✔ Underfloor heating is up to 40% more efficient than radiators
✔ It adds value to your home, with up to 74% of homebuyers willing to pay extra for underfloor heating
✔ Underfloor heating pairs perfectly with heat pumps, thanks to its high heat efficiency
Underfloor heating has always added a touch of luxury to a home. This makes it a popular choice for many homeowners, if they’re willing to shell out for it.
But how much does it cost exactly? We’ll take a look at not just the cost of underfloor heating, but also its pros and cons. We’ll then explore the sorts of scenarios that make underfloor heating highly recommended, not just a luxury. Read our comprehensive guide on underfloor heating costs for everything you need to know!
What’s on this page?
How much does underfloor heating cost?
Underfloor heating typically costs between £2,000 and £10,000, but this can scale up even further if a project is particularly big. You need to factor in running costs too, which again depend on the size of the installation.
Take a bathroom with around 4 m² of underfloor heating. This will cost around £10-11 per month, though again factors like the type of underfloor heating can make a difference (albeit not a huge one).
Factors affecting the cost
Working out exactly how much underfloor heating costs involves a number of factors. These include:
- Whether the property is a new build or not
- How much flooring you want heated
- Whether it's warm-water or electric underfloor heating
For underfloor heating installations on a new build property, the work is usually included in the building process. This helps keep the installation cost low because you’re not having to retroactively add the system.
As well as this, all the materials needed for the underfloor heating will normally be priced alongside the total cost of the property itself. This helps keep costs down, as typically all the parts needed can be bought at trade prices.
If you do want to add underfloor heating to an existing property, you’ll need to consider the fact that you’re paying for the work needed to make the building suitable for it. This can be relatively simple in a modern build, but it can get a whole lot more complicated in older buildings.
Take a cottage in the countryside, for example – one of those old ones with solid stone floors. Installing underfloor heating here will be substantially more difficult, because you’ll want to avoid causing damage to the stonework. If an older building has raised timber flooring, then it can be easier, though still challenging.
One example of where underfloor heating is either impossible or very difficult to install, is in listed buildings. Oftentimes, their historical importance means that tearing up the floor to install underfloor heating is too risky, and that potential for damage ensures you cannot alter the property. As always though, it’s still worth checking if you can get planning permission.
The pros and cons of underfloor heating
Underfloor heating is pretty great, but not perfect. Here are the pros and cons of underfloor heating:
- Increases energy efficiency – underfloor heating is up to 40% more efficient than radiators
- Is low maintenance – underfloor heating usually comes with a lifetime guarantee, as there’s rarely need to repair it
- Can be installed almost anywhere – despite potential difficulties in older properties, it's still usually possible to install underfloor heating
- Lets you focus heating – with certain systems, you can customise where the heating is targeted (for example you can have heating on in the bathroom, but not in the kitchen)
- Adds value to your home – underfloor heating is a highly sought-after feature for homebuyers and will almost certainly help you sell your home for more
- Is safer than radiators – there’s no need to worry about young children either burning themselves or bumping into the sharp edges of a radiator
- Is costly – installing underfloor heating retroactively always costs more than if it’s built into a new build; this is especially true in older properties that require specialist care
- Is disruptive – if you’re installing it retroactively, underfloor heating can cause a lot of upheaval in your home
- Takes time to heat up – underfloor heating takes longer to warm a room up than a radiator on full blast, but once it does, you can run it for longer and more efficiently than a radiator
- Impacts furniture – most furniture will be absolutely fine, but be conscious of placing underfloor heating under things such as kitchen appliances and cupboards (the warmth can cause food to go bad quicker); other things like baths are a no as well
Do heat pumps require underfloor heating?
Heat pumps, those wonderful, eco-friendly alternatives to gas-powered boilers, work with underfloor heating like strawberries do with cream. Because heat pumps output more energy than they take in, and underfloor heating systems work much better with lower temperatures, combining the two is a fantastic way to reduce your energy bills.
Do the heat pumps actually need underfloor heating though? Not always, but there are some circumstances that might require the combination. When looking to install a heat pump, it can also be necessary to install underfloor heating if it’s not possible for the heat pump to efficiently heat existing radiators.
There are times as well where you’ll need to replace some if not all of the radiators in your home. When this happens, underfloor heating looks even more appealing!
Either way, if you are considering underfloor heating, we would absolutely recommend looking into whether or not you can get a heat pump.
Popularity of underfloor heating in the UK
The popularity of underfloor heating in the UK has been rapidly increasing over the years. According to a 2019 study by AMA Research, underfloor heating now accounts for 7.7% of the UK’s heating industry.
What’s more is that with the wider adoption of heat pumps (as gas-powered boilers are phased out), underfloor heating will become even more popular. The study above also predicts that the market will grow at a rate of 4-6% each year, so the industry needs to make sure there are enough trained installers to meet demand.
How eco-friendly is underfloor heating?
Very. Underfloor heating requires far lower temperatures than radiators. This is because an underfloor system can spread the heating over a much larger area, unlike radiators that need to heat a room from a comparatively smaller surface area. And because they have a smaller surface area, radiators must subsequently reach far higher temperatures (using more energy as a result).
When combined with a heat pump as well, underfloor heating becomes even more eco-friendly. Heat pumps don’t use any fuel, only electricity and the ambient warmth of the air or ground.
Whilst the initial cost of underfloor heating and the work of installation might put some people off, we believe the long-term benefits are well worth it. With underfloor heating, not only can you heat your home far more efficiently, you also get a touch of luxury that can transform your home.
And when you combine underfloor heating with a heat pump, your energy bills will look a lot healthier each month. You won’t need to worry about rising fuel costs, and you can rest easy knowing your carbon emissions will be far lower than if you were using a traditional boiler. It’s a win-win situation really!