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Water-based underfloor heating

Rebecca Foster reveals the facts you need to know about this highly-efficient heating system


Whether you’re self building a brand new house or extending a period dwelling, waterbased underfloor heating (UFH) offers a versatile solution. Essentially, it works by transforming the surface of your home’s floors into a radiant low-temperature emitter. Occupants benefit from a clutter-free living arrangement thanks to the invisible heat source underfoot, as well as a cosy, even spread of warmth. So what’s the right option for your project?

How does water-based UFH work?

Warm water (approximately 30°C - 35°C) is pumped through a network of pipes that is integrated into the floor structure – usually embedded in screed, although other options are available. The system offers homeowners great flexibility as it can be installed throughout the house, on a single floor or even just in one room. Most setups are split into separate zones, each of which is hooked up to a manifold that regulates the flow from the boiler or other heat source. A room thermostat can then be used to control the level of warmth in each individual area, resulting in excellent efficiency as you can programme the settings to suit your unique lifestyle requirements.

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About Build It

The March edition of Build It magazine brings you all the inspiration & practical advice you need to complete your home building project on time and on budget, including: • A traditional timber frame house on a quiet Hampshire plot (page 22) • How to build an oak frame home on a budget (page 68) • What you need to know about underfloor heating (page 75) • Windows for renovations (page 78) • How to combine renewables (page 86) • Adding wow factor (page 92) • Common renovation mistakes (page 104) … and more!