070 HPM 0415

HPM April 2015

Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com UNDERFLOORHEATING Choosing the right UFH system Underfloor heating (UFH) is growing in popularity across the UK, but with an ever-expanding range of products on the market, with a variety of applications, how do installers know which system is best for their project? Andy Coy, underfloor heating product manager at Polypipe, offers some advice... Product developments mean there is now an underfloor heating (UFH) system available for any type of property - regardless of how old it is, how it has been constructed, or how many rooms the system needs to be fitted in. Instead of being daunted by the vast choice, installers need to familiarise themselves with the different options available so they can advise their customers on the best solution for their home. ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS Small considerations can make a huge difference to how effectively and efficiently a system will run in the long run, so it’s important to get a full brief from the homeowner from the outset. When chatting to the homeowner about what they are looking for from their system, make sure you ask them: • What room(s) they would like UFH in? If they only want UFH in one or two rooms to start with, find out if they are planning to have it fitted in additional rooms at a later date. UFH systems can be combined with traditional radiator systems, so there is no problem having both in the home • What floor coverings do they want? Whether carpet, vinyl, laminate or stone, UFH works well with any floor covering as long as it is well insulated underneath. It’s worth noting though that each covering will have different thermal conduction properties, for example, harder surfaces offer better conductivity and, therefore, greater heating capabilities • What heating source will they use? UFH works effectively with WWW.HPMMAG.COM boilers, as well as renewable heat sources, but each one will be connected differently • Do they want any extras? UFH systems can be connected to additional features, such as heated towel rails, so this can be included in the initial plans. On top of asking the right questions, you will also need to take full measurements of the rooms where UFH is required, along with noting where the rooms are located and what the construction type is. PICKING THE RIGHT SYSTEM Once you have a full brief, you then need to choose the system. In the UK, the most commonly found systems are: • Solid floor: Perfect for installing UFH into solid or screeded floors, these can be installed in new builds or renovation projects and are often used in block and beam construction • Suspended floor: Used in timber suspended or battened floors, these systems are most suitable for new build projects. Although these systems are generally fitted from above, recent product developments mean they can also be installed from below, making them suitable even if the floor above has already been put in place • Floating floor: If solid floor installation is not possible because of structural weight limitations, or where a ‘dry build’ floor option is necessary, floating floor could be a good option. Such systems are suitable for both new build and existing properties. They can be fitted directly above solid and timber floors. 70 APRIL 2015 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY FURTHER ADVICE AND INFORMATION Installation methods vary between systems and manufacturers, so it’s important to check the details before proceeding. Reputable manufacturers will offer off and online training and support to make sure that installers firstly choose the right system and secondly fit it correctly, ensuring it works effectively for many years to come. Ask for Underfloor, the independent industry campaign backed by BEAMA, also hosts a wealth of information on its website aimed at installers. As there are new products coming out all the time, it’s important for installers to stay up-to-date with new developments. Following up with customers who have previously had UFH installed to see how their system is working, updating them on new products and checking if they are planning on any further work could also be a great way for installers to secure repeat business. enquiry number 153 Suspended floor systems are used in timber suspended or battened floors Floating floor is a great alternative to solid floor installations Solid floor systems are perfect for new builds or renovation


HPM April 2015
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