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Will Underfloor Heating Raise My Floor?

December 13th, 2023 | Choosing a System
Will Underfloor Heating Raise My Floor

We understand that a key concern when considering a new underfloor heating system for your home is the potential impact the system may have on floor heights. In this guide, we’ll answer your queries on the suitability of floor heating for your project, reviewing the build-up levels of Warmup’s wide range of electric and water UFH solutions and spotlighting which systems have little-to-no-impact on floor levels. You’ll discover:

  • If underfloor heating increases floor heights
  • The differences between installing UFH in renovation and new-build projects
  • How electric floor heaters won’t impact floor build-up
  • The impact of screeding on floor heights when installing water systems
  • How insulation affects your floor

Understanding how your floor’s layers affect floor build-up

Floors in homes typically feature two or three layers: the subfloor, which forms part of the construction of the building and is usually made from concrete or wood, the floor finish and its accompanying installation materials (such as floor tiles with tile adhesive) and sometimes a layer of insulation that is sandwiched between. An underfloor heating system adds another layer to your floor. It will be installed above the subfloor and insulation, directly beneath the final floor finish.

As you can imagine, increasing these layers can raise your floor heights but many of our underfloor heating systems have been designed specifically to have little impact on the build-up of your floors and we offer heating solutions that are compatible with all floor types, in all rooms of your home. You can find out more about the layers of your floors in our in-depth guide.

Impact of UFH on floor heights in a renovation vs. a new-build project

If you’re considering underfloor heating for a home refurbishment, it may be important to maintain your existing floor height as certain elements of your house, such as its doors, windows and ceiling heights will be fixed and increasing your floor levels can impact the functionality of these features. So, a low-profile floor heating solution that won’t substantially raise floor levels will be the most suitable option for you.

New-build projects allow for a deeper installation of an underfloor heating system as you can take the system’s dimensions into account during the architectural planning stage. This means you can define the ceiling heights and window and door positions in relation to your floor build-up. Water systems are recommended for new-build projects as these systems typically require a deeper and more labour-intensive installation method.

Do electric UFH systems increase floor build?

Most electric underfloor heating systems will not impact floor heights in your home. Electric heaters are available as either heating mats or heating wire-based systems, with both variants often being only a few millimeters thick. Some electric heaters can be installed within the layer of tile adhesive or levelling compound used to fit your floor covering, meaning the system will not raise your existing floors at all.

It’s important to note that these systems may not produce enough heat as the primary heater for larger spaces, so we recommend always carrying out a heat-loss calculation before installing a new heating solution. Looking for more information about heat loss in your home? Read our expert article for everything you need to know.

The best electric floor heaters to retain existing floor heights

The Loose Wire System uses the thinnest heating wire on the market, at only 1.8mm it can be installed directly within a layer of tile adhesive, resulting in no change in existing floor heights and therefore not affecting your ceiling heights.

The popular StickyMat System is only 3mm thick and features a self-adhesive backing, so a separate adhesive is not needed to attach the heater to the subfloor thereby minimising the floor build-up even more.

Our Foil Heater offers a ‘dry’ installation with no need for adhesives or levelling compounds: when installed alongside its accompanying Insulated Underlay and Dual Overlay systems it has a total depth of just 7mm.

Will a water underfloor heating system alter my floor levels?

Water underfloor heating systems, also known as hydronic systems, can be split into two types: those that offer a ‘wet’ installation method utilising a screed into which the system’s heating pipes are submerged and those that offer a ‘dry’ installation, allowing the pipes to be installed within UFH panels that don’t require this kind of screeding. If you’re thinking about installing a water system in your home that utilises screed, then this may raise your property’s floor heights.

The Clypso System is a popular water floor heating solution for new-build properties and has been designed for use with floating screeded floors. It is installed within a 50-75mm deep layer of screed and is suitable for heating all floor finishes. Looking for a slimmer screeded system? The Nexxa System offers three different membrane options of differing heights in which to position the heating pipes, allowing you to reduce the overall build-up of your floor levels if required. With a slimline design of just 21mm, the Nexxa Peel and Stick’s castellated panels require less screeding than other water floor heating systems and offer a quick and simple installation.

If you’re building your new house from the ground up, get in touch with our Projects Division who may be able to assist you in specifying the most suitable floor heating option for your needs.

Which low-profile water systems are suitable for home renovations?

If you’re looking for a water UFH system that does not require a deep layer of screed and therefore won’t raise floor levels, the VLo line of low-profile systems are the perfect choice. Warmup’s VLo line is comprised of three different solutions, with each system designed for a specific usage in different kinds of projects. The VLo Ultra-12 Low Build System is perfect to use with uninsulated floors, the VLo Nexxa-12 Castellated System is great for insulated floors and the VLo Econna-12 Joisted Floor System is designed for installation with joisted floors. Each system features a low-profile design, making them especially popular for home refurbishment projects and will provide an energy-efficient, low-carbon heating solution for your home with low long-term running costs.

Will insulation raise floors?

Both electric and water systems should be installed with appropriate levels of insulation, which can also have an impact on flooring build-up but its benefits outweigh any potential impact. Good quality floor insulation is important to install alongside an underfloor heating system as it will help the system perform at its most efficient and dramatically reduce heat loss in your home, which can result in significant savings on your energy bills. Our Ultralight Underfloor Heating Boards are recommended for use with most of our electric systems and won’t raise your floors too high. Our water systems typically come with inbuilt or accompanying insulation panels so you can factor the depth of this in during the design process of your project.

You can find the best UFH system for your home using our innovative quoting tool. By entering a few key details of your project, we’ll help you choose the ideal system that will work with your required floor levels.

Thinking of installing a new Hydro heating system?

Find out more about installing water underfloor heating systems

Warmup Quoting Tools: instant, accurate, flexible

Warmup offers an extensive range of electric and water floor systems compatible with all floor types, rooms and projects.

Warmup Quoting Tools

instant, accurate, flexible

Quoting Tools: instant, accurate, flexible

Warmup offers an extensive range of electric and water floor systems compatible with all floor types, rooms and projects.

Electric Systems

  • ✓ Ideal for zones less than 25m²
  • ✓ Ideal for single rooms
  • ✓ Does not alter floor levels
  • ✓ Great for renovations

Electric Systems Quote
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Water Systems

  • ✓ Ideal for larger zones over 25m²
  • ✓ Rapid auto heat loss calculations
  • ✓ Compatible with existing central heating systems
  • ✓ Great for new-builds

Water Systems Quote & Buy
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Projects Division Consultation

  • ✓ Bespoke heating solutions for new-build projects and larger renovations
  • ✓ Dedicated team to work with you
  • ✓ World-class expertise in R&D, building regulations and energy performance
  • ✓ Detailed system layouts for each stage of the project

Get In Touch with Warmup’s Projects Division
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For areas of 24m2 or more, use our full quoting system
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