What's the best kind of underfloor heating for a conservatory?

Not that long ago, underfloor heating (UFH) seemed something of an extravagance, but the benefits of the system quickly spread, and now many homeowners don’t think twice about installing it. Fitting UFH under existing floors can be pretty disruptive, which is why having it done when you’re installing a conservatory or orangery makes a lot of sense. If you’ve never experienced underfloor heating before, your feet are in for a real treat! On top of that, it’s an efficient, gentle way of warming your whole conservatory, and because there are no pipes, grilles or radiators on the walls, you can make better use of your room space as well.


What are my choices?

A hot water or wet UFH system takes its heat from your existing central heating system. Heated water is pumped into plastic pipes that are laid in a sub floor under the main floor surface. One of the advantages of this system is that it uses heated water more efficiently than your radiators, to generate a comfortable floor temperature of between 23 - 32 C, so heating will cost you less over time. A wet system is ideal for conservatories because you can include the installation as part of the project, rather than having to lift an existing floor.

Electric UFH is delivered by a system of interconnected elements, usually in rolls of matting. This is spread over the floor and connected to your thermostat and mains power. Typically, electric UFH is less expensive to install but costs more to run that a wet system. Electric systems can also be installed more easily under existing floors, and can even be fitted under carpets, as well as in upstairs rooms.




Floor types
UFH works with most types of flooring, including carpets with less than 2.5 tog of thermal resistance. UFH also works well under stone, ceramic tile, and terracotta flooring, but will take longer to warm up the room, depending on the thickness of the tiles. That said, once a flagstone floor has warmed up, it retains the heat very well. Timber flooring is also suitable for use with UFH, although it is always best to seek advice from your supplier first. UFH can be used under some vinyl and laminate flooring, but not all types are compatible, so again, always check first.

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