If it’s your first time planning a kitchen or you haven’t been through the process for years, you’ll usually have some questions about some elements of it, whether it’s worktops or appliances. And they’re often the same queries as everyone else.
It was this realisation that inspired our regular Ask the Experts Q&A pages. We’ve featured some great questions throughout the year, so here’s a taster, answered by Ed Scott, MD of Hutton Kitchens.
“We’ve just finished renovating a barn conversion and have laid underfloor heating, using water pipes, underneath the kitchen floor. However, now we’ve started to plan our kitchen scheme, we’re wondering about the practicalities of it. Can I have it running underneath a larder and fridge, for example, or will it be too hot? It’s too late to move it all, so how can I work around it?”
Kate Bailey, Surrey
Can underfloor heating work in a barn conversion?
“A water-based underfloor heating system, such as yours, is made up of a series of pipes that are connected to your boiler and run beneath the floor, circulating warm water throughout. This system works especially well in kitchens as it can be installed under tiled and stone floors, as well as laminate.
Running your underfloor heating underneath a larder or fridge shouldn’t be a problem. The base of the fridge is only a small percentage of the total area, so unless the underfloor heating is hot, you needn’t worry. However, be aware that the appliance may not run at its optimum efficiency if the ambient air temperature is raised.
If you can avoid the pipes running under appliances, it is preferred, but the important thing is not to block the air circulation needed to cool the compressor and heat exchanger. Adding insulation to the floor area under the fridge would help, providing it doesn’t reduce the minimum ventilation as stated by the manufacturer.
When laying underfloor heating in future, if space allows, insulate below the pipes, as it lessens heat escaping downwards, reducing warm-up time and running costs. It’s also important to keep a record of the pipe layout so you can avoid drilling at pipe locations. You should also check first that your existing heating system is compatible with underfloor heating.”
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