How underfloor heating and radiators work together

With so many versatile underfloor heating (UFH) systems on offer, the possibilities for hybrid UFH and radiator systems are increasing.

Thanks to these developments, there’s no longer a need to choose either-or as UFH and radiators can both be successfully installed in a property to create a flexible and efficient heating system.

Combining UFH and radiators in a renovation

Even though UFH is often an ideal solution for every room of a property, there are still situations where you might prefer to retain existing radiators in some areas. This might be because you want to avoid the disruption of removing an existing radiator, or perhaps there is no budget to replace the entire heating system.

For example, you might want to enjoy the benefits of UFH in a new extension whilst retaining radiators in the remainder of the house. As the new extension will have to be built to current building regulation standards, there will be plenty of insulation present and it will be suitable for the majority of UFH systems, depending on the sub-floor. In this scenario, UFH can be installed without the need to disrupt the existing radiator system, it can even run off of the existing radiator circuit – great for new kitchens or living spaces.

OneZone schematic

Installing UFH alongside radiators

The process of installing UFH alongside an existing radiator system is simple. It is quite common for a homeowner to choose UFH for one floor level, opting to keep radiators upstairs, or to have UFH installed in one single space, as mentioned in the example above.

One of the key considerations is how the UFH is controlled alongside the radiator system. The type of UFH system installed will affect this:

  • If the UFH is a standard screed or floating floor system, it will work at its best with independent control from the radiators to cater for the difference in heat-up time.
  • If the UFH is a retrofit system, like LoPro®Max, that offers a high heat output, you can choose to run the UFH directly from the existing radiator circuit. This option means there’s very little disruption to existing decoration, as there is less wiring to be installed. This solution heats up and cools down as quickly as a traditional radiator system and it is also very simple to control, using the existing time clock.

 

New build – when UFH is the best option

In a new build, you need to consider whether it’s worthwhile installing radiators at all. UFH is easily installed as part of the build schedule and it is also cost-effective, offering far more benefits than a radiator system at a comparable cost.

For a new build project utilising a heat pump, it would be best to choose UFH throughout. This is because UFH is around 40% more efficient than radiators when paired with a heat pump as it uses a much lower water temperature than required by radiators (radiators would also need to be oversized).

Still not sure on the best solution for the project? Call 01404 540650 and one of our team will be happy to help.

Stacey Callun

Stacey Callun

Stacey is Nu-Heat's PR & Marketing Executive, responsible for the fulfillment and coordination of all PR activities, editorial and marketing projects.

6 comments on “How underfloor heating and radiators work together

  1. Hi

    We are buying a flat in a house in construction. The developed says it is too late for changing around the heating system to floor heating.

    Q1: how thick is the layer of heating if it is electrical? Would it be thin enough to not have differences in tiling hight? I would ideally have that in approximately 40m2 of our 100 m2 flat to cover bathrooms, one corridor and a kitchen area (under tiles)

    Q2 : we will have a basement underneath half of our flat and I thought about installing a nuheat system based on the existing (water run) radiator system.
    surface area= 50 m2

    Q3 what is the cost to be expected for Q1 and Q2?

    Thank you for your help with this

    Best

    Suzy Scholl

    1. Hi Suzy,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You can install warm-water UFH at any stage. Our LoPro systems are laid directly over the existing floor and add little height build-up – around 15mm-22mm depending on which system you go for. Electric systems add virtually no height, but they do cost considerably more to run and are best suited to small areas such as bathrooms. It’s also possible to run UFH off of an existing radiator circuit, so this could be an option for your basement.

      Prices vary based on the property and the most suitable solution. The best thing would be to give us a call on 01404 540650 and one of our team will be happy to talk through the options with you.

      I hope that helps.

      Stacey

  2. I’m going to add and extension to my house I would like some more information on UFH please.

    Kind regards

    1. Hi Michael,

      The best thing to do would be to call Hannah on 01404 540710 so that she can find out a bit more about your project and suggest the most suitable UFH solution.

      I hope that helps.

      Stacey

  3. Hi

    I’ve just bought a first for apartment in a converted Victorian mansion house. I am considering underfloor heating for my lounge (approx 5m by6m). Would be good to know whether this is possible, I’m happy for a raise in floor level, and would appreciate better acoustic insulation also. Would the system be able to run off the same combination boiler as the other rooms radiators?

    Many thanks

    1. Hi Emma,

      As you are looking to heat just 1 room, or 1 zone, I would advise looking at our LoPro™Max OneZone kits. LoPro™Max is a retrofit solution that is only 22mm in height build up, and can be laid directly onto the floorboards as long as the flat below is heated. http://webstore.nu-heat.co.uk/s.nl/sc.7/category.4073831/.f

      This has the highest heat output of all of our UFH solutions, and is typically used in properties similar to yours, that perhaps have low levels of insulation. If you also wanted to increase the acoustic performance, then you could look to install a 10mm fibreboard underneath the UFH system: http://webstore.nu-heat.co.uk/s.nl/it.A/id.7019/.f?=f&sc=7&category=4061587. This would give you an overall height increase of 32mm, plus your final floor covering.

      The UFH system would connect to the existing flow and return from your combi boiler that is currently feeding the radiator system. We simply need a connection into the primary flow and returns coming from the boiler, which would connect to a manifold serving the UFH system.

      I hope this helps, and please feel free to call us on 01404 540770 to discuss your project further.

      Kind regards,

      Holly

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