See the Central Heating Design article for pros and cons of underfloor heating compared to radiators etc.
The use of warmed floors to heat spaces goes back at least to the Romans who used hypocausts to heat buildings using wood as fuel. Modern Underfloor Heating systems ("UFH") can be designed and installed as part of a wet hydronic central heating system or can be separate Electrically heated areas.
The following regards wet CH-based systems:
Uponor (formerly Wirsbo) are long-established suppliers of UFH.
| Their web site's pages carry the now-common indication of the path through the document tree to the current page e.g.
but you can't always get further along the path from a given page! Instead you have to use the pop-up menus from the navigation bar on the left of the page.
Requires (free) registration for PDF datasheet downloads including:
Uponor supports installation in screeded solid floors, suspended floors with spreader plates or with their proprietary system using metallised bubble-wrap backing, and floating floors with 50mm panels.
Continental are a significant established supplier of UFH in the UK.
Their wesbite details the range of products which includes multi-layer AluPEX pipes and 5-layer PEX pipes. Their founder (Chris Ingram) is Chairman of the Technical Committee of the UK trade associaition, UHMA.
Downloads available include:
Continental systems support installation in screeded floors, fit from above or below systems for timber joists, suspended floors and floating floors.
Hepworth (formerly Bartol) are another long-established supplier of UFH in the UK.
UFH Guides avalable as PDFs including:
- floor construction
- floor layouts
- training guide 'benefits' and installation practise
- conservatory pack simple packaged kit for single solid-floored rooms using flow-limiting temperature valve in return circuit
Supports solid, suspended and floating floors.
Polypipe UFH systems (widely available in DIY outlets e.g. B&Q)
Floor types supported include overlay 18mm thick using 12mm pipe.
(Makers of Speedfit).
Their UFH web page gives a comprehensive guide to:
- basics of UFH
- solid floor construction
- design principles
- heatloss (with R values for different surface finishes)
- pipe layout
- output tables
- installation practise
Nu-Heat supplies integrated underfloor heating, heat pump and solar solutions. With over 60 floor constructions the underflor heating can be incorporated into screed, floating and suspended timber floors.
Warm water underfloor heating works by pumping a controlled flow of warm water from any heat source through plastic tubing embedded in the floor. Because the emitting area is large, sufficient warmth is provided even on a cold winter day with no need for supplementary heating.
Supply a range of typical UFH systems but also make a thin (15mm or 25mm finished) screeded system based on zinc-plated steel honeycomb which, it is claimed, can be laid over existing wooden floors, even those in poor condition. The system is also claimed to have relatively short warm-up and cool-down times.
System comprising thin "poly" panels grooved for PEX pipe with bonded foil heat diffuser. Panels can be cut with a craft-knife, and glued, screwed or nailed onto surface.
Also available in thicker "Easy Panel" incorporating insulation.