We get asked this question all the time, and the answer is YES! In fact, natural stone flooring has two great qualities that make it ideal for underfloor heating. Natural stone used for stone flooring is a great heat conductor, so it warms up quickly – and it also retains heat, so it stays warmer for longer. If that isn’t enough to convince you of the benefits natural limestone flooring possess, or the thought of underfloor heating to warm your toes, perhaps these explanations and analysis will…
Contrary to popular belief, natural stone flooring isn’t always cold – the excellent thermal properties of stone mean it will adjust to the temperature of the room. But there’s no denying that underfloor heating can add an extra cosy feel to your natural limestone floor, especially on cold winter days – and 90% of our customers opt for underfloor heating when fitting a natural stone floor.
Interestingly, the use of underfloor heating with natural stone flooring is not a new concept. In many Roman excavations, there is evidence that warm air produced by open fires was pumped under suspended stone flooring to warm the rooms above. But you’ll be pleased to learn that modern day underfloor heating is much more efficient, safe and sophisticated!
How does underfloor heating work?
There are two main types of underfloor heating in use today – water-based and electrical-based systems.
In a water-based underfloor heating system, water is heated by your boiler (or another separate heat source) and pumped through pipes laid under the floor. With an electric underfloor system, heat is generated in a network of electric cables laid under the flooring, so all that’s needed is an electrical supply. Both systems work on the principle that heat rises.
Underfloor heating can simply be used in conjunction with your existing heating system to add a bit of extra warmth to your natural limestone floor. But it is also powerful enough to be used as the primary source of heat for the room – and most customers choose this option.
What are the advantages of underfloor heating?
Obviously the main advantage of combining underfloor heating with a natural stone floor is the warm cosy feel underfoot! But don’t ignore these other key advantages:
Central heating radiators deliver heat from one place and take time to warm the whole room. With an underfloor system, heat is generated across the whole floor area at the same time – meaning the room warms up quicker.
It’s invisible and saves space
With underfloor heating, you can get rid of big ugly radiators which often dominate a room, restricting where you can put your furniture. Underfloor heating can give you back a whole wall, and complete freedom to lay the room out how you want.
It’s less stuffy
Normal radiators heat and dry out the air in the room, and this can lead to a feeling of stuffiness – especially for people with allergies or breathing issues like asthma. Underfloor heating gently warms the natural stone floor tiles, so it’s a much cleaner way of heating the room.
It’s cheaper to run
Underfloor heating is generally much more efficient than conventional heating systems because it gently heats the whole floor – and therefore the whole room – at the same time. This can lead to savings on your energy bills.
It can be used in any room
Traditionally, underfloor heating was only used in rooms where space was restricted – for example, a natural stone bathroom. But modern underfloor heating systems can be scaled up and used with natural stone flooring in any room. In fact, many new builds and renovations use underfloor heating as the sole heating source throughout the property.
Once your underfloor heating system is installed beneath your natural stone floor, you can simply forget about it. Unlike conventional heating systems, it will carry on doing its job for a lifetime – with little or no servicing or maintenance needed.
If you’re considering a natural limestone floor with underfloor heating, talk to the experts at Stamford Stone. We offer a wide range of natural stone flooring – including limestone floor tiles from our own quarries, and we can also advise on the best underfloor heating system to suit your needs.