Many open-plan kitchens are the result of an extension for considerable remodelling, so the heating system is often viewed as separate from the rest of the house.Underfloor heating is a popular solution as it doesnt need wall space for radiators, provides great ambient heat and is warm underfoot. There are two types:
1) HOT-WATER (WET) UFH
- 1) Lower heating costs
- 2) Can be powered by renewable technology such as solar hot water
- 3) Kits forfloating, battens, solid and suspended floors are available
- 1) Disruptive to install
- 2) More expensive to install than electric systems but more efficient
- 3) Slower to heat than other systems
- 3) Requires a qualified plumber
2) ELECTRIC (WIRE) UFH
- 1) Quicker and cheaper to install compared to a wet system
- 2) Slim profiles mean floor heights dont need to alter and can be retro fitted to existing sub-floors
- 3) Heats up quicker than a wet system does
- 1) Considerably more expensive to run than a wet UFH system
- 2) Should not be laid under permanent fixtures
Underfoor heating is compatible with a surprising range of flooring not just stone and tiles.Quality laminates, lino and engineered wood are options, but always check with your flooring manufacturer. Underfloor heating should be planned alongside your kitchen layout, as you don't want heat running under pantries and storage cupboards.
If your heating concerns focus more around the dining and living zones, you might want to extend your central heating system and install radiators here. But do make sure your boiler can cope by checking how much demand your home already places on it. Use a BTU calculator (you can find one on most heating websites) to work out just how much heat the space needs, suggests The result will determine how many radiators are required and how powerful they will need to be. Normally, the addition of one or two radiators shouldnt cause any problems, but if in doubt always ask your plumber. Alternatively, electric glass panel heaters are sleek and produce an even heat without a boiler,while an electric plinth heater such as Mysons Kickspacefits discreetly into the base of kitchen units.
In a living area of an open-plan kitchen, a contemporary fireplace or wood burning stove makes a welcoming focal point. Modern stoves can generate up to 600C, making them more than 80 per cent efficient, while an open fire can only manage around 270Cabout 15per cent efficient. The two main designs are wood only and multifuel, which can burnwood, coal and biomass. Your choice will depend on whether you live in a Smoke Control Area, introduced to most UK urban areas following the Clean Air Act to stop smog. If you want to burn wood in the city, your stove must have passed strict emissions testing and been granted exception by the Department for Environment,Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). To install, youll need to have the chimney lined with a high temperature flue, or fit a freestanding double-lined flue through the ceiling or outside wall. An experienced salesperson will be able to advise on the right size stove for the space.
If an original chimney remains, a period-style cast-iron surround will complete the look in a traditional kitchen,while modern inset fires, in gas, electric or ethanol, are striking. Bio Ethanol fires try Gel Fireplaces are affordable, easy to install, and dont require a chimney or flue, but give the look and some of the warmth of real fire.But for instant heat without any fuss of fuel, electric wall mounted fires heat quickly and have a flame for added effect.