Put simply, underfloor heating provides warmth to a room by heating the floor and having that warmth travel up, rather than heating the air, which rises to the top of the room before falling as it cools. All under-floor heating systems work according to similar principles, in that they consist of a heating element surrounded by insulation to disperse the heat and keep it in the room.
Rooms where people are likely to feel the coldness of the floor through their feet, such as bathrooms or kitchens, are obvious candidates for under-floor heating. However, you can have underfloor heating installed in virtually any room, with any type of flooring, be it linoleum, carpet, stone or hardwood.
It is common for extensions and conservatories to be fitted with under-floor heating, as it is a lot easier and cheaper to install it while other building work is being done.
There are a number of good reasons to install underfloor heating, but it is not a technology that is entirely without its drawbacks, either. Here are a list of the pros and cons of underfloor heating:
Tiled rooms, such as bathrooms and kitchens are a lot less of an ordeal to walk on in bare feet when they are warm underfoot
Wet underfloor heating systems are much more energy efficient than a traditional radiator system, as the heat is concentrated in the lower half of the room where all the people are
Though cheaper to buy and install than wet systems, dry systems are a lot less energy efficient and could end up costing you more in the long run
If you are installing an underfloor heating system in an existing property, the floors will need to be taken up, which can make it prohibitively expensive
As with any other heating system, underfloor heating will not work very efficiently in homes that are poorly insulated, as much of the heat will simply escape into the atmosphere