At this time of year, with the afternoons still getting steadily darker and the temperatures dropping, it’s more important than ever to feel cosy and warm at home. Few clients think to ask about under-floor heating in those few exciting days of a British heatwave, but come Autumn and Winter we field constant questions about how our floors are compatible with under-floor heating and how necessary it is. Given the start of advent (and a recent shift into Winter weather!) we thought now was the perfect time to answer all those questions! Read on for more information about types of under-floor heating, how it works, and whether you need it…
A luxury, not a necessity
The first thing to understand, is that unlike concrete flooring, a Sphere8 floor does not require under-floor heating in order to be a comfortable temperature. The natural biopolymers used in a Sphere8 resin floor ensure that it stays ambient and warm all year round and will always be comfortable underfoot. Derived from natural oils from the castor bean plant, our resin floors lack the cold, harsh feel of cement, epoxy resin or concrete – so under-floor heating gets to be a bonus, not a necessity!
If you decide you do want to add an extra level of comfort to your resin floor, whether just in your wet room or throughout your home, there are then a few more decisions to make. Crucially there are two types of under-floor heating… wet and electric. The jury is still out on which is the most cost-effective, but as a general rule we advise clients to be guided by their subfloor. Some are more compatible with different types and it depends on the age of your building. Electric under-floor heating uses matting or wires that are buried within your screed, whether it’s on top of an existing concrete floor or plywood. Wet under-floor heating uses hot water fed through pipes to heat the floor – these pipes are slotted into the subfloor in various ways depending on the material.
The thing to bear in mind about under-floor heating, is that it operates in a very different way to standard radiators etc. You get a much more consistent temperature, rather than a blast of heat in one area. In many ways this is ideal for heating a larger space, such as an open-plan kitchen – where otherwise some areas may feel drafty or cold – and it keeps the whole space a consistent temperature. The downside of this is it can take a while to feel any effect – and with a changeable climate like the UK, where temperatures can vary from day to day, it can be hard to programme your UFH system.
However, for those that get it right, under-floor heating creates a luxurious and comfortable environment. On these long cold nights we can easily imagine the appeal! But for those that decide not to splash out on the extra feature, rest assured that a Sphere8 floor is warm enough already – and spring is just around the corner (almost!).
Sphere8, formerly SENSO, was formed in 2009. Since 1st May 2016, we are evolving to Sphere8. The same experience with a new vision for the future...