How does underfloor heating work?

Underfloor heating systems are installed beneath floor coverings, and cover the full floor area of a room. In this way a room is heated evenly throughout, and from the floor upwards.

Cheshire Underfloor Heating Services supply, install and maintain both wet and dry underfloor heating systems. Following a full site survey we will recommend the most suitable system for you based on your property, your requirements and your budget. We can even extend the heating to the walls and incorporate heated towel rails, ideal for bathrooms, shower rooms and wet rooms.

Underfloor Heating in your living area

There are two main types of underfloor heating system:


A network of electric heating elements is laid under floor coverings.
Electric underfloor heating can be relatively simple to install and fitted directly over the existing floor, causing minimal mess.

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Warm water tubes are laid down throughout each room and run through the floor. The warm water flows through the tubes, distributing heat evenly all around, creating a uniform and comfortable temperature.

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Underfloor Heating

Fitting Underfloor Heating Systems

For new floors, underfloor heating can be installed underneath the floor.

For existing floors it can either be laid on top,
or embedded within the floor using our innovative in-ground system.

Steps to Calculating Your Underfloor Heating Requirements

Before you start, work out what the available working floor space is. This is the total floor space, minus any space used up by standing objects. Remember you only need to heat floor space that you will walk on.

It’s recommended that you heat approximately 80-90% of the floor space, to allow for the space between walls and the heating system.

1. Measure the floor in the room
If you have a room that is 5m x 3m, you simply multiply these numbers to give you the square meter area of the room. e.g. 5m x 3m = 15m2
2. Work out area space that will be covered by furniture.
Measure any furniture that will be sitting on your floor – i.e. kitchen units, refrigerators and work out their size in square meters (a fridge might be W59.5cm x D66.8cm = 1.07m2). e.g. Fridge = 1.07m2, kitchen units = 4m2
3. Calculate the final floor area to be heated
Take your total floor area from step 1 and remove the area from step 2 that you have calculated and you should be left with the final floor space available for heating. e.g. 15m2 – (1.07m2 + 4m2) = 9.93m2
4. Calculate floor space for your tubing, cable or mat

Now that you have the total floor space available, you need to work out the 80-90% area to allow for the gap between the walls and the floor.
e.g. 80% of 9.93m2 = 7.94m2

3. Calculate the final floor area to be heated

Take your total floor area from step 1 and remove the area from step 2 that you have calculated and you should be left with the final floor space available for heating.

e.g. 15m2 – (1.07m2 + 4m2) = 9.93m2

Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating systems can be laid within a layer of screed, which is ideal for new builds.  The screed layer retains heat very well and can therefore save on heating bills.

For renovations it can be more convenient to lay the heating system on top of the existing floor.  Underfloor heating installed on top of existing floors can offer a quick response time and heat the room extremely quickly. For renovations where any increase in floor level will be a problem we offer an innovative in-ground system where the heating pipes can be successfully embedded within an existing screed or concrete floor.

Our systems can even be installed from underneath for first floor installations.  Whatever the requirements of your property, our vast experience and range of products will enable us to provide an underfloor heating system to fit.

Cost effectiveness

Underfloor heating might seem overly luxurious but it can be surprisingly cost effective.

Electric or 'dry' underfloor heating running costs

It's a commonly held misconception that electric underfloor heating
is expensive to run.  The reality is that both initial installation
and ongoing running costs for electric underfloor heating
can represent great value for money.

Our specialists are expert in designing and installing energy-efficient
and cost-effective electric underfloor heating systems
that cost just pennies per hour to run.

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Warm water or 'wet' underfloor heating running costs

Warm water underfloor heating is a very efficient system.
It is approximately 25% more efficient than traditional
heating radiators when used with a modern condensing boiler
and up to 40% more efficient when used with a heat pump.

For this reason, running costs can often be lower than a traditional
central heating radiator system and approximately 33% of the cost
of an equivalent ‘dry’ electric underfloor heating system.

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The Benefits of Underfloor Heating over conventional heating systems:

Best for health and wellbeing

Conventional convection-style central heating radiators draw cold air across the floor, heat it, and then convect it towards the ceiling.  This convected heat creates uneven temperatures with hotspots and cold areas in the same room, draughts and spreading of airborne dust particles.

Underfloor heating uses radiant heat which brings the following major benefits:

  • An even, comfortable temperature throughout the room
  • Fewer draughts
  • Reduced movement of dust and bacteria

The effect of underfloor heating on the human body is warm feet and a cooler head.  It means that a comfortable ambient temperature can be created at 1 or 2 degrees cooler than with conventional heating systems, saving money on the monthly energy bill with no more draughts or cold spots.

Best for interior design freedom

With underfloor heating, more spacious open plan living becomes much easier.  Conventional radiators take up valuable wall space and form immovable obstacles in any floor plan, whereas underfloor heating is completely invisible and offers unobstructed interior views.

No radiators on the walls mean that you have more freedom to design and style your home the way you want, without changing plans to suit where the heating is positioned.

Creative freedom can be particularly helpful in smaller rooms and absolutely luxurious in larger ones.


Best for control at your fingertips

Our underfloor heating systems put your environment fully under your control with digital timers and programmable thermostats.  We can offer wireless controllers and even an app to let you operate your heating remotely.

As your property can be split into separate underfloor heating zones, you will be able to operate each zone independently via a central controller.

Full user guides are provided and our installers will help you configure your system exactly to your needs and demonstrate use of the controls.

Best for saving money

Because underfloor heating is generally set at a lower temperature than regular heating systems, they use less energy, meaning lower bills, sometimes by almost 10%.

Best for a wide range of floor finishes

Underfloor heating can work under many types of floor finish – tiles, wood, laminate or carpet. Our systems have also been sucessfully tested in use with Karndean and Amtico.

Best for energy efficiency

Our underfloor heating uses less energy as you are heating from the floor up, so the temperature or the room increases more quickly. It allows you to be in control of the heat more accurately, meaning you can heat only the rooms that you choose, without wasting energy on the whole house.  Our thermostats let you set the temperature that is right for you and your home. They include a scheduled heating ability and smart features that actually learn which heat suits you and your family.

Best for family safety

No radiators means that you have no hot surfaces and no low hard edges, providing a safer environment for more vulnerable members of the household.

We have a range of systems catering for all requirements and our underfloor heating is compatible with the vast majority of heat sources:


Underfloor heating works with different floor coverings

Your property may present a variety of floor coverings throughout, but Cheshire Underfloor Heating systems work well with a wide range of floor coverings including: tiles, engineered wood, Karndean®, Amtico®, vinyl and even carpet.

Most popular floor coverings are suitable for underfloor heating, although some provide better heat transfer than others.

The most effective floor coverings for underfloor heating are hard surfaces such as stone or ceramic tiles. Tiles are the most thermally conductive floor finish, transferring heat from the underfloor heating to the surface of the floor quickly and with little resistance.

Although tile is the best choice, there are still many other options that work well and are regularly laid over an underfloor heating system including carpet, engineered wood, laminate and vinyl.  Your choice of final floor finish may affect the efficiency of the underfloor heating. Rest assured our expert team are able to select the most efficient solution from a wide range of available products to find the best fit for you.