Under Floor Heating is a form of central heating, used to help control the indoor temperature of a home or building using conduction, convection and radiation. Radiant heating is often used, which transfers heat to objects and materials rather than heating the air (which often results in cold spots).
Under Floor Heating systems are either electric or use pipes. Both styles can be installed as the main heating system for the whole building or localised to a specific room or floor.
Under Floor Heating systems which use pipes are known as Hydronic Systems. These systems use water or a mix of water and anti-freeze which is circulated from the boiler to the flooring.
Hydronic Systems require skilled designers and trades people to plan and install, as knowledge of boilers and circulators is essential. These systems can be more popular than Electric Systems as they can also be used as a cooling system, this can prove very popular in offices during the summer, when cold water can be circulated through the flooring.
Electric Systems are used specifically for heating, they use cables and cable mats and can be installed directly under floor finishes or in a thermal mass. These systems are especially popular as carpet heaters and as portable under rug heaters. They are often used under laminate, wood and tile flooring. Electric Systems are becoming more common because they are much simpler to install than the Hydronic Systems and use a surprisingly low amount of energy.