Home » Why You Should Use A Liquid Screed In Conjunction With Underfloor Heating

Why You Should Use A Liquid Screed In Conjunction With Underfloor Heating

by AndyGuy
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liquid screed

More and more new buildings today are being designed to use underfloor heating instead of radiators, and this is for a number of reasons. For some years now, underfloor heating has been thought of as only for a high-end home, because it was considered to be expensive as compare with a radiator system, but in fact, with today’s installation techniques the overall cost can work out at about the same.

However, one place where underfloor heating really scores is the actual cost of running it – providing you use a water-based heating system and not electric. Underfloor heating can use either. However, electricity costs are going through the roof, in particular because of the increased cost of gas to produce it, most of which comes courtesy of Vladimir Putin and chums, and it is very unlikely that these costs are going to go down any time soon – if ever.

What this means is that, although electric underfloor heating is cheap to install, the overall running costs will be nowhere near as low as a water-based system. In fact, an electric underfloor heating system uses either a heating wire or a heating mat with wire embedded in it. A heating mat can simply be unrolled and put into position in very short order.

Water-based heating systems use heating pipes through which warm water is circulated. The water can be heated by your boiler, or by solar panels, an air source heat pump, or a ground source heat pump, and then simply pumped around the system. It does cost more to install a water-based system, but once up and running, the cost savings are surprising, and the system will very soon pay for itself. Indeed, most people will tell you that it is uneconomic to use electric underfloor heating in anything other than a small room such as a bathroom.

Whichever system you choose, there are many advantages over a radiator system, not the least of which is that there are no radiators! This will give a surprising amount of additional space in the room. But the benefits don’t stop there.

When you have radiators, the area next to the radiator is the warmest, and the heat goes up to the ceiling and then goes around the room under convection. What happens is that there will be some parts of the room which are colder than others. This means that if you are sitting away from the radiator you may want to turn the heating up, which could make the person sitting next to the radiator too hot!

Convection also means that dust and dust mites will be circulated around the room. This can cause problems for people with asthma and other allergies.

When you have underfloor heating, the heating is radiant and is spread evenly across the whole room – or should be. More on this later. So, there are no cold spots. Radiant heating also does not spread dust and dust mites round the room, so is more healthy. In fact, the heat from the floor makes it unpleasant for dust mites, and it has been shown that there are 80% less of them when using underfloor heating. In addition, radiant heat keeps the air fresh and oxygen-rich, whereas radiators reduce oxygen levels.

Zero Maintenance

Another benefit of underfloor heating is that, once installed, there is virtually zero maintenance required. Underfloor heating also means that there is no danger to young children who could get hurt by touching a hot radiator.

All things considered, water-based underfloor heating is preferable to an electric system, although it does take longer to install and is also more expensive to install. However, as we said, once up and running the savings will continue forever.

When you use a water-based system, you are going to need a screed to cover the heating pipes and provide a level surface for the final flooring to be fitted. You can either use a liquid screed in Bristol, or a traditional sand and cement screed.

Liquid screed has several advantages over and above sand and cement. The latter has to be mixed and then barrowed into position, and then laid by a worker on hands and knees using a trowel to level out the screed. This is enormously time-consuming, as you might guess.

On the other hand, if you use flooring screeding contractors in Bristol who provide a liquid screed, it is a lot faster to lay. It is delivered to site ready-mixed, and then the contractors will simply connect a pump and a long hose to the truck and pump the screed into position. This is up to 20 times as fast as a worker can lay sand and cement by hand, so there is a considerable cost saving on the labour required.

Another Important Point

Here is another important point. Because the screed is in liquid form when poured, it will totally envelop the heating pipes. What that means in practice is that the heat transfer into the room will be totally even across the floor. When you have a sand and cement screed, it is difficult, if not almost impossible, to cover the heating pipes evenly, so there will be voids and air pockets in some places, which interfere with even heat transfer.

On top of that, liquid anhydrite screed can be laid more thinly than sand and cement, so it uses less material. But the important point is that the thinner the screed, the faster the room will heat, and the faster the room heats, the less energy is required to achieve the required temperature.

Even better, liquid anhydrite screed has almost twice the thermal conductivity of sand and cement, and this again adds to the speed of heating andless energy required to achieve it.

In addition, liquid screed is actually faster-drying than sand and cement. Depending upon weather conditions, a liquid screed can be walked upon in as little as 24 hours, and certainly no more than 48, so other contractors who may need to work on the site will not be delayed.

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