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UFH: How to get it right

A water-based UFH setup can deliver improved comfort levels, excellent efficiency and low running costs – but only if it’s fitted correctly. Rebecca Foster reveals what you need to know


In order to provide an even heat output across the floor, UFH pipes are laid at regular intervals and connected back to the manifold – as in this setup designed and fitted by Robbens Systems.

Once considered a luxury, underfloor heating (UFH) is now a must-have for many self build, renovation and extension projects. This versatile solution works by transforming your home’s floor into a radiant heat emitter, establishing an even spread of warmth across the surface. There are two main options: electric and water-based setups. For the purposes of this article, I’ll be focusing on the latter.

With this setup, warm water (roughly 30°C - 35°C) is pumped through a network of pipes laid below the floor’s surface. The tubes are usually embedded into a screed, although other options are available. Most arrangements are organised into separate zones, which are connected to a central manifold that monitors the flow of warmth from the heat source. Individual room thermostats are used to control the temperature in each area.

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About Build It

Build It is Britain’s longest running self build magazine. Each issue is packed full of inspirational and informative readers’ homes, as well as expert advice on issues from budgets and planning to project management and design. This month: - Installing underfloor heating - Flooring cost guide - New routes to self build - What are building surveys?