Dispelling the common myths about underfloor heating

David Playfoot, Segment Manager at Uponor, gives his advice on the best underfloor heating solution for your project and dispels some of the common myths around this product.

Underfloor heating can enhance and add value to a property. It can also significantly improve comfort, ensuring heat is evenly distributed and rooms are kept at an optimal temperature at all times. The benefits don’t stop there as underfloor heating can also reduce energy bills, and, in the absence of radiators, provide more creative design freedom. So, why are people still hesitant when it comes to adopting underfloor heating?

Despite the many advantages of underfloor heating, recent research from Uponor revealed that two fifths of homeowners are too confused by the different products and systems available to be able to confidently consider it as option for their property, whether within a new build or part of a renovation or extension. With that in mind, it’s clear some clarity is needed.

Underfloor for new builds and extensions:

For new builds and extensions, the most efficient option is solid screed underfloor heating. Included within the initial design plans, this method involves installing pipework into the floor during the construction stage. Once the pipes are in place, a fast-drying cement is added on top, creating a solid floor which can be finished with a wide range of flooring types.

Underfloor for renovation projects:

Our research also found that 32% of people think they would have to dig up their floors to have underfloor heating installed, however, this not the case. If you are working on a renovation project where you do not want to excavate the floor, we would recommend installing a low-profile underfloor heating solution, which can be fitted on top of existing screed. There are options available that are only 15mm thick, meaning there is no need to take up the current floor. It can be fully installed quickly and efficiently, in just three days.

Underfloor for older properties:

If you are working on a project in an older property, an underfloor heating system that works together with joisted flooring is the best option. For this, we would recommend installing heat emission plates which have been specially designed with this type of property in mind. They are quick and simple to install and can be walked on immediately after being fitted.

Common myths

As well as the confusion around which solution is best for different projects, the lack of information available on underfloor heating has led to some incorrect myths going unchallenged. For example, our research shows that 34% of people wrongly think underfloor heating is more expensive to run than radiators when in fact, traditional heating systems require 15-40% more energy, so using underfloor heating can actually reduce energy bills and provide considerable long-term cost savings.

Another common misconception is that underfloor heating is only suitable for tiled floors. Whilst some choices are more suitable than others depending on the project, underfloor heating works with the majority of flooring including ceramic tiles, laminate and LVT. It will also work well with carpet as long as the underlay partnered with it is not too thick and under 2.5 togs.

Many people also mistakenly believe that underfloor heating only works downstairs but there are thinner systems available for non-ground floor rooms which are ideal for retro-fits and upper floor installations. In fact, wherever underfloor heating is required within the home, there is a system available to suit.

Selecting the most suitable option

Whether you are looking to add value to a property, make it more energy efficient, more comfortable to live in or easier to design, underfloor heating offers a viable option. When considering underfloor heating it is, however, vital to carefully select the most suitable option for your project. Taking the time to consider the various types of available and how exactly underfloor heating will fit into your project will ensure you are able to reap the benefits it has to offer.

The Uponor underfloor heating guide is a definitive source of information detailing everything you need to know about underfloor heating. The guide can be downloaded here: