Modern floor finishes for use with underfloor heating

This article was originally posted on Homebuilding & Renovating

Due to their tough and durable finish, the use of synthetic resin and polished screed floor finishes in domestic properties is becoming far more common. As screed, by nature, is very conductive it is well suited for use with underfloor heating (UFH) and by pairing it with this heating system, it also takes away the ‘cold touch’ associated with choosing a hard floor covering.

Modern floor finishes

Synthetic resin floors and UFH

Synthetic resin floor finishes complement modern, contemporary interior design. They provide a hardwearing, clean, seamless finish and are available in numerous colours to suit individual project requirements.

Synthetic resin finishes are usually manufactured from polyurethane, epoxy resin or methacrylate, often in combination. They typically have a thickness of 0.15mm to 6mm and the type and thickness of the resin used relates to the location in which they are to be laid, the durability required and the volume of foot traffic that they will encounter. They also offer a good product life of around 20 years.

When using a resin finish with UFH, it will typically be poured over the screed or self-levelling compound, or it may be applied with a roller to achieve the desired finish.

New build UFH and resin floor finishes

Resin finishes can be applied to any new-build, cement-based screed after using the manufacturer’s recommended primer to seal the floor. The screed must be structurally sound and fully cured (a minimum of 28 days), flat, smooth, clean and dry, with an adequate damp proof membrane installed beneath the slab. The advice of the resin supplier should be sought when installing over anhydrite screed.

Retrofit UFH and resin floor finishes

Nu-Heat’s low profile, high heat output, LoPro®Max underfloor heating system has been developed specifically for renovations and retrofit scenarios and is the perfect partner for resin floor finishes. This is because the system uses a layer of specialist self-levelling compound that provides a level, cementitious, mirror finish ready for direct application of the resin manufacturer’s recommended primer followed by the resin. The addition of a glass-fibre rendering mesh in the LoPro®QuickSet compound will reduce the potential for any small stress fractures.

Modern floor finishes with UFH

Polished screed and UFH

A polished screed floor finish is an ideal scenario for UFH, offering a good heat transfer that is harder to achieve with traditional floor coverings such as carpet or engineered wood which add an insulative layer.

A screed floor acts as a thermal store, holding and slowly releasing the heat from the UFH which also makes it extremely efficient as it calls for heat from the boiler less than a radiator system.

The floor temperature with a polished screed can easily exceed the standard temperatures of 18-21°C required for living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms but this can be limited to the desired room temperate by your chosen thermostat or controls.

New build UFH and polished screed

In a standard new build property, the UFH will be set within the screed subfloor. In this scenario, there is no additional preparation required before laying any polished screed layer other than following those recommended by the manufacturer.

Retrofit UFH and polished screed

In a renovation project, a low profile UFH system will be laid over the existing floor such as LoPro®Max, which uses a specialist self-levelling compound to leave a perfect floor finish. In this scenario, Nu-Heat would recommend the addition of a layer of glass fibre render mesh which can be purchase from a standard builders’ merchant. The mesh will reduce the potential for any stress fractures in the self-levelling compound.

» Download our synthetic resin floors data sheet (PDF)

» Download our microtop and polished screed floor finishes data sheet (PDF)

» Find out about other popular floor coverings and their compatibility with underfloor heating on our website or call us on 01404 549770

A closer look at your online quote from Nu‑Heat

Online quote

As soon as you send Nu-Heat a set of project plans and we have taken all of the relevant information required, work begins on your bespoke quote. Within 72 hours you’ll receive an email which includes a link to view the quote online.

The online quote contains a lot of useful and specific information about the system we have specified, and because it’s hosted online it is quick and easy to amend so is always up to date. The price you see covers the complete design and supply of the system, including all components.

Here’s what you can expect:

Your underfloor heating (UFH) quote

Quotation summary and price
This is a summary of everything we have included in your quote. You will see the recommended solution we are quoting under ‘system specification’ with the option to view more detailed and technical information.

This section also includes the price. Our quoted price will not change, so what you see here is what you will pay unless the project scope alters and we have to make significant revisions.

Contact details for your Account Manager are clearly displayed should you have any questions or wish to proceed to the next step.

UFH quote
Rooms
This includes a breakdown of all of the rooms in the project that require UFH, their design temperature, the system specified, and whether they require a thermostat. This is useful as it allows you to check that every room you are expecting to be part of the UFH design has been covered. It also states the number of manifolds being used for the system and in which rooms these will be located.

If anything needs changing at this point, or you have questions, simply contact your Account Manager who can help.

What’s included
A detailed breakdown of all of the components included in your UFH quote, from the manifolds right down to the tube staples. This can be a useful checklist further down the line, when you receive your delivery, to double-check quantities before installation.

Upgrades & extras
Every Nu-Heat UFH system comes with a dial thermostat as standard. This section covers popular system upgrades, such as smart or wireless thermostat options, along with the cost of upgrading.

Your heat pump quote

Quotation summary and price
This is a summary of everything we have included in your quote. It gives details on the heat pump model we are quoting along with some benefits of the particular unit, whether air source or ground source, with the option to read a data sheet for more detailed product information. You will also see a breakdown of exactly what is included as part of the heat pump system (ground loops, the heat pump unit and other components) and an energy rating for the system we have put together, also known as an ErP rating.

It’s likely that the system will qualify for the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme and you will see that some information is included in the summary on the potential paybacks for your chosen system.

The price we have quoted is fixed unless the project should significantly change and your Account Manager’s contact details are included should you have any questions or want to progress to the next step.

System performance
This is where we get a little more technical! Expert system design is essential to creating an efficient heat pump solution. Every heat pump we design and supply must provide 100% of the property’s heat load for at least 99% of the year. In this tab we set out the Seasonal Coefficient of Performance for your heat pump system so that you can see how it will perform year-round based on local regional weather data. It also includes the total building heat requirement, based on information you provided pre-quote, together with the heat pump’s output for heating and hot water together with the ‘free energy’ you can expect the heat pump to produce.

Help with MCS compliance
In order to receive the Renewable Heat Incentive payments the heat pump must be installed to strict MCS guidelines. We have a number of installer support options to help with this, whether the system is being installed by an MCS or non-MCS registered installer. Your Account Manager will be able to talk through the best option for the project.

Get a quote

Getting a bespoke quote is quick and simple – just send us a copy of your project plans. If you are renovating and do not have drawn plans, that’s ok, you can draw the rooms and provide us with measurements to work from.

Plans can be sent via email to info@nu-heat.co.uk or through our website. You can also speak with one of the team beforehand if you have any questions about how UFH or a heat pump can work in your project by calling 01404 540650.

A closer look at… Fastflo™ tube

All warm water underfloor heating systems use some form of tube in order to circulate the water to emit an even heat into a property. As the UFH tube is often set within the floor it needs to be strong, flexible, and be resistant to high temperatures to give a long-life, reliable solution.

In this post, we are taking a closer look at our Fastflo™ tube to explain its key features and why these are important for use in an UFH system.

Fastflo underfloor heating tube

Fastflo™ PE-Xc tube

Nu-Heat’s Fastflo™ tube is a PE-Xc pipe. It is extremely strong and cannot be damaged easily – it would have to be physically punctured on-site to suffer from a leak.

PE-Xc is a high-density polyethylene tube that is made up of five individual layers before being physically cross-linked. Cross-linking is essential as it enables the tube to remain strong whilst being flexible, helping to prevent kinking or damage to the tube during installation.

Just a few benefits of Fastflo™ tube:
  • High resistance to impact during installation
  • Corrosion-free for a reliable and long service life
  • Resistant to high temperatures and high pressures that exceed well in excess of the requirements for any UFH system
  • Highly flexible making it simple to install around the numerous turns typical in an UFH design
  • Light, easy to handle and uncoil
  • Backed by a 10 year insurance-backed warranty
  • Guaranteed for a further 40 years against defects in material and workmanship
  • Quality assured to ISO9001 and designed to the highest European industry standards; DIN16892 and CIN4726

 

Fastflo underfloor heating tube in cliptrack

A superior warranty

Although the majority of UFH tube in the market is the same, many come with different warranties ranging from a couple of years to full lifetime warranties. Different warranties offering varying levels of cover, although this isn’t always clear.

At Nu-Heat, our Fastflo™ tube comes with a 10-year insurance-backed warranty. The benefit of this is that in the unlikely event that the tube fails, this warranty covers not only the replacement of the UFH tube, but all of the remedial work required to remove the existing tube and install a new system, potentially saving thousands of pounds that many other warranties do not cover.

To find out more about Nu-Heat’s UFH systems, visit our floor constructions page or call our team on 01404 549770.