Hot stuff

John Gittens Business Development Director from Maincor looks at how underfloor heating can raise the stakes for developers looking to create a luxurious finish that will have potential homebuyers hot footing it to the sales office, and the systems available that make installation possible whatever the circumstances.

Achieving a high-end, luxurious finish is part and parcel of competing in a crowded marketplace for housebuilders and developers. In a never-ending bid to stand out from the crowd and deliver the latest trends that potential purchasers are looking for, underfloor heating certainly has its advantages.

There can be no doubt that underfloor heating has its benefits for the end user, maximising as it does on warmth and comfort in an efficient way in any type and size of property.

Regardless of the style of property, or what look the homeowner may be opting for, underfloor heating delivers; out of sight but certainly not out of mind, keeping the property cosy and warm regardless of how much outside air temperatures may plummet. This is even more important with the trend towards wood and laminate flooring as a practical and stylish option, particularly in family homes, which quite simply is not as warm underfoot as walking on carpet.

Underfloor heating helps with the aesthetics of a property too and creates complete freedom of interior design with no radiators to worry about, which means that every square inch of space can be used for room layouts and makes it particularly ideal for open-plan spaces where wall space for radiators is limited.

Eco conscious

The environmental benefits of underfloor heating also can’t be denied and really shouldn’t be ignored; much lower water temperatures are required as the large surface area of the floor is enough to warm the room efficiently as the heat rises. An underfloor heating system will generally run at around 45 degrees as opposed to circa 80 degrees used in radiator systems, which means that there are energy and running cost savings, especially when used with renewable heat sources such as heat pumps. In turn, this means lower CO2 emissions, which is good news for the eco conscious homeowner and developers with a sustainable agenda.

In very real terms that will pique the interest of potential homebuyers as lower water temperatures mean less energy usage and therefore lower utility bills. With underfloor heating, the homeowner has complete control of the temperature too, as rooms are heated on an individual basis, so the living room can be kept at a higher temperature than the bedrooms, for example.

Easy fit

But what about installation? New advancements in technology mean that underfloor heating can be installed quite simply regardless of floor construction, whereabouts within the building it is required or the stage of the project. For solid floors underfloor heating pipes can be laid on to insulation board placed over a solid concrete base with screed then poured over the top of the pipes. This construction is typically used on ground floors or block and beam floors, with mainfoil or heat emission plates being suitable for suspended floors.

A mainfoil system uses a bubble aluminium foil which laps up and over the joists to create a sealed air void. The aluminium foil reflects the radiant heat up to the underside of the floor, which in turn heats the room, while heat emission plates, supported by the joists, are grooved so that the underfloor heating pipework can be fitted into them. The plates diffuse the heat for an even heat distribution across the floor.

With underfloor heating increasingly being sought as an efficient, economical and environmentally friendly method, for house builders and developers looking to impress potential homebuyers with a little bit of luxury underfoot it can only be good news that such systems are now readily available.

For more details call Maincor on 01455 555930 or visit