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A low-down on low-profile systems!
Underfloor heating continues to increase in popularity and homeowners don’t need any convincing these days of the advantages. Industry figures tell us that sales growth for the market is around 10% per year and it isn’t showing any signs of slowing down!
It is not true that for a property to benefit from warm water underfloor heating, it must be installed at build stage, or follow expensive and disruptive excavation because new materials, technology and knowledge has meant that lower profile and lighter weight underfloor heating systems are now readily available…these are more straightforward to install, whilst providing all the usual benefits that underfloor heating offers.
Low profile underfloor heating systems work at a lower temperature, typically in the region of 45-50 degrees Celsius compared to radiators that operate at around 70 degrees Celsius. Water based underfloor heating produces a radiant heat, rather than convected which means that heat is evenly distributed throughout a room. There are lots more advantages to incorporating underfloor heating, but one of the most attractive for homeowners is that they will ultimately benefit from lower energy bills!
The latest low profile underfloor heating systems don’t usually incorporate conventional insulation or screed, which means that the application is much more straightforward for installers to incorporate in existing properties. Those without understanding of these modern systems though can sometimes wrongly assume that their project isn’t compatible with the technology, or it is too much work…that’s why it’s important to speak to a reputable supplier like TUS that has the relevant knowledge to advise on the most suitable system for your project.
Another factor that your supplier should discuss with you is that the system doesn’t have to be installed in all rooms of a property and screed systems can be installed alongside low profile and radiators, providing lots more design freedom.
With a range of low profile systems now available on the market it’s important that the right one is specified for your project. Installers, architects and specifiers should review with their supplier the area where the system will be installed, the required performance as defined by the heat source, floor construction and the floor covering so accurate calculations, system design and quotations are obtained.
Low profile systems are perfect for renovations or when the floor of a property cannot be raised. Manufacturers and suppliers will present their own selection of low profile systems, however they can typically be split
into the following types:
Low profile panel systems – usually around 15 and 18mm
Low profile grid/levelling compound system
Lightweight aluminium plate systems
Lightweight foil faced insulation systems
Lightweight aluminium plate wood panel systems
Lightweight aluminium wood panel systems
We have seen a steady increase in the demand for low profile systems in recent years with the majority of the systems that we have supplied being installed in renovation or retro-fit projects.
Our most popular low profile system is Warm-Board. With its low build up height and ease of installation Warm-Board is ideal for most underfloor heating scenarios and is suitable for all floor coverings. It utilises a 15mm or an 18mm high density dry screed board which acts as a heat conducting surface, transferring the
heat from the pipes to the heated floor above.
This system uses a unique patent pending End Support System, which helps to secure and support both the floor covering above, and the pipe work within. It can be fitted directly above concrete or floorboards in both retro fit and new construction applications, with the potential for the direct application of tiles to the board; with its versatility, it offers a quick and easy installed solution. For wooden floor coverings and carpets, the manufacturer recommends pouring a 6mm levelling compound on top of the Warm-Board panels to ensure a
perfectly level surface prior to laying the flooring.
In addition to the system itself, the most suitable heat source needs to be identified. A boiler and a heat pump can work perfectly with underfloor heating but it’s important to match the system and heat source with the requirements of the property. Equally it’s important to assess how quickly the installation needs to be completed, how many manifolds are required and any other insulation requirements.
Working closely with an experienced supplier like ourselves will ensure that architects, specifiers and installers have a good understanding of the different systems available and that ultimately the most suitable system is installed.
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