While the reputation of domestic underfloor heating (UFH) has undergone a significant transformation over the last decade, it has always encountered one major stumbling block – its ability to be retrofitted into existing properties. The traditional retrofit UFH solution available is to fit an overlay system. It can be installed over the top of an existing screed floor and, once a position and route for the manifold have been identified and subsequently fitted, the installation can be completed relatively quickly. The process involves either laying pipe on top of a mat and then stapling it down, or using floor panels with pre-determined pipe grooves. Such a thin overlay technology can offer the best of both previous retrofit UFH installation methods – quick installation time (24 to 48 hours depending on room size), lower total system cost for the homeowner, and a minimal impact on room height.
Furthermore, if a system has a completed installation height of only 15mm, the pipes are much closer to the finished surface. This means that the system can operate at an even lower temperature while still achieving the same level of radiant heat as other systems because the heat has less distance and material to travel through.
BENEFITS OF RETROFITTING
Overlay boards feature efficient thermal outputs and compatibility with existing heating systems.
This style of UFH not only decreases the height impact but also dramatically decreases screed drying time.
This is a low profile system which is easy to install and produces limited impact to building schedules.
Modern examples of these boards generally feature a high thermal conductivity which means heating response times have dramatically improved through years of development.
WHAT IS RIGHT
FOR YOUR PROJECT
There is a number of different methods of retrofitting underfloor heating which is ever growing! All you need to do is work out which one is right for your project, and we can help. First you need to discover what lies beneath your existing floor in your chosen room, or rooms in which you want to fit a new retrofit system. Once this is known we can easily help you match the right system, or mix of systems for your home. More often than not, an aluminum coated overlay panel will be used as it can be fitted on top of existing timber and concrete floors, as long as the floor in question is even! If your are fitting on to an uneven floor with many different levels a castellated pro-fix panel would be better as it molds to shape of the floor and is then leveled after using a wet screed. Both systems are equally as effective and similar in installation time, only difference is one being dry fix and the other being a wet fix system.
Though of a higher capital cost and slightly more complex to install, underfloor heating should be of serious consideration as an alternative to radiators. Underfloor’s main two advantages are that it provides better quality heating without draughts or dry air, but also that, because of its low operating temperature, it can be easily linked in with alternative heating sources that output at the same low temperatures. This makes underfloor heating ideal to integrate with solar thermal or ground source / air-air heat pumps.