked floors. While the Romans also had what they called Hypocaust, a system that distributed heat through space from an underground fire.
There are two types of underfloor system technologies: wet and dry. Wet UFH systems use pumps to pass hot water, which heats the home. A boiler heats the water. On the other hand, dry heating systems use electric systems. For electric UFH systems, the technology uses a thermostat. When heating a floor with wet or dry underfloor heating systems, it causes hot air to rise, which heat the room.
Best Flooring For Underfloor Heating
Which floors are compatible with underfloor heating? Underfloor heating changes the temperature of the floor. You need a floor that can withstand that. In addition to that, it is essential to use a floor that will not get damaged by the heat of an underfloor heating system.
1. Underfloor Heating Tiles
Which floor tiles are suitable for underfloor heating? Tiles and stone are the best floors for UFH. They have a high thermal conductivity, which makes the heat transfer to the surface quickly. They can withstand temperature heating of up to 29° C. Tiles are also good at retaining heat. If you live in areas with high heat loss capacity, then tiles will be suitable with UFH. Opt for tiles that do not exceed a thickness of 20mm.
2. Luxury Vinyl Tile Underfloor Heating
Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring is manufactured from multiple layers. Then, it is topped with a fine imprint of a certain design or pattern. LVT floors are sturdy and work well with underfloor heating systems. The floor copes well with the temperature fluctuations in UFH systems.
3. Vinyl Flooring for Underfloor Heating
Can you put underfloor heating under vinyl flooring? Vinyl is a safe flooring option for UFH. This is because it cools fast and heats up fast too. It can accommodate temperature changes. However, they are subject to a 27°C temperature limit. In this regard, they don’t do well in high heat loss areas.
4. Underfloor Heating for Laminate
Is laminate flooring suitable for underfloor heating? There is quite a range of laminate floors compatible with UFH in different colors and designs. However, not all laminate floors are suitable for fitting with underfloor heating systems. Therefore, check the compatibility of the floor with the manufacturer or supplier before purchasing the laminate floor.
5. Wooden Floors
Does underfloor heating work with wooden floors? If you want to install UFH under a wooden floor, you need to use engineered hardwood instead of solid wood. The temperature changes can destroy solid wood. Engineered wood can withstand the changes in floor temperatures that are a characteristic of the system. Engineered wood has layers that provide stability and strength to UFH systems.
When heating the engineered wood, do not exceed a floor surface temperature of 27°C. The thermal property of wood depends on the wood type. Therefore, when installing a new wooden floor, ask the manufacturer about its compatibility with underfloor heating systems. Also, consider how thick the floorboard is because it should not block the heat from the floor.
6. Carpet Floors
Can you put underfloor heating under carpets? Both wet and dry systems are compatible with carpets. However, the carpet mustn’t be too thick to block the heat. Carpets have a tog rating system. When installing carpets, go for less than a 1.5 tog rating but never exceed a 2.5 tog.
First Floor UHS
Advancements in technology make it possible to have UFH systems on any floor in a building. The best systems should raise the floor height negligibly.
Installing UFH Over Existing Floors
Is installing underfloor heating over existing floors viable? As much as installing UFH in a new building is more convenient, it is possible to install the system in an existing house.
Electric underfloor heating is the best fixture. After all, it doesn’t raise the floor height by much because its heater is thin. However, it is advisable to fit UFH systems when renovating a floor. This is because you should replace the floor covering for the floor with a new one. The fixed heating system will require a new floor covering on top of it. This is because the floor coverings will get damaged when being removed and cannot be used again.
Underfloor heating systems provide a way to conveniently heat homes. You can heat the whole house or individual rooms with UFH systems. UFHs are preferred because they distribute heat evenly more than radiators.
The systems also occupy little space in the house, unlike radiators which occupy wall space. It can also be cost-effective, especially if you consider using solar power or other renewable energy heating sources.