How much does underfloor heating cost?
All underfloor heating costs are correct as of 2020
When you stumble to the bathroom or into the kitchen early on a winter morning, there’s nothing worse than the shock of the ice-cold tiles under your bare feet. But nowadays, that’s not a problem you have to deal with - underfloor heating has become more and more popular, meaning your toes can stay toasty even on the most chilly days. In this pricing guide, we break down the average underfloor heating cost so you can decide if it makes sense for your home.
Underfloor heating costs
Floor heating prices depend on two main factors - the type of underfloor heating system you are using, and the size of the area being heated.
There are two main types of underfloor heating - water underfloor heating (sometimes called wet systems), and electric underfloor heating (known as dry systems). With water underfloor heating, pipes carrying warm water are laid beneath the floor, and it works just like a radiator does on your wall, allowing heat to flow through the floor and into your room. Electric underfloor heating uses wires or heat mats beneath the floor to create the same warming effect.
Wet system costs
Water underfloor heating must be connected to your boiler, via a manifold, which can then be adjusted to set the temperature. Installing it is a fairly complex and involved project, as it must be integrated with your home’s heating and plumbing systems. It is usually used to replace a traditional radiator-based heating system throughout a home, rather than in individual rooms. Because of this, it is more popular with newbuild homes where it can be incorporated from the beginning, and less popular for retrofitting to a property. However, it can be laid under most kinds of floor over a large area, though in some cases, the floor may need to be raised to accommodate it.
Water systems are more complicated and expensive to install, however, they are more energy efficient so will cost less to run over time. If used throughout a whole home, they are slightly more energy efficient than traditional radiators - and they can be connected to either a solar heating system or ground source heat pump rather than a boiler for maximum green credentials.
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Water underfloor heating costs tend to be high. Because wet system installs are relatively uncommon, and vary hugely depending on the system they are being integrated with and the preparation that will be needed to the original floors, it is hard to estimate an exact cost. However, we would expect that even relatively straightforward installation for the ground floor of a small property will cost £2,000 - £3,000 - however, costs can easily go much higher, and for larger properties, will be substantially more.
Electric system costs
Electric systems are simpler to install, as rather than involving pipework, you can simply lay out the wires or mats to the shape of the room. Less preparation is needed - typically insulation will be put beneath the heating, to reflect the heat upwards into the room, while a levelling product like screen will usually be used to make the surface even, before the floor is installed above it.
Electric systems are easier to install than water ones, but are less energy efficient than traditional radiators, and more expensive to run. Generally, they are better suited to small rooms where space is at a premium - they are especially popular in bathrooms.
Electric underfloor heating costs are lower than those for wet systems. The cost for heating pads begin at around £50 per square metre, rising to around £100 for more high-end products. Installation cost will be around £200 to £300 for the work, which should take a day for a typical bathroom. There may be extra costs for insulating materials and a thermostat, but, a small bathroom could be fitted with underfloor heating for around £600.