5 things you should know BEFORE installing underfloor heating

Aerial view of a sofa on a wooden floor

Wave goodbye to radiators and hello to more space and a warm home for less! Underfloor heating is a great choice and if you’re thinking of taking the leap to luxurious warm floors, these are the five things you need to know…

#1 It provides a constant temperature across the home or in individual rooms

Feet in orange & blue spotted socks on a wooden floor

The great thing about underfloor heating is its flexibility. Therefore, it sometimes pays to spend the extra money to get a professional supplier and installation company to not only fit the system but design it for you in the first place.

With central heating, the boiler fires up and sends heat through to all the radiators on the system, unless you switch the radiators off in certain rooms (if you can) or lower the temperature of the radiator with its thermostatic valve.

This gives you some flexibility, but not a lot. Underfloor heating is completely different. You can create single zone underfloor heating areas so that the important rooms in the house are heated when you need them to be but other rooms can enjoy a lower level of heat.

The ability to control your heating at every point of day and night means you save money as well as having a more comfortably heated home.

#2 It’s best fitted with high thermal conductivity flooring

Child playing with a toy digger on a wooden floor

Sounds a mouthful, doesn’t it?! But what does it mean?

It means to get the best from your underfloor heating system, you need a top layer of flooring that’s incredibly efficient in grabbing hold of the heat and keeping hold of it.

This means the system doesn’t need to work as hard. There are many flooring options – wood, laminate, ceramic tile, polished concrete and carpet – that work well with underfloor heating.

It’s true to say that some options work better than others. Polished concrete floors are a great conductor and retainer of heat. Ceramic tiles also work well and some wood flooring solutions are also a great fit.

It’s possible to use carpet but it must be of a low TOG rating to allow heat through it and into the room. However, even then, it’s not so great at hanging on to the heat.

#3 A smart thermostat adds more flexibility & sophistication

Nest smart thermostat

Although we think of underfloor heating as a modern invention, it’s been around for some time. The Romans used ‘fire under the floor’ to heat their bath houses.

Modern day underfloor heating is more sophisticated and flexible but to get even more out of the system, a smart thermostat is a must.

If you have a multi-zone system, you can set different temperatures in different rooms with a few taps of your smart phone – and alter it throughout the day.

Underfloor heating response time is slower than the boiler and radiator approach but that doesn’t mean it’s at a disadvantage. It just means that you plan your heating to fit with your activities from day to day. For that, you need the tools to set the heat of the system as and when.

#4 Correct installation is key

High-gloss kitchen floor
That’s why getting a professional and expert in all thing underfloor heating should install your system, even if they don’t design it.

Wet or water underfloor heating works by a series of pipe loops being laid in the sub floor and hot water circulating through them to heat the floor.

It’s an incredibly simple, yet effective system. But, this doesn’t mean that things can’t go wrong when it’s being installed. Discovering that you have a leaking pipe when you’ve already laid the floor isn’t the opportune time to try and repair it.

All wet underfloor heating systems should be pressure tested BEFORE you start pouring high conductivity screed or laying insulation boards to protect the pipes. Once laid, the system will function without a hitch for years to come.

#5 Underfloor heating is a system that you’ll love!

Kitchen diner with wooden floorboard floor

Underfloor heating isn’t for everyone. If you like dry, hot heat that leaves your house stuffy, then underfloor heating isn’t for you.

If you prefer an ambient, constant temperature, as well as a luxuriously warm floor underfoot, then underfloor heating is for you.

However, you’ll need to have some patience. With some installation processes, the screed must dry thoroughly before the heat can be switched on because if you dry out liquid concrete too quickly it cracks. That means the floor isn’t as structurally sound as it should be, leading to problems further down the line. In other words, you may have to wait a week or two before the big switch on.

Underfloor heating suits any property and isn’t as expensive to fit as you’d think either. A proven technology, more and more people are realising the benefits of underfloor heating – why not you?

Underfloor Heating Trade Supplies understands the simplicity of underfloor heating but the amazing benefits it brings to any space, from a single room in a home to multi-zone systems in commercial premises.

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How to make the most of a small bathroom footprint

Ariel view of a small bathroomcredit

No matter what the shape and size of your home, youll always want it to be as stylish and comfortable as you can make it. When it comes to the bathroom, the three key things people look for are practicality, storage and luxury. Even if you’re dealing with a footprint that’s rather small, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve this by paying close attention to detail with your design features. Here are a few tips to get you started…

Start with the tiles

Campact bathroom with mushroom coloured tilescredit

As soon as you start to put colours and tiles on your walls, your bathroom can instantly appear larger or smaller. If you’re already dealing with a tight footprint, go for lighter, elongated tiles that give the appearance of a brighter and longer room. Try to stay away from pure white, as this can often be a little too dazzling.

Instead, light grey and ivory make good off-white colours which will still enhance any light that hits the walls. Consider adding a border tile too, which is again a slim, long design, so that the person entering the bathroom is instantly given the impression of more length.

Think about fixtures and fittings

Compact corner bathcredit

Next, it’s time to think about the bathroom furniture. If space-saving is your ultimate goal here, then you need to look at a variety of different designs and styles to find what you like. For example, a large, traditional roll-top bath would be completely impractical for a smaller bathroom, but you could get a corner bath with shower that has traditional features, so that you still have the look and feel you desire.

It’s best to check out an online retailer with a large choice, such as Better Bathrooms, to make these initial decisions. Then, consider additional items like floating toilets, where the cistern is concealed within the wall, so as not to take up precious floor space.

Start thinking vertically

Vertical shelving in a compact bathroomcredit

Now that you have your colours and fixtures all in place, in order to make this space usable, you’ll need to turn your attention to storage. Whether you have three children and their bath time toys to worry about, or you’re a leisure-lover with dozens of pampering products laying around, don’t think of your walls as dead space, and start using them more creatively. You can opt for the more conventional wall-to-ceiling units, or go for hanging compartments and shelving units that can be easily moved as your needs change.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to use every single nook and cranny in your space. You can easily have vanity units built to conceal pipes and such, but can you use that space for anything else? If you have an awkward recess in one wall, look for what tailored storage solutions there are around, so that you can turn it into something useful.

We hope this post gave you some inspiration – if you have any more ideas for small bathroom solutions, please let us know in the comment section.

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Creating a vintage look for your bathroom

Creating a vintage look for your bathroomcredit

The vintage look is certainly a popular one to adopt, and there are a great deal of elements and intricacies to consider when it comes to exactly what style you’re trying to recreate. Pebble Grey take you through some of the aspects of planning your perfect vintage bathroom.

Bathroom sink with splash back of triangular shaped tile splash backcredit

Plan in advance

You probably already have a good idea about your own likes and dislikes when it comes to bathroom décor, and we’re specifically aiming to create a vintage look. So how do we take that from your mind to reality? The first step is to figure out exactly how much room there is with which to work. Now, that isn’t to suggest that it’s impossible to create a stylish and welcoming vintage bathroom with limited space. Only that resorting to some ingenuity in using the available space might be necessary.

The second thing to consider is exactly which style you prefer to emulate, as this will dictate the fittings and décor in which to seek out. Do you want a more rustic, old-fashioned style with authentic wooden furnishings and striking marble highlights? Or a fantastically vibrant 70s style room filled with bright complementary colours?

Decorative centrepiece

Blue-painted roll top bathcredit

A particularly striking design choice in a vintage bathroom would be decorating your bathroom around one specific furnishing, so that it comes to function as the centrepiece of your bathroom. This can work regardless of the exact era you intend to replicate.

Authentic wooden panelling for either your floors or walls will make your bathroom feel much more inviting and warm over more clinical white bathroom tiles It will stand out beautifully, and won’t limit your available space by any significant amount. With traditional baths slowly taking a back seat to showers in the modern day, a claw-footed free-standing bath will also work in any vintage style as your centrepiece. That said, you can choose to customise this a little.

Most styles will fit in an old-fashioned bathroom, but a vibrant coloured bathtub can function as the centrepiece of a 70s style bathroom just as well. If you prefer this approach, you could also consider, instead of lots of collaborative colours – like pink and yellow together – having a mostly plain yet stylish bathroom, with the bath being central and standing out as your one dazzling splash of colour.

Green & white 30s/40s-look bathroomcredit

Make use of what you have

However, many houses simply don’t have the space to make such bold decorative statements. If you find yourself lacking in space for something like that, look elsewhere to draw attention. For example, an elevated-cistern toilet with pull chain can even add to the appeal of a vintage bathroom.

Storage can always be a concern when it comes to decorating a smaller bathroom, but there are still options available to you. Modern bathrooms often make use of reflective metals like chrome in their furnishings, so when planning your vintage design, look for copper and brass to fit perfectly. With that in mind, over a modern vanity unit, opt for a traditional pedestal sink flanked by coloured cabinets that complement the sink.

When it comes to designing, everyone will have a different idea of what will constitute their own perfect bathroom, so planning out the space and décor long in advance will ensure that you’re left with a room that is perfect for you.

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Selecting the perfect bathroom vanities for your bathroom

brown bathroom with twin wooden bathroom vanities

The bathroom is amongst the most important rooms within a property, and one of the most vital aspects of the bathroom is your chosen bathroom vanity or vanities.

Bathroom vanities are multi-purpose pieces of furniture that are often used to conceal unsightly plumbing. A bathroom vanity also serves as a cabinet, so you can use them to store toothpaste, soap, razors, aftershaves and any other toiletries you may wish to keep out of view.

Furthermore, a bathroom vanity can also be used as a foundation for a bathroom mirror, though the mirror won’t be in-built or connected to the unit. As such, your bathroom vanity can act as a centrepiece for the entire space, so you need to choose wisely to make sure you select the perfect option for your bathroom.

Compact bathroom vanity

How to choose the right bathroom vanities

Firstly, be sure to choose a bathroom vanity of an appropriate height. The majority of bathroom vanities are manufactured at a standard 30-inch height, and whilst this may prove suitable, it could pose problems if you’re either particularly tall or especially small – you don’t want to be crouching or stretching when brushing your teeth! A good way to determine the best height vanity unit for your needs would be to visit a local home improvement store and to compare different sized units in person. From there, you can look for components of the same size online if you would prefer, where you’re likely to find a much wider choice. Also, you’ll have to think about the height of that bathroom mirror that will be located above your bathroom vanities for the same reason.

You also need to remember that your vanity unit is not simply to look at, but to use as well. It’s all well and good selecting a bathroom vanity with a stunning timber finish, but you have to make sure it’s up to scratch with regards to an appropriate level of storage space and overall functionality.

Glossy bathroom vanity unit

The size of your bathroom vanities is another crucial element to consider; height is an aforementioned massive factor, but the width of your unit must be thought about too. You’ll only have a specific, limited space available to situate your bathroom vanity, so you should look to secure the perfect size and not waste any of the available area. Should you select a vanity that’s too long, you could encounter problems such as blocking off a portion of your toilet or another bathroom fixture.

Take into account the shape of the bathroom vanities you require as well. For instance, you may be looking to install a space-saving corner unit if your bathroom design will allow it. You must decide on your exact requirements, and also ensure there’s sufficient space to open and close the bathroom doors. Many people in the past have bought and installed vanities only to later discover that their doors will not fully open or shut without making contact with a wall, shower or other component within the bathroom.

Ultimately, it’s extremely important to perform thorough research before selecting the perfect bathroom vanities for your bathroom, and to have an idea of your exact requirements from the unit. Colour, size, space, storage capacity and accompanying fixtures such as mirrors all need to be considered. From there, you can set about purchasing the ideal bathroom vanity for your space.

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Get a great night’s sleep!

Bedroom with grey walls and bed | H is for Home

March is National Bed Month, so it’s timely that today we’re reviewing the Tweak Mattress. If you look closely at the photo of our bed, you’ll probably glean that we don’t share the same preference in pillows. I love a tall pile of thick, firm ones and he opts for a few sorry-looking, wafer-thin examples. And the differences in our sleep choices don’t end there. I’m a side sleeper and Justin often lies on his back. In addition, he has suffered from a herniated disc for the past few years. I’ve just started getting pain in my hips – oh the joys of getting older! A softer mattress suits the way I sleep and a firmer one is best for Justin and his bad back. How do we reconcile our sleep arrangements? Well, Tweak Mattress has come up with the perfect answer!

Tweak mattress unzipped showing its different coloured tablet inserts | H is for Home

Tweak Mattress bills it as “the ultimate mattress for couples”. You can unzip the quilted cover and mix & match the coloured tablet inserts depending on you and your partner’s preferred mattress firmness. And because they’re separate tablets, it reduces the energy transfer from one side of the bed to the other. This is a godsend if you share a bed with a restless sleeper – that’s me, with my regular episodes of restless legs! These are sandwiched between a pocket sprung base at the bottom and a temperature-regulating memory foam layer on the top.

layers that make up a tweak mattress layers that make up a tweak mattress

We’ve been giving it the bedroom equivalent of a road test this past week. So looking forward to it were we, that we even bought a brand new bed frame and bedding to complete the nocturnal joy. It’s been absolute bliss – the most comfortable mattress either of us has ever had the pleasure of sleeping on. Even sitting up in bed reading or watching television has become a much improved experience.

Do you and your partner have different sleep preferences?

Tweak Mattress -

Tweak Mattress are so confident of their product that they offer purchasers an amazing 100 night trial. That’s over 3 months! If you’re not happy with the coloured comfort layer you’ve chosen, they’ll replace it free of charge. If you’re still not satisfied, they’ll organise collection and give you a full refund.

Here’s a short video demonstrating it’s features…

Tweak Mattress banner

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Why renovation is a good opportunity to consider pest management

Why renovation is a good opportunity to consider pest management

If you’re having renovation work completed you have an excellent opportunity to think about pest management at the same time. Before the renovation work begins it’s a good idea to speak to a professional exterminator in Chesapeake to ask them to conduct an assessment which can then be discussed with the renovation expert you employ.

We’re going to take a look at what pest control measures could be considered. We’re also going to explain why it makes sense to include them in your renovation project.

What pest control work can be included as part of the renovation?

Wasp nest on a ceiling

The reason why you should consult with a pest control expert before you have renovation work carried out is so they can put their expertise to use advising what pest control measures could be included in the renovation work. This could include:

  • Sealing gaps and cracks in the exterior walls of your property to help prevent pests from gaining access.
  • Sealing gaps around kitchen cabinets.
  • Repairing any leaks, or problems with water damage, that may be present.
  • Using pest resistant materials.
  • Applying boric acid to areas behind walls which can help prevent cockroach infestation

This is a selection of pest control measures that can be included as part of a renovation project. Hopefully, you can see why these measures are so important.

Why include them in the renovation?

Cockroaches being exterminatedcredit

If you’re spending money on having your home renovated, you want the final result to be as successful as possible. If you do not pay attention to pest control as part of the project then you’re missing out on a great opportunity to make sure your home is protected.

Of course, there’s also a chance that a pest infestation could damage the work that has been completed. This being the case, it makes sense to take all possible action to protect your property against potential pest invasion.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the issue of pest control is resolved forever. You should have your home inspected for pests at least once every two years. This doesn’t change even if you include pest control in your renovation project; unless the pest control experts advise otherwise. Having the work completed does mean that you are less likely to encounter a problem with pests.

Once the renovation work is complete, you should speak to the pest control experts about any further recommendations they may have. They’ll also advise you about future inspections.

Hopefully, we’ve shown you why a renovation project is a good opportunity to address any potential pest control issues. It makes sense to include any pest deterrent improvements, from a practical and financial viewpoint. If you neglect the opportunity you may have regrets if a problem with pests ends up causing damage to the renovation work you’ve just had completed.

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