How does underfloor central heating work?

Underfloor central heating is very similar to radiator central heating: they both use hot water to produce radiant heat to warm up each room in your home. Instead of radiators mounted on the walls, the hot water runs through a network of pipes embedded in the concrete foundation slab of the house.

Underfloor central heating is almost exclusively installed on new homes during the building process as it isn’t possible to install the pipe network once the slab is finished.

The key benefits of underfloor heating are the luxurious feeling of warmth under your feet, the even spread of heat throughout the home, and the invisible, silent way the system works.

Underfloor central heating can be combined with radiators for even better heat distribution in multi-storey homes.

Underfloor heating diagram

Where does the heat come from?

Baxi central heating boiler

The most common heat source for underfloor heating is either an electric air to water heat pump or a gas boiler on reticulated natural gas.  Other sources include diesel boilers and wood burners.

How does it get to all the rooms in the house?

network of pipe being laid for underfloor central heating

The boiler unit heats the water and pumps it through a network of pipes embedded in the concrete slab of your home. Concrete is an excellent conductor of heat, so heat from the water is quickly absorbed by the concrete and released through the floor of your home. As this happens the water cools and returns to the boiler to be heated again.

How do I control the temperature?

The network of pipes in the house slab are separated into distinct zones, usually room by room. This allows you to control the temperature in different parts of the home.

The system includes a control panel mounted on a wall of your home, the only part of the system you’ll ever see. This allows you to program what temperature you want the house to be at ‘peak’ and ‘off-peak’ times of the day. For example, peak times could be 6am-9am and 5pm – 10pm when everyone’s at home and awake, and you want the temperature a comfortable 21 degrees. Off-peak would be 9am – 5pm when everyone’s at school or work and 10pm – 6am when everyone’s asleep. Each day is different and you can program them accordingly.

Underfloor systems take longer to heat up than radiator systems and are more efficient when held at a steady temperature, so you tend to leave the running at a low level throughout the cooler months of the year.

radiant central heating controller

Why is Radiant Central Heating such a good home heating solution?


Central heating systems heat your whole home evenly, so you can use the entire house in winter instead of being confined to a couple of rooms.


Radiant central heating gets the heat into every nook and cranny, helping to eliminate drafts and damp. With consistent temperatures throughout the home, your body is less susceptible to colds and flu and, because there is no forced air circulation, central heating is much better for asthmatics and allergy sufferers.


Water transfers energy four times faster than air making radiant central heating systems much more energy efficient and quick to heat your home.


No naked flames or hot elements. The radiators themselves stay at a safe temperature and won’t burn skin, clothing or furniture. Ideal for children and the elderly.


Systems are fully programmable for different times of the day and week. Radiators can be individually controlled in each room or turned off in rooms that are not being used.


By using a single powerful heat source, you can heat your entire home for about the same energy cost as you would heat just two rooms with more traditional heaters.


From invisible under-floor systems, to modern and retro style radiators, your central heating system can be designed to suit the look of your home.


With radiator systems, you can warm the whole house within minutes regardless of the outside temperature.


Every system we install is custom designed for your home and can be tailored to suit a range of budgets.


Choose from a variety of heat sources and heat distribution methods to get the best performance for your style of home.


Radiant central heating systems are virtually silent, with no noisy fans.

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