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Underfloor heating

Underfloor heating is becoming increasingly popular, both for energy saving and comfort reasons. There are many different systems out there, alongside a variety of fixing and installation methods. Here we look at the different options available to those specifying these products.

Underfloor heating systems allow for greater flexibility in space planning. Replacing radiators within the room, underfloor heating can free up both wall and floor space.

There are two main types of underfloor heating: electric or water. Water-based systems are the most energy-efficient. Electric systems are often thought of as unsustainable, due to the high CO2 emissions associated
with using mains electricity for heating.

Water-based systems have been found to use up to two-thirds of the energy used by equivalent electrical systems. However, typically they have higher capital costs compared with electric-based systems.

The reaction time of the heating can have a significant effect on both the amount of energy consumed and the comfort of the occupants. Systems can also be used to provide coolness during hot summer months. This is simply done by circulating cold water around the system instead of hot. For higher sustainability targets it can be connected to a ground source heat pump.

Underfloor heating creates a large radiating heat surface which only needs to be a few degrees warmer than the air of the room to be effective. Therefore water temperature can be a lot lower than if radiators were used and
there is the added benefit that the heat source is spread throughout the room.

There are two types of water-based underfloor heating: heat store and fast delivery. Heat store systems consist of pipes laid within a slab or screed. This is slow to heat up, although it stores the heat, and continues releasing it once the system has been turned off. Fast delivery underfloor heating works by pipes being laid above insulation, usually in specially formed trays or panels.

Almost any kind of floor covering can be used above underfloor heating. Tiles are best above a solid or screeded floor, as they add to the thermal mass. However, attention should be paid to the thickness of the tiles, as this
will affect the amount of time that it takes for the heat to reach the surface. Compatability of timber framing should be checked.

Carpet is the least effective floor covering for use with underfloor heating, as it is insulative and therefore will require the system to be run at higher temperatures.

Ideal Eco

Jupiter Ideal Eco

Jupiter Ideal Eco

This system is one of the most ecological on the market, being produced using wood fibre panels rather than polystyrene. The insulative panels offer high levels of sound absorption making it suitable for upper floors.

Manufacturer: Jupiter Heating Systems

Type of system: water

Material: high density, wood fibre panels with integrated aluminium diffusion plates

Panel thickness:30mm

Panel size: 1000 x 500mm

Panel Types: central zone with two pipes and edge zone with four pipes

Installation: dry installed without a screed

Floor covering above: solid timber, engineered boards or laminate

Floor construction below: concrete slab, beam and block, timber

Recycled content: the wood fibre panels have 20 per cent recycled content

Country of manufacture: Germany

UK distribution location: Surrey

www.jupiterunderfloorheating.com

Ideal EPS

Jupiter Ideal EPS

Jupiter Ideal EPS

This dry installed system is made up of polystyrene panels with aluminium heat distribution plates, which ensure the heat is evenly spread across the surface of the floor. Faster installation is achieved as the system requires no wet screed.

Manufacturer: Jupiter Heating Systems

Type of system: water

Material: EPS 035 polystyrene panels with integrated aluminium diffusion plates

Panel thickness: 30mm

Panel size: 1000 x 500mm

Panel Types: central zone with two pipes and edge zone with four pipes

Installation: dry installed without a screed

Floor covering above: solid timber, engineered boards or laminate

Floor construction below: concrete slab, beam and block, timber

UK distribution location: Surrey

www.jupiterunderfloorheating.com

Warmup Electric Underfloor Heating Mats

Warmup Electric Underfloor Heating Mats

Warmup Electric Underfloor Heating Mats

This heating mat features a dual core heating element within a fibreglass mesh. It can be used to fit floor areas as little as half a metre square and is available in a 150W/m2 or 200W/m2 system. 

Manufacturer: Jupiter Heating Systems

Type of system: electric

Material: fibreglass mesh matt

Mat thickness:3mm

Mat width: 500mm

Heat output: 150W/m2 or 200W/m2

Installation: matting rolled out over floor -a flexible tile adhesive must be used above the matt

Floor covering above: ceramic or natural stone tiles

Floor construction below: suspended timber of solid concrete

www.warmup.co.uk

Wood22

Terra Therma Wood22

Terra Therma Wood22

Wood22 is designed to reduce the water temperature required for timber under floor heating, reducing the energy consumption of the system. This is achieved by the heat pipes sitting above the load bearing wood system.

Manufacturer: Terra Therma

Type of system: water

Material: chipboard with aluminium heat distribution plates

Panel depth:22mm

Panel size: 1800 x 600mm

Installation: dry installed and fitted together using tongue and groove system on all four sides

Floor covering above: laminates, tiles, carpet and timber can be applied above a plywood layer

Floor construction below: can be fitted on top of the existing floor deck

UK distribution location: Essex, London, Kent, and Surrey

www.terratherma.co.uk

EPS16

Terra Therma EPS16

Terra Therma EPS16

EPS16 is an ultra slim system for laying over load bearing floors. This low construction height system is made up of slotted insulation boards with an aluminium heat distribution plate which is factory fitted covering the whole board.

Manufacturer: Terra Therma

Type of system: water

Material: polystyrene board with aluminium heat distribution plate

Panel depth: 16mm

Panel size: 1200 x 600mm

Installation: dry installed

Floor covering above: laminates, carpet and timber can be applied above a plywood layer, where tiles are to be installed cross battening should be introduced

Floor construction below: solid concrete floors or suspended timber floors

UK distribution location:Essex, London, Kent, and Surrey

www.terratherma.co.uk

Underwood heating system

ProWarm Underwood Heating System

ProWarm Underwood Heating System

This mat system is specifically designed for use under wooden floors including laminates, engineered and solid wood flooring. The mats are supplied pre-assembled and can range in size from 1m2 to 24m2.

Manufacturer: ProWarm

Type of system: electric

Material: aluminium foil matting with the cable housed within

Mat depth: 2mm

Mat size: 24m x 0.5m

Installation: matting rolled out over floor

Heat output: 140W/m2

Floor covering above: laminate, engineered and solid wood flooring, not suitable for use under tiled floors

Floor construction below: all types of solid floor

UK distribution location: Essex

www.ProWarm.com

Devimat100

Gaia CS Devimat100

Gaia CS Devimat100

This mat system is best used as a supplementary heating system. It is well suited to bathroom, kitchen and other domestic applications. The matting is self-adhesive and therefore avoids any movement of the heating elements.

Manufacturer: Gaia CS

Type of system: electric

Material: a self-adhesive Teflon matting with cable pre-attached

Mat depth: 2.5mm

Mat size: 0.5 x 8m

Installation: matting rolled out over floor

Heat output: 100W/m2

Floor covering above: best suited to wooden flooring

Floor construction below: can be installed over any solid floor

Country of manufacture: Denmark

www.gaiacs.com

Overfit Board

John Guest Speedfit Overfit Board

John Guest Speedfit Overfit Board

This panel system has a low profile and can be used in both retrofit and new build circumstances.  It is a grooved foil faced installation board for use with 15mm pipework.

Manufacturer: John Guest Speedfit

Type of system: water

Material: Extruded Polystyrene-XPS2

Panel depth: 25mm

Panel size: 1250 x 600mm

Installation: panels are butted up against each other and taped together

Heat output: 50 – 60W/m2

Floor covering above: laminate floors can be fixed directly over the system, carpet or tiles should be placed above a plywood layer

Floor construction below: solid

www.speedfit.co.uk

Underfit Board

John Guest Speedfit Underfit Board

John Guest Speedfit Underfit Board

These boards are suitable for installing 15mm tubing over existing floor structures between battens or under floor between existing joints. They allow for the heating system to be installed without affecting the build-up of the floor.

Manufacturer: John Guest Speedfit

Type of system: water

Material: expanded polystyrene

Panel depth: 50mm

Panel size: 1200 x 350mm

Installation: placed between joists in timber suspended floors

Heat output: 50 – 60W/m2

Floor covering above: tiles, carpet, laminate and engineered timber floors

Floor construction below: timber suspended floors

www.speedfit.co.uk

System Plates

Thermoboard System Plates

Thermoboard System Plates

System plates are plastic interlocking plates which allow the heating pipes to be located within their pre-shaped system. A screed can then be laid surrounding the pipework. The edges of the plates overlap and interlock creating a gap free base.

Manufacturer: Thermoboard

Type of system: water

Material: Styrene-Butadiene Polystyrene

Recycled content:recycled plastic sheet

Panel depth:22mm

Panel size: 1275 x 975mm

Installation: direct placement over existing floors

Floor covering above: minimum 65mm floor screed with additional floor covering

Floor construction below: any subfloor which can support a screed

www.thermoboard.wavin.com

Pocketed Polystyrene

Thermoboard Pocketed Polystyrene

Thermoboard Pocketed Polystyrene

These machined polystyrene panels can supplement or replace the insulation within the floor. They are quicker to install and therefore offer both time and cost savings over other under floor heating installation systems.

Manufacturer: Thermoboard

Type of system: water

Material:extruded polystyrene

Recyclability: 100 per cent recyclable at end of life

Panel depth:35, 50, or 75mm

Panel size: 2400 x 600mm

Installation: panels laid directly onto the floor and butted together

Thermal conductivity: 0.029W/mK

Floor covering above: minimum 65mm floor screed with additional floor covering

Floor construction below: any subfloor which can support a screed

www.thermoboard.wavin.com

Modular Wood

Thermoboard Modular Wood

Thermoboard Modular Wood

These modular wooden panels come with the heating pipes preinstalled within them. The low thermal mass ensures a rapid response to heating demand, minimising the thermal lag associated withtraditional systems.

Manufacturer: Thermoboard

Type of system: water

Material: P5 grade chipboard or spruce ply

Recyclability: 100 per cent recyclable at end of life

Panel depth:22mm

Panel size: 2400 x 600mm

Installation: dry installed and fitted together using a tongue and groove system

Thermal conductivity: 0.14W/mK

Floor covering above: laminate, engineered timber and solid wood flooring

Floor construction below: timber suspended floor

www.thermoboard.wavin.com

Bekotec-Therm

Schluter Systems Bekotec-Therm

Schluter Systems Bekotec-Therm

This modular system is based on a studded screed panel which is placed above the floor insulation, and which holds the heating pipes in place.

Manufacturer: Schluter Systems

Type of system: water

Material: polystyrene

Panel depth: 75, 150, 225, 300mm

Installation: dry installed with grooves which fit together at the joints

Thermal conductivity: 0.033W/mK

Floor covering above: screeded floor with tiles or natural stone above

Floor construction below: solid floor

Country of manufacture: Germany

www.bekotec-therm.co.uk

Millimat

Warmaflor Millimat

Warmaflor Millimat

The Millimat system comprises a twin conductor heating cable fixed to a thin, self-adhesive glass fibre mesh. Due to its thickness, the system is particularly well suited to areas where floor depth is critical.

Manufacturer: Warmafloor

Type of system: electric

Material: cables contained within a glass fibre mesh mat

Mat depth: 4.5mm

Mat size: 0.8 or 0.5m in width with a variety of different lengths available

Installation: matting rolled out over floor and embedded within a screed

Heat output: 100W/m2 or 150W/m2

Floor covering above: screeded and tiled floor

Floor construction below: can be installed over any solid floor

www.warmafloor.co.uk

 

 

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