Electric underfloor heating and living rooms - the perfect match...

Underfloor heating and living rooms

The popularity of electric underfloor heating continues to rise. It’s not just popular in bathrooms, underfloor heating is significantly increasing in popularity within living rooms. In fact, the Home Improvement Trends Report: 2020 by Rated People suggests that there has been an increase of 400% in popularity of underfloor heating in living rooms with homeowners from 2019 to 2020. This upward trend may have been kick started since the introduction of both engineered wood floors and laminate.

What underfloor heating system should you use in your living room?

First and foremost it depends on the floor covering that you are planning to use in your living room. The most common living room floor coverings include; carpet, engineered wood and laminate. For these types we would recommend using a foil electric heating mat.

ThermoSphere Foil is the most advanced electric underfloor heating foil system available. It is specifically designed to heat laminate, engineered wood, carpet and vinyl floor finishes. Like all electric underfloor heating, electrical safety is paramount and that’s why ThermoSphere Foil includes a continuous earth braid which runs the entire length of the cable. The hard wearing and double layer of foil creates an energy efficient heat exchange and is designed to protect the heating cable before and after installation.

If you are going to be using carpet as your floor covering, research from the Underfloor Heating Manufacturers Association and recommendations from The Carpet Foundation suggests that a maximum tog of 2.5 for the carpet and underlay. This ensures that the heating efficiency of your electric underfloor heating system is not hindered.

A typical floor build-up using a carpet floor finish...

Foil floor heating with carpet

If you are looking to use an alternative floor covering to carpet, this Foil Alternative Build-ups document is just what you need.

Hard floors and sound impact

According to the World Health Organisation, exposure to noise presents the second largest health risk to the population of Western Europe, with poor air quality being first.

For impact sound including footsteps and even jumping, a maximum impact sound transmittance level of 62dB is set for floors in new builds and 64dB is set for conversions. This is all covered in Part E (Resistance to Sound) of the Building Regulations.

One of the most common paths of noise is hard floors (e.g. tile, stone, laminate and engineered wood) which don’t include isolation material between the covering and floor boards. This is particularly significant in blocks of flats where hearing your neighbour’s footsteps is not uncommon and it many cases can become somewhat of an annoyance.

How ThermoSphere Foil reduces impact sound

A 1.2mm cushioning overlay protects the foil from movement in the floating floor finish. A 5mm cushioning underlay allows the heating cable to embed itself and is totally protected from abrasion. This combination provides 21dB impact sound insulation. Additional layers can be added to further improve acoustic performance.

impact sound

What to remember once your electric underfloor heating system has been installed

From sofas to book cases, living rooms can have a lot of furniture within them. It is important to remember not to directly cover a working electric underfloor heating system because air must be allowed to circulate over the floor.

If you have permanent furniture, then we would recommend using bun feet or something similar. Rugs are also a particular favourite in living rooms. However, if you do want to have one we would advise you looking at a hessian rug which has a low thermal resistance. Rugs such as felt backed act as insulators and must be avoided as they can cause the floor to overheat. Remember that your newly installed electric underfloor heating is the primary source of the heating for your living room so it’s best not to cover it up and enjoy the warmth it provides instead.

What do you think? If you have any questions regarding underfloor heating and floor height or anything else about electric underfloor heating, contact one of the ThermoSphere team.

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