how does underfloor heating work?

How Does Underfloor Heating Work?

We have the Roman invasion of Britain to thank for underfloor heating. Their ‘hypocausts’ were the prototypes of the wet underfloor heating (ufh) system which we know today. This radical innovation disappeared when the Romans left our shores, and it’s taken 2,000 years for it to re-appear!


What is Wet Underfloor Heating?

It’s a way to turn your floor into the source of heating for your home. Water pipes are laid in a grid formation and attached to your hot water boiler. The hot water circulates through the pipes and the resulting heat naturally rises to warm the room above.

The system produces an air temperature of 20 – 24°C, from a floor temperature of 19-29°C. Quite apart from the luxury of having constantly warm feet, ufh also brings the advantage of an even, constant heat.

What are the Benefits of Wet Underfloor Heating?

Top of the list comes the radiant heat produced by the water pipes. Unlike convection heating which heats the air, radiant heating heats objects – like the heat from the sun. Radiant heat minimises the amount of dust in the atmosphere, and retains the moisture in the air. This makes ufh an excellent choice for allergy sufferers.

Other benefits include:

  • Lose the radiators – making interior design easier!
  • You can heat your home using lower water temperatures
  • Underfloor heating reduces your carbon footprint

How Does Wet Underfloor Heating Work?

Once the grid of water pipes is laid, it has to be encased in a sub floor which acts as a thermal conductor. The flooring material is required to carry the heat from the pipes to every corner of the room. Choosing the right flooring material is crucial as the spread and quality of your heating is dependent upon it. We use liquid screed for underfloor heating as it was designed for exactly this purpose.

Why Use Liquid Screed for Your Sub Flooring?

It’s an innovative flooring technology that can be relied upon to provide a top quality underfloor heating installation.

There are 4 reasons why it’s so perfect for the job:

1.  It Can be Poured On Site. Floor screed used to be mixed and laid manually which was a long job. Liquid screed arrives pre-mixed and can be poured on site by a small team of screed specialists in a fraction of the time.

2.  It Minimises the Risk of Air Voids. The consistency of the screed ensures that the mix ‘hugs’ the water pipes. This eradicates air voids and ensures a good, even flow of heat, without cold spots.

3.  Liquid Screed’s an Enhanced Conductor. The screed mixture is designed for a rapid heat response. This means you’ll experience the fast transfer of heat from water pipes to every corner of your room.

4.  Fast Drying. After just 24/48 hours your liquid screed floor will be dry enough for light foot traffic. 7 days later it can be force dried using the underfloor heating installation and humidifiers to facilitate this.

Which Flooring Finish Works Best?

Choosing appropriate flooring is key to an efficient underfloor heating installation. Carpet or wood finishes need to be carefully selected as they are slow conductors of heat which can slow down your system. Stone tiling is a fast conductor, guaranteeing a rapid transfer of heat from the pipes into the room above.

RB Liquid Screed  is a leading installer of underfloor heating. We take pride in using only the best, UK sourced, liquid screed products. Our screeding specialists are recruited locally to ensure availability across the UK for your underfloor heating installation.


If you would like to know more about installing underfloor heating, call our screed specialists today 01842 659498 / 07498 964984