Underfloor heating and a really old floor - is it possible?

17 Jul 2011
Reaction score
United Kingdom

My house was built in the 1930's and was a two up two down. At some point (not sure when) the back of the house was built on to have a kitchen and a bathroom. The kitchen is really cold (you can see your breath cold!) as there is no heating source other than the electric oven! The kitchen is tiny and there isn't any space to install a radiator so I was thinking of using underfloor heating. I have a reclaimed 1920's dance floor which I am planning (hoping!!) to lay in the kitchen. The flooring is solid Canadian maple and is 2cm thick and of varying lengths. The floor is currently concrete.
There is a radiator in the bathroom which is adjacent to the kitchen.
My question is: is the Canadian maple flooring suitable for UFH and if so, electric or water?
Thanks in advance for any assistance or advice you can provide!
Best wishes
Sponsored Links
Underfloor heating is only suitable for very well insulated buildings, it operates at a low temperature so that you can walk on it with burning your feet and normally takes a long time to heat up a room, so often has to be left on continuously. To prevent the heat being lost to the ground, good insulation needs to be installed underneath, so you would either have to dig the concrete up, or raise the new floor to allow space for the insulation & UFH below.

UHF works best with non insulating surfaces such as stone or tiles as they conduct the heat better, other surfaces such as wood or carpet are not so good as they insulate the heating source to some extent and prevent heat escaping into the room.

Electric mat type heating systems are really only designed to warm the surface of tiles so that they are comfortable to walk on in bare feet, and not warming the room. Also, they are only suitable for non flammable floors.

Water underfloor heating can't be just connected to an existing radiator, it needs a special control manifold and separate pump to maintain the temperature suitable for UFH.

If there isn't room for a radiator in your kitchen, a plinth heater mounted in the base of your kitchen units can be connected to the radiator circuit and contains a small fan to blow the warm air out.

Versions that contain electric heating elements are also available, which are usually cheaper to buy, but more expensive to run.

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

Sponsored Links