Understanding Radiant Floor Heating

Everyone wants a cosy, warm home where you don’t have to wear layers of warm clothes to survive the cold! The modern house implies a radiant floor heating system, also known as an underfloor heating. It is a modern solution for providing immense thermal insulation without visibility. Since it is hidden under floors, it doesn’t disturb the attic of your home. It doesn’t include entangled wires, making them an easy yet reliable option.

It is built under the floor and installed when you make the foundation. It is added over the concrete layer, usually encapsulated inside damp barriers or a polythene membrane. Then, a screed layer or the final layer of flooring, i.e. tiles, carpets or other flooring, is installed to create a smooth, chic finish.

How Does It Work?

This system functions on the laws of thermodynamics and uses radiant heat technology to function readily. Unlike other heating systems, it heats the floor directly than the air in the room. As explained in the next section, once you install the system underground, it heats the floor using water or electricity.

Then comes the laws of thermodynamics that state that warm air has more energy and less density; it radiates upwards while the colder air moves downwards. The other objects absorb the warm air, making it an efficient way of heating your space while keeping it balanced throughout the room.

Many people use radiant floor heating interchangeably with radiators, but there are apparent differences. Unlike radiators, this system doesn’t create cold spaces and maintains the temperature throughout the room. It consumes less energy than radiators, making it a budget-friendly option. Radiators often dry up the air too much, which may disturb or trigger respiratory problems among the residents.

Radiant Floor Heating

Types of Radiant Floor Heating

There are two types of radiant floor heating systems depending on the heating technique they use:

Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating Systems

This system uses the energy of heated water inside the tubes installed under the floor. The water is stored inside the containers and is heated using boilers, electricity, solar heating or diesel. The heated water then runs and heats the floor. The water flow is regulated automatically, so you don’t have to worry about anything.

  • Specifications of its installation: This is a sustainable and budget-friendly option as it consumes less electricity. However, their installation is more costly than electric radiant floor heating. They are a popular option for a wide range of projects and spaces. They require regular maintenance.

Electric Radiant Floor Heating Systems

Unlike the hydronic heating system, it uses electricity and a thermostat to regulate the temperature and electrical resistance, surrounded by insulating layers.

  • Specifications of its installation: This system is low-maintenance and easy to install at a cheaper cost than hydronic systems. However, on long-term cost evaluation, they have high electricity consumption that may cost you a lot. Due to this reason, their installation is advisable in smaller spaces.

Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating Systems.

Advantages of Radiant Floor Heating

Radiant floor heating systems are best to install in your bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, living areas or even home offices. Both the systems offer myriad advantages like:

Easy Installation: Radiant Floor Heating has an easy installation process, especially during renovation, requiring much less maintenance.

Sound Air Quality: It does not make the air too dry, maintaining the balance and preventing dust circulation in the space.

Smart Choice: The system is installed underground and can be controlled digitally, making it an intelligent choice.

Energy Efficient: Unlike traditional heating systems, it consumes less power to give the same warmth, making it energy efficient.

Versatile Flooring: It works perfectly with all types of flooring options, which makes them highly versatile.


  • Its installation requires tearing the floor apart and installing it underground. It also requires a self-levelling compound on the top that will increase the installation cost.
  • Though it is an energy-efficient system, its purchase and installation costs are expensive
  • The self-levelling concrete takes a day or two to dry completely before adding the final flooring. This may cause you temporary inconvenience.
  • The thermal insulation beneath the heating system adds an extra inch to the floor, decreasing the height.

Things to Consider Before Investing in Radiant Floor Heating

  • The radiant floor heating system is a one-time investment and works for an extended period. However, its installation requires tearing the whole floor, so it means doing a complete renovation of the floor or rebuilding it from scratch.
  • Both types of radiant heating systems have their pros and cons. Get an expert opinion from companies who install them. They give you suggestions according to your project.
  • If you are rebuilding the floor, choose floorings like tiles or laminates, as they are good conductors and complement your heating system.
  • Hire a professional company like K M Flow Screed with experience in underfloor heating systems and floor screeding to ensure precision and an all-rounded experience.

Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating Systems

Tips for the Longevity of Your Heating System

Here are a few tips for you if you have got the radiant floor heating system installed or are aiming to install it.

Regular Inspections: Consider regular inspections of your system. Early problem detection may save money and protect you from considerable loss. Ask professionals or do a DIY inspection at least once every three years.

Look for any Leaks: The radiant floor heating system is low maintenance; however, it may face wear and tear that causes leakage over time. Leakage also can cause erosion as oxygen will make its way to the pipes. If you observe any leakage, consider repairing or replacing the pipes depending on the type of pipe material.

Noise: The radiant floor heating system works without any noise, but if you can sense the system making noise then it’s a sign to check it to detect the problem and repair it timely.

Heat Gradient: If you feel a thermal gradient, changing temperature when you move means your system isn’t working fine, and you need to check it.