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What Is Underfloor Heating And How Does It Work?

By Stephen N Taylor

Underfloor heating is a popular DIY project; what person doesn’t hate walking across a cold floor first thing on a winter’s morning. There is no better way to get up in the morning than to a toasty warm floor. But what is it exactly?

Underfloor heating is a central heating system which works from the floor upwards, warming the air through conduction and radiation. Heat is generated by electricity passing through conductive cables, film or mesh, or by hot water from a boiler, running through a network of pipes. These are then hidden under the floor covering.

There’s been a huge increase in the popularity of this floor heating system in the UK in recent years and is commonly used in chilly north European countries. It has been around since the Romans built their original hypocaust systems which used low level furnaces to heat air which was circulated through the space below the stone floors of their villas and bath houses. Different variations have continued to be used throughout the ages, culminating in the modern underfloor heating systems available today.

Once seen as an expensive luxury by the British, it has evolved to become an affordable alternative to traditional heating. A range of technical developments have also made it more efficient and easier to install. There are two different ways of installation, depending on the system you choose and the type of flooring you have. Floor heating systems can either have a layer of screed poured over them, or can simply be fixed to the sub-floor. To avoid wasting heat, underfloor heating insulation is placed underneath. These systems can be used throughout an entire building or be limited to one or two rooms, and often run in tandem with traditional systems.

The simplest system to install underfloor heating is via electric heated floor mats. These are rolled out across the floor surface and then the flooring, be it tiles, laminate or boards are fitted as normal on top. Once the mat is plugged in you have an instantly heated floor.

Learn more about underfloor heating insulation?. Stop by our Floor Heating Online site where you can find out all about underfloor heating and what it can do for you.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Taylor, Stephen N. "What Is Underfloor Heating And How Does It Work?." What Is Underfloor Heating And How Does It Work?. 22 Jun. 2010. 8 Jan 2015 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Taylor, S (2010, June 22). What Is Underfloor Heating And How Does It Work?. Retrieved January 8, 2015, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Taylor, Stephen N. "What Is Underfloor Heating And How Does It Work?"

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