Underfloor Heating Installation – Is it Solely for New-Build Homes?

new-build homes in a rowOften, one the first things that springs to mind when considering underfloor heating installation is that it feels very contemporary.

It’s easy to associate this heating solution exclusively with new build properties and swanky hotel rooms, but, in truth, it can be just as effective in older buildings too.

Modern homes

The inherent advantages of underfloor heating have already been well addressed within other articles on Underfloor Heating Expert, but it’s worth briefly recapping a couple of these points here.

Building companies are increasingly fitting underfloor heating systems in new homes not just as a nice, classy additional feature but because they are more energy efficient and they brilliantly complement a well-insulated modern home. This is especially the case with hard floored rooms such as bathrooms or laminate flooring in downstairs living areas.

As homes are becoming ever more ‘smart’ and integrated with technology, underfloor heating is becoming more and more popular. The majority of new homes are being fitted with energy usage monitors that help the householder control their utilities and make more sensible and effective use of their heating.

It’s well known that underfloor heating is much more efficient than traditional radiator apparatus so the benefits will be felt not just on the soles of your feet but also in the wallet as well!

Older properties

However, by no means should it be presumed that underfloor heating is the sole preserve of the modern home. In fact, the retrofitting of such a system can reap considerable benefits.

Older homes, that predate the standard installation of central heating systems when they were constructed, often seem to trade comfort and insulation in favour of atmosphere and character.

messy open fireMany old properties still rely on an open fire or AGA system to ward off the winter chill.

Although they look great when roaring away, the trouble with maintaining an open fire is that not only is it a time consuming and inefficient way to warm a home, it can also be a rather messy fire hazard.

While there are few things more comforting visually than a flickering flame on a cold winters evening, the truth is that it is not an effective means of heating a property.

With the advancements that have been made with modern heating technology, open fires should really be relegated to a mere feature in the home, rather than the sole source of heat.

Is underfloor heating installation a solution?

The good news is that underfloor heating is just as suitable for older properties as it is for new builds so, yes, it certainly can be.

Underfloor heating installation can go a long way to making your home far more welcoming during those cold winter months – especially important for those who live in rural areas.

Underfloor heating systems can be installed underneath all manner of period flooring, including slate, stone and wooden floors, to provide a far superior source of warmth. This will finally rid the home of that unpleasant feeling when walking barefoot from a warm room into one that is freezing cold.

underfloor heating installationIf you are considering installing underfloor heating in an old property, it is always worth bearing in mind that the insulation needs to be addressed too.

Proper insulation is essential in older buildings, so this will need to be taken care of before the underfloor heating mats or pipes are laid.

Failing to do so will leave you feeling as though the underfloor heating isn’t working properly, when in fact it is the lack of proper insulation that is the true culprit.

Many residents of older properties choose to install underfloor heating not just because of the practical benefits to the comfort of their home, but also as a feature that will add value to the property.

As well as the potential savings that are to be made through energy efficiency, it’s quite common for these desirable properties to find that there has been an increase in the home’s value post installation too.

More often than not, this rise in property price will more than cover the cost of the underfloor heating system – making it an even easier decision for homeowners.



  1. Lucy

    Hi, We are in the process of renovation a c1700 farmers cottage, we are at the stage of the new system installation and having read your posts I’m considering if underfloor heating would be a sufficient source of heating for the ground floor alone or if smaller out put rads would top up the heat. We will have open fires but these may not always be lit due to young children in the home. The plumber advised the btu required would be 7000 for each ground floor room. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    • Underfloor Heating Expert

      Hi Lucy,

      Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, there are so many variables involved with your query it makes it extremely difficult to answer without actually being on site and inspecting the property.

      What did your plumber recommend? They’ve given you a British Thermal Unit figure to work with, so they have clearly run some calculations. Without speaking to them personally I cannot properly advise you on whether or not you should include rads with your new installation as I’m not 100% sure of the method they’ve used to come to 7,000 BTUs.

      Really sorry I can’t be more helpful and give you a definitive answer.

  2. Hahei Builders

    A builder has completed the basic structure, a fireplace installer will be responsible about Heating Installation – Is it Solely for New-Build Homes!