19.11.2021 | Stefan Markus
It's not hard to see the appeal of underfloor heating. After all, who doesn't want to make themselves extra comfortable from head to toe during the winter months? And if you choose to use it throughout the home, it could even eliminate the need for radiators. That means more space for shelving, furniture, artwork, or even a bold new minimalist look!
This guide tells you everything you need to know:
What is underfloor heating?
Benefits of underfloor heating
Disadvantages of underfloor heating
Different types of underfloor heating
What types of underfloor heating are best?
How much does underfloor heating cost?
What type of floor is best for underfloor heating?
Is underfloor heating better than radiators?
What is underfloor heating?
Simply put, underfloor heating heats your home via a floor system, as opposed to the radiators most of us are familiar with. In addition to the wonderful feeling of having warm floors, it distributes the heat very evenly throughout the house.
Depending on your home and the type of system you choose, you might be able to do this as wellYour home more energy efficientmiReduce your CO2 emissions.
For more information on reducing power consumption, seeour ultimate guide to efficient use of heating and hot water.
How does underfloor heating work?
Heating pipes or cables are laid under the floor. The hoses are heated with hot water in a "wet" system, or the cables are heated with electricity in a "dry" system. Since these pipes or cables cover the entire surface of the floor, it's like creating a giant radiator under the floor! This means much lower temperatures are required to heat your home, which also improves efficiency. And no more cold spots!
Benefits of underfloor heating
These are some of the main benefits of underfloor heating:
- hot feet! You can walk barefoot all year round. So getting out of the bath or shower is heavenly!
- Distributes heat evenly and evenly in any room.
- A properly sized unit can heat a larger area than a single radiator and run cooler, which can lower your heating bills.
- Less waste: your floors stay warm even when the windows are open or there is a draft in the room.
- It's hidden so it won't spoil your decor or take up space with bulky radiators. (But if you want your radiators to perform at their best, check out our guidehow to bleed a radiator.)
- It can be installed under stone, tile, wood or carpet (as long as the carpet is not too thick - 1.5 tog is generally considered the maximum suitable thickness).
- You can make your home more hygienic: A warmer floor temperature is inhospitable to dust mites. Then you'll have warmer feet and less creepy crawling!
Disadvantages of underfloor heating
- The main problem with underfloor heating is the cost. Installation can be expensive and difficult. Even if your bills are lower, you probably won't get your money's worth.
- In older buildings, adding underfloor heating can be time-consuming and inconvenient.
- It can take a long time to heat up, so using a timer is essential to ensure your rooms are warm enough when you plan to use them.
- It cannot be used on some furniture or accessories. If you want to install underfloor heating, you may need to get rid of some large and heavy items.
- If you use a smaller system you might have nice warm floors but the rest of the room is still cold meaning you would need radiators anyway.
What types of underfloor heating are there?
There are 2 main types of underfloor heating systems: hot water or 'wet' underfloor heating and electric or 'dry' underfloor heating. Look at this table1to compare them:
|radiant floor system||physical fitness||installation costs||running costs||installation time|
|wet or water system||Suitable for all apartment types, from renovation to new construction to single rooms||High acquisition costs||Long-term low operating costs||Depends on the size of the project and the type of system|
|Dry or electric system||Best suited for smaller spaces such as bathrooms due to higher running costs||Lower acquisition costs||Approximately three times more expensive to operate than wet systems||A single room can be installed in a few hours.|
Electric or “dry” underfloor heating
As the name suggests, an electrical system uses electricity to heat the floor through heating cables laid underneath. There are three options for "dry" systems:
- loses Ende- Best suited for stone or tile floors and ideal for odd shaped rooms
- Foreign- ideal for stone or tile floors and for larger or regularly shaped rooms
- Sheet metal– specially developed for laminate floors
Water or “wet” underfloor heating
Wet systems are connected to your central heating system via a network of pipes with hot water under your feet. Here are the basics:
It can be used with any type of boiler as long as it has sufficient capacity(Video) Underfloor Heating Pros and Cons - All You Need To Know About Underfloor Heating Pros And Cons
The water is pumped through pipes located on a lower floor (one floor below your floor) before adding a new surface at the top.
The system uses continuous plastic tubing so there are no joints and therefore no leaks.
Which underfloor heating is the best?
It is generally accepted that wet blasting floor systems are best because they are more effective, efficient and cheaper to run. The pipes that contain the hot water are attached to a layer of insulation and then screed (a concrete-like material) is poured over the pipes and allowed to harden.
The hot tubes heat the entire slab and ensure an even heat.
How much does underfloor heating cost?
There are 2 things to consider here: How much does it cost to install underfloor heating and how much does it cost to operate.
Cost of installing underfloor heating
The cost of underfloor heating depends on several factors:
- The type of underfloor heating you choose
- the size of your room
- The age of your building
here is a table2This can give you a rough idea of how much to expect for different types of underfloor heating in new and older homes:
|Radiant floor type||new or renovated||material costs||labour costs||completion time||total cost|
|Electric||retired||£3600+||£ 480 - £ 720||2 to 3 days||£ 4.000 - £ 4.500|
|Electric||New building||£ 2100 +||£ 240 - £ 480||1 to 2 days||£ 2.300 - £ 2.600|
|Agua||retired||£9.000+||£ 1200 - £ 1680||5 to 7 days||£ 10.000 - £ 11.000|
|Agua||New building||£4800+||£ 960 - £ 1440||4 to 6 days||£ 5.500 - £ 6.500|
As you can see it is almost always cheaper to install a dry system. Prices for foldable electric underfloor heating mats start at around €170 for 10 m². Added to this are the costs ofIsolationHob, table and heating control. You'll also need to pay a qualified electrician to hook it up to your power supply.
water based systems
The price of installing a wet system can vary. If it is a single room it depends if it is on the ground floor or near the boiler. It will almost certainly be more expensive than installing an electrical system. But if you read on, you will see that it is cheaper to operate.
How is underfloor heating installed? Can I install it myself?
If you rely on DIY, it's possible to install an electrical system yourself, but if you've decided on a water system, you'll need to hire a professional.
Both systems would require an electrician to connect the system to power and a sensor for the thermostat. For this reason, it is recommended to have the underfloor heating installed by a professional.
Do I need additional insulation with underfloor heating?
improvement of yourisolation at homeIt's one of the most effective ways to keep your home warm and reduce your energy bills. If you are considering installing underfloor heating, we recommend that you first improve your insulation as this will allow the system to work more efficiently and effectively.
How much does underfloor heating cost?
In most cases there will be a big difference between the heating costs of a wet and a dry system.
Operating costs hot water underfloor heating
Although installation can be expensive, 'wet' underfloor heating is often the most economical option. It's usually more efficient than an electrical system, meaning you can get it working for less money.
Operating costs for electric underfloor heating
"Dry" systems can be much more expensive to run. This is mainly because electricity tends to cost more than natural gas. For this reason, it is often used to heat individual rooms such as bathrooms or kitchens.
Is it cheaper to leave the underfloor heating on all the time?
During the colder months it may be more economical to run your underfloor heating at a low temperature throughout the day due to the time it can take to heat up.
If you want to keep your power consumption down, check out our guides forreduced electricity billsis ours120 useful tips for saving energy.
Do you want to know other ecological ways of heating your home? Access our articles on the bestlow carbon heating optionsmiair source heat pumps.
What type of floor is best for underfloor heating?
Unsurprisingly, stone materials are best suited for underfloor heating because they are natural heat conductors, heat up faster and retain heat longer. However, you can use most types of flooring, including vinyl, laminate, and tile.
Whatever type of flooring you are looking for, it should be possible to tailor your system to suit your needs. Here we go over some of the most important things to consider.
Real wood floors need special care. It is worth checking with the manufacturer about the maximum temperature that the wood can withstand. It's usually around 27C. Anything above that and the heat can cause the wood to warp and shrink.
Engineered or laminate flooring can be a good choice for a scratch-free wood feel. The only thing to keep in mind is to make sure it's not too thick, ideally no more than 18mm, otherwise it will affect the efficiency of your system.
For best results with the mat, the mat should not be too thick. The thicker the carpet, the longer it takes to heat up. For this reason, the sum of carpet and underlay must be less than 2.5.
For many, concrete is the perfect floor for a stylish and modern interior. And the good news is that it is suitable for underfloor heating as it retains heat for a long time.
One important thing to remember is that you do not seal your underfloor heating system with concrete. The plumbing and electrical installation must be installed within the screed, not in the concrete, which can damage the system.
How long do underfloor heating parts and components last?
The pipes used in underfloor heating have an average service life of around 50 years. Which compares well to the projected 10-12 years of a radiator.3.
Is underfloor heating better than radiators?
Underfloor heating is like turning the whole floor into a radiator! However, the main difference is that underfloor heating is much more efficient. Because? Because underfloor heating covers such a large area, it is not necessary to heat it to such a high temperature as radiators to heat the room.
Keeping your underfloor heating system just a few degrees above normal room temperature can use 15-40% less energy than traditional radiators.4.
What is the ideal temperature for underfloor heating?
As always, this will vary based on your home and preferences, but for most people, this is the caseideal temperatureit is around 21°C for the living areas and 18°C for the bedrooms. Check out our handy infographic to get a better idea of the perfect temperature for every room in your home.
Frequently asked questions about installing an underfloor heating system
The underfloor heating works perfectly with bothair sourcemigeothermal heat pumps, because both work more efficiently at low temperatures.
Underfloor heating is actually safer and healthier than radiators as there are no exposed hot surfaces or dust collectors. Also, due to the constant and comfortable source of heat, they help eliminate cold spots.
It all depends on the type of system you are installing. Underfloor heating is usually left at a constant low temperature. As a result, the concrete slab stores heat and avoids long heating-up times, which keeps operating costs low. Retrofitted underfloor heating, on the other hand, can heat up and cool down quickly, so it can be controlled more like a radiator system.
No, it is not necessary to dig floors. Various installation systems and options are available, including low-profile solutions that can be placed directly onto existing solid or hardwood floors.
Underfloor heating generally raises the profile of the floor. However, the amount raised depends on several factors, including:
- How Much Insulation Do You Need?
- pipe size
- If you need a table and floor covering
You can also get heated floors that can be carved into the existing table, so all you need is a final finish on the top. A low profile system would be a good option as it is relatively quick and easy to install without raising the profile of the floor too much.
If you're looking to add underfloor heating to your existing system, you'll need oneThermostat.
Yes, but it's worth considering if this is the best option. If you have an older home with poor insulation or single glazing, it will probably still need to be paired with traditional glazing.cooling system.
If your house is lowenergy efficiency, and you still want to install underfloor heating, this can be difficult in connection with renovation work, e.g. B. Insulation andEnergy efficient doors and windows.
You can also think of quick DIY insulation repairs likeHow to make your own dachshund eraser. Taking these types of steps would help reduce the operating costs of the system.
For more information on insulation, check out the many guides and tips on ourcontent center.
Unless you're lucky enough to live in a listed building or historically significant property, the answer is probably no. When moving into a new room, you need to be aware of building codes.
Depending on your floor and the type of system you have, it can take 2-3 hours to heat up. Because the screed around the heating pipes needs time to conduct the heat through the floor and warm the air.
Ideally yes. You'll have to set it up for quite a while before you need it.
Ever thought of smart thermostats? They can help you control your heating from anywhere and lower your bills. Read our guide to learn more about itBenefits of smart thermostats and why you should get one.
How else can I make my home warmer?
Isolation is key.Insulate the ceiling and walls and you could save around £250 a year3. In addition, you also reduce your CO2 emissions, which is great news for the planet.
Some other important tips are:
- Fill up your walls!wall cavity insulationYou can save around £115 on your heating bills every year4.
- Get draft excluders for exterior doors, windows and mailboxes.
- Replace all your old windows withDoppelbrille– You can save around £120 a year5.
- If your boiler is more than 15 years old, you should consider replacing it with a new Class A condensing boiler.help you to choose the right boiler.
How can I reduce my energy costs?
Installing underfloor heating can be expensive, so you should find other ways to reduce your energy bills. First, make sure your home and all your devices are running as efficiently as possible. Are here120 more ways to save energy in your home.
see oursComplete guide to saving energyFor more details, check out our explainer athow to use the heating efficiently in winterand our guide toCalculate the amount of energy you use for heating.
change energy providers
It also makes sense to think about itseller exchange. No matter which energy supplier you are with, we recommend that you regularly check the market to see whether you can save money by switching. CanOffer a plan with OVOin seconds.
We know that price is important, that's why we offer competitive prices.100% renewable electricityDefault. We also plant a tree for every year you are with us.
See how your current provider compares to our range of power plans. Compare the prices of oursElectricity, gas and biofuel plans.
Sources and References
See more of these categories
Does underfloor heating use a lot of energy? ›
It costs less than 10p to run 1m² of standard underfloor heating at full power for six hours. Although some people still expect underfloor heating to be expensive to run, the reality is that both the initial installation cost and the ongoing running expenses can represent great value for money.Is underfloor heating expensive to install and run? ›
Looking at the table above, electric underfloor heating is definitely not as expensive to run as many people think. So, for that perfectly warm and comfortable bathroom at home, it is cheaper to run electric underfloor heating compared with a washing machine, kettle, electric shower and a whole lot more.How much energy does underfloor heating save? ›
If the average household requires 12,000 kWh annually for heating, then a heat pump with a CoP of four will use around 3,000 kWh of electricity. UFH will likely use less energy than standard radiators.Why is my underfloor heating so expensive to run? ›
Electric underfloor heating running costs can be three to four times more than a warm water UFH system, or a radiator system, that is paired with a gas boiler. This is simply because electric tends to cost far more than natural gas per kWh.Does underfloor heating increase electricity bills? ›
Electric underfloor heating costs are higher than water-based systems. Why? Well electric systems do a great job of warming the floor but not the whole room. So you can expect a small increase in your electricity bill.How many hours a day should underfloor heating be on? ›
A well built underfloor heating system can be left on all day with no issues, if anything it can be better for your house and property to be kept at an even temperature.Is it cheaper to keep underfloor heating on all the time? ›
Basically, your home will heat up to a comfortable temperature faster. So, whilst it won't necessarily be cheaper to leave your underfloor heating on for a sustained period initially, it could lead to long-term savings.Is underfloor heating cheap to install? ›
Electricity is more expensive than gas, thus electric underfloor heating will not cost less than using a gas radiator. However, after the initial price for material and installation, water underfloor heating will pay off with very cheap bills over time.Is underfloor heating expensive to run 2022? ›
With small rooms, such as a bathroom, you should expect a small increase in your electricity bill. Electric underfloor heating systems cost just under 10p per square metre when run for six hours.What is the most efficient underfloor heating? ›
What is the most efficient way to control underfloor heating? Warm water underfloor heating is highly efficient, but can be made even more so by making sure you're balancing underfloor heating in the best way.
What is the lifespan of underfloor heating? ›
An underfloor heating system should be expected to last for 50 years or longer. Consider that a radiator may only last for around 12 years before it requires replacing and this goes some way to proving how effective an underfloor heating system can be.What is the most economical underfloor heating? ›
Between the two major types of heating system, radiant and conventional heating, the Department of Energy confirms that radiant heating is more efficient and cost effective. Using radiant heating will reduce the amount of energy bills.Should you turn off underfloor heating in the summer? ›
Underfloor heating can be switched off during Summer when the outside temperature is warm enough. This is because it takes longer to warm up and cool down than other heating methods, making it harder to adjust your settings when the outside temperature is warming your home.Does underfloor heating Increase Value of house? ›
An underfloor heating system is much more economical and efficient in comparison with other home heating systems and it can even increase the resale value of your property.Which is better electric or wet underfloor heating? ›
Warm Water Underfloor Heating
More powerful in heat output than electric systems plus much more energy efficient than radiator systems and can completely remove the need for traditional radiators in your home.
It is advised that in the depths of winter, an underfloor heating system should be kept on at all times. Although it should be at different temperatures depending on usage and activity in the house. This is because underfloor heating can take two to three hours to warm up, so it is best to not completely turn it off.How long does underfloor heating take to heat up first time? ›
An underfloor heating system will take anywhere from 30minutes to 4hours to heat up depending on a various factors. The main factors which impact heat up times include: Floor construction. Amount of heat loss.What temperature should I set my heated floor? ›
While floor temperature can be set as high as 104° F, the floor temperature is usually set between 80° F and 85° F, which is comfortable for most people (depending on the room and ambient temperature).Why doesn't my underfloor heating feel warm? ›
If your electric underfloor heating isn't warm enough, you may need to adjust your thermostat settings or check the system's power output. This could also be down to the insulation in your home – check this before installation.How can I reduce the cost of underfloor heating? ›
Installing insulation with a new floor heating system is critical to maximise on the performance of the system. A new floor heating system may be cheaper than you think to install, and the enhanced energy-efficiency of underfloor heating can help lower your energy usage and save you money in the long-term.
Which floor is best for underfloor heating? ›
TILE, STONE & POLISHED SCREED
The best type of flooring to use with underfloor heating is tile and stone. Tile and stone have high thermal conductivity, meaning that the heat from an underfloor heating pipe or wire transfers to the floor surface quickly. Tile and stone also retain heat well making the system efficient.
From easy installation to lower energy requirements, IntrCooll stands as the best alternative compared to floor heating. Create a roof curb in the roof and lower the air inlet from the IntrCooll down into the building and basically, that's it!Does underfloor heating ever leak? ›
Underfloor heating leaks are one of the most common issues caused at the installation stage. However, even though they are not frequent, they are troubling.What type of carpet is best for underfloor heating? ›
Carpets with hessian backing rather than rubber, are recommended for use with UFH systems. Although they tend to be more expensive, the hessian allows heat to travel through the carpet whereas rubber acts as an insulator, keeping heat beneath the floor. This will stop it from effectively heating your room.What can go wrong with electric underfloor heating? ›
Common Problems with Electric Underfloor Heating
- No heating, underfloor heating controller display blank.
- No heating, underfloor heating controller display working.
- Heating constantly on.
A: A leak in underfloor heating is highly unlikely. Potential damage to a system normally occurs during installation, where the underfloor heating pipe gets cut accidentally or becomes otherwise damaged.Can underfloor heating freeze? ›
Q. Can wet underfloor heating freeze in the winter? A: Once the system is up and running within the occupied property, the answer really is no. The room thermostats we use come with a frost setting which means that the room temperature will never be able to drop below zero degrees C.Is in floor heating worth the cost? ›
When remodeling your bathroom, radiant floor heating is especially worth thinking about. You will save a lot on the labor cost if the flooring is being lifted up and changed anyway. The comfort and the cost savings of running the system on your heating bills will work out to your advantage in the longer run.Is it cheaper to leave underfloor heating on all the time? ›
Basically, your home will heat up to a comfortable temperature faster. So, whilst it won't necessarily be cheaper to leave your underfloor heating on for a sustained period initially, it could lead to long-term savings.How much does underfloor heating cost to run? ›
Therefore if your electric underfloor heating is 125W per square meter then for every 8 square meters of floor you will use 28p per hour that the system is on. Prices are due to increase in October to around 34p per kWh but you may be on a fixed rate or other rate that could be more than that or less.
Is it more cost effective to leave underfloor heating? ›
It can save you up to 25% on your energy bills, so is definitely worth considering. There are also many other ways to reduce your bills with underfloor heating.Is it cheap to run underfloor heating? ›
Does Underfloor Heating Cost Less than Radiators? Electricity is more expensive than gas, thus electric underfloor heating will not cost less than using a gas radiator. However, after the initial price for material and installation, water underfloor heating will pay off with very cheap bills over time.What is the best temp for underfloor heating? ›
Underfloor heating temperature – what should I set it to? This varies from person-to-person, but generally 21°C is the ideal temperature for living areas. Bedrooms tend to be set slightly cooler at 18°C. You can set this using your underfloor heating control panel.What is the ideal temperature for in floor heating? ›
The ideal temperature underfloor heating should be run at also varies; for wood, carpets and vinyl floor finishes we recommend a maximum heat temperature of 81 degrees and for stone and tiles, a slightly higher temperature of 86 degrees.What is the average cost of in floor heating? ›
The cost depends on square footage, but the national average cost of radiant floor heating is $3,800 and ranges from $1,700 to $6,000. The low-end cost of radiant floor heating is about $200 and the high-end cost is up to $10,000.How much does it cost to run underfloor heating 2022? ›
Electric underfloor heating systems cost just under 10p per square metre when run for six hours. An average bathroom of 3.5 metres squared may cost around £10.50 per month to run. Wet underfloor heating systems hook up to existing boilers, replacing the need for radiators.Does underfloor heating use a lot of gas? ›
Underfloor heating systems can be more energy efficient than other forms of central heating, saving you money on gas and electricity. But these running cost savings are unlikely to offset the installation costs of these systems, particularly if they're supplementing an existing heating system.