Find out how much installing underfloor heating will cost you, what kind of changes it will make to your home, and what a typical installation will entail.
The cost of installing underfloor heating in your home can vary greatly depending on the type of system that you buy, whether it will be put in a new room or adapted to an existing one, and the way that your floors are constructed. We have collaborated with RICS (the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) to evaluate the potential expenses for a variety of different situations so that we can provide you with an estimate of how much you may anticipate spending up front. We also asked members of Which? who have underfloor heating how the installation and maintenance expenses of the system have impacted their monthly energy bills. These members have the system installed in their homes.
Different kinds of radiant floor heating
There are two varieties of heating systems that are installed under floors:
Purchasing electric underfloor heating and having it installed is more cost-effective. There are also models that you can install on your own, although you will need an electrician with the appropriate training to connect it. On the other hand, due to the high cost of power, it is often more expensive to operate than systems that rely on water.
It is true that water underfloor heating is less expensive to operate than electric systems, but it is also more expensive to install, and it is highly recommended that you use specialists to carry out the installation. When it comes to efficiency, water systems are superior to electric systems, particularly in bigger areas.
Expenses associated with installing underfloor heating
According to information provided by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the following table provides an estimate of how much money you should budget in order to purchase and install water or electric underfloor heating in a variety of rooms within a variety of different types of properties.
Warming the floor with water underfloor heating from To
Terraced prices are £4,520 and £6,010 respectively.
Semi-detached £6,690 £8,900
Detached £9,480 £12,600
Electric underfloor heating provided by To and From
Terraced costs £3,160 and four and a half thousand, respectively.
Semi-detached £5,200 £6,920
Detached £7,720 £10,260
The following factors determine the cost of installation:
In a terraced house, there is underfloor heating covering 23.5 square metres. The kitchen/dining area, the living room, and the bathroom are all located on the ground floor, while the bedroom is located on the first story.
In a house that is semi-detached, there is underfloor heating covering 41.5 square metres. This estimate takes into account a total of four rooms: the kitchen/dining room and living room on the ground floor, and the bathroom and hallway on the first story.
A separate home with underfloor heating covering 65 square metres. Based on an approximate count of five rooms, including a kitchen/dining area, a living room, a conservatory, and a bathroom on the ground floor, and a hallway and bedroom on the first story. We also questioned members of Which? who had installed underfloor heating about how much it had set them back.
The majority of people who have had underfloor heating installed have only installed it in one room in their home. The majority of members who were able to recollect the cost spent less than one thousand pounds on the installation of electric heating in a single room, and only a minority paid more than two thousand pounds. We did not receive enough responses from persons who have water underfloor heating to be able to break down prices in this manner; nonetheless, you can often anticipate that the installation costs for water-based systems will be greater.
We recommend that you obtain at least three installers to visit to your home to give you an estimate, which should be free of charge and should be done regardless of the circumstances or the type of underfloor heating that you are interested in installing. They will also be able to provide you advice regarding the type of underfloor heating system that will work best for you, the wattage that you will require, the type of insulation that will be required below the floor, and the best type of flooring to use.
Do you have the ability to install roof heating
on your own?
You could be tempted to install the underfloor heating in your home on your own in an effort to cut costs. Your level of expertise in do-it-yourself projects and the kind of underfloor heating you have will determine whether or not this is a smart move. Electric systems can be installed by competent do-it-yourselfers with little difficulty; however, if you want to connect the system to your home’s electrical supply, you will need the assistance of a trained electrician. However, because water systems can be so sophisticated, we strongly advise that you hire an expert. Before moving forward with the installation of any kind of system, we strongly advise you to have a qualified expert examine the type of floor you plan to use and determine what modifications are necessary to make the floor level and insulated. This should ensure that you have a heating system that is suitable for your requirements. If you decide to install the underfloor heating yourself, make sure that the business you buy it from provides you with detailed installation instructions, and that you adhere to them as strictly as possible. Because of this, the possibility of causing damage to the system is reduced. In addition, give it a full test to ensure that it is functioning correctly before you install the flooring on top of it.
Where can I purchase an underfloor heating system?
If you are having professional underfloor heating installation done, the tradesperson who is doing the work may take the lead in locating and delivering the necessary equipment. There are a variety of businesses that sell underfloor heating. These retailers include specialist heating stores as well as plumbing and DIY stores. If you plan to install it yourself or buy your own kit for a professional to install it, you may get it from any of these merchants. Keep in mind that the price will change depending on the amount of insulation that is already in your home, the kind of room, the size of the room, the amount of work that has to be done to prepare the floor, and the type of flooring that will be laid on top of the insulation. If you do your shopping online, you should familiarise yourself with your legal protections and avoid giving your money to companies that do not have a good reputation. The following is a list of some of the most well-known retailers that carry underfloor heating:
Amazon sells a wide variety of underfloor heating equipment, such as thermostats, electric underfloor heating mats, and kits for electric and water-based systems.
Screwfix provides customers with access to a variety of water and electric underfloor heating systems, in addition to thermostats and insulation boards.
This underfloor heating company is known as The Underfloor Heating Store, and they offer a comprehensive selection of electric and water systems, thermostats, and insulation boards for sale.
Toolstation is an online retailer that offers a variety of wet and electric underfloor heating products.
Electric underfloor heating and thermostats created particularly for installation underneath tiled floors are also available from Topps Tiles.
The electric underfloor heating and thermostats that it sells make up the bulk of Victorian Plumbing’s product catalogue.
Wickes is a retailer that carries electric underfloor heating wires and mats, most of which come from the ProWarm brand, in addition to insulation.
What factors can have an impact on the cost of underfloor heating?
We have compiled a list below that provides a summary of the various aspects that can have an impact on the overall cost of purchasing and installing underfloor heating.
The source of the heat
If you are going to purchase a water system, it will need to be connected to the source of energy that drives your heating system (for example, a boiler). If your heating system is located a significant distance away from the room in which the underfloor heating is being placed, or if it is difficult to run pipes to it, then the cost of installation will probably be greater. Because the sort of heating system you have will decide how powerful the underfloor heating system needs to be, several installers that we’ve spoken to have indicated that the type of heating system you have can also have an effect on the cost. There is also the possibility that you will require alterations to be done to your boiler, or in some instances, you may even require an entirely new system if the one you now have is outdated and ineffective.
If you want multi-zone heating, which is when the underfloor heating is zoned off to certain portions of a room or is put in more than one room, then the cost of installing underfloor heating could be higher. This is because installing multi-zone heating would require extra pipework and thermostats. Also, if you are considering installing water underfloor heating, you should be aware that the number of zones in your home will likely have an impact on the size and cost of the manifold (the connection that links the water underfloor heating to your central heating system – take a look at our guide on water underfloor heating for more on manifolds and what they look like). Therefore, consider where it could possibly be placed. The majority of individuals decide to hide it away in a cabinet, but you should check to see that it will still be easy to get to.
The amount of work that must be done to prepare your floor for the installation of underfloor heating will directly correlate to the price of the project. The price can vary depending on whether the flooring is being installed in a newly constructed home or addition, or whether it is being retrofitted into an existing area. For instance, if you were to retrofit underfloor heating onto a second-story floor that was constructed of suspended timber, the cost would be higher. Due to the poor heat conductivity of this type of floor, it will need to be prepped for the installation of underfloor heating after it has already been laid. However, there have been developments in underfloor heating that make it simpler to retrofit a floor and insulate it, so it is worthwhile to inquire about and investigate the available possibilities.
Alterations to your house that have knock-on effects
When you retrofit your home with underfloor heating, it typically requires you to make improvements to other elements of the home as well. There are some types of underfloor heating systems that can be installed on top of an existing floor. This eliminates the need to rip up the floor, which reduces the amount of labour required and, as a result, the overall cost. Be prepared to put up with the effect of the floor having to be elevated, or make sure you ask your installer for a flooring system that has as little of a profile as possible. On the other hand, this will mean that the floor will need to be lifted. Verify that this additional height will be taken into consideration with the rest of the development if you plan to have underfloor heating put in a new room. Be mindful that if you’re only getting it added to one room, whether retroactively or in a new-build, elevating the floor could create a slight step up from one room to another. This is something to keep in mind whether you’re getting it added retrospectively or in a new-build.
Because the sort of system required is determined in part by how well insulated the space is, the price may also be affected by this variable. In order to successfully heat a space that has less insulation, a more powerful heating system will be required. An professional in underfloor heating will be able to guide you through all of this and provide you with advice. You are free to use Which? Trusted Traders to locate a person who we have verified have the appropriate credentials to carry out the task. We have spoken with individuals who have had in-floor heating installed regarding the positive aspects of the system as well as the drawbacks. If you’re interested in learning more, have a look at the advantages and cons of underfloor heating on our page.
Costs of operation for underfloor heating
Because of the various factors that affect it, the cost of operating an underfloor heating system can range significantly (including room size, insulation, floor type and how many hours per day the heating is on). We calculated that the typical cost of electric underfloor heating for a room that is 10 square metres in size will be between £18 and £25 a month, assuming that you operate it for four hours a day. These figures are based on estimates provided by manufacturers of underfloor heating systems. When we questioned members of Which? how having underfloor heating installed had affected their energy bills, the responses varied depending on whether the members had water or electric underfloor heating installed. 54 percent of individuals who had electric underfloor heating installed reported that their monthly energy expenditures had gone up (in some cases, by a significant amount), while 39 percent reported that their bills had remained the same, and only 7 percent believed that their bills had gone down (a little). Only 18% of those who had water underfloor heating installed said that it had led to an increase in their monthly energy costs. Meanwhile, 42% reported that their monthly energy costs had remained the same, and 40% reported that they believed their monthly energy costs had decreased as a result. These findings provide more credence to the notion that the operational expenses of electric underfloor heating are often higher than those of water underfloor heating.
It is possible to install underfloor heating in older homes.
The short answer is “yes,” as underfloor heating may be installed in any house. However, it is unlikely that it will be able to act as the only form of heating in properties with low energy efficiency, such as those with single glazing and no insulation. In these types of properties, you will probably need to have central heating and radiators in addition to using the heat pump. Your first order of business should be to learn how to weatherproof your home. You shouldn’t need to use multiple sources of heating if you do additional work to improve how well the house retains heat, such as fitting loft insulation and modern glazing, and this will have a positive impact on your heating bills. If you do additional work to improve how well the house retains heat, such as installing modern glazing and loft insulation, for example.
To install underfloor heating, do you need to obtain authorization from the planning department?
Not very often, to be honest. However, if your home is a historically significant property or is on the National Register of Historic Places, you should discuss your plans with a certified surveyor or architect before moving forward. This is an additional cost that you should probably take into consideration. The work that you do must be in compliance with the building rules if you are going to install underfloor heating in a new room.
Which kinds of flooring are most suitable for use with underfloor heating?
Vinyl, laminate, and tile are among the many varieties of flooring that can be installed on top of underfloor heating without causing any problems. However, some materials, such as natural stone, are even superior because of their inherent ability to conduct heat. This implies that the floor will feel warmer sooner, and it will also keep its warmth for a longer period of time. Keep in mind that real stone will have a higher price tag than tiles created by man. If, on the other hand, you have your heart set on a specific type of flooring, your installer ought to be able to change the output of the underfloor heating system, as well as the underlay and screed, so that it is compatible with the flooring.
If you have real wood floors, you should consult the manufacturer to find out the highest temperature that the wood can withstand; in most cases, this number is 27 degrees Celsius. It is possible for the flooring to distort and shrink if the temperatures are too high, and this is especially the case if the moisture content of the wood is high. If you like the beauty of wood but don’t want to run the danger of difficulties in the future, an engineered wooden or laminate floor is a far better alternative. However, it shouldn’t be any thicker than the maximum of 18 millimetres, as this will cause a reduction in efficiency.
Carpet can be used even if there is underfloor heating present, despite the fact that it will take longer for the heat to penetrate the carpet than it would through the heating system itself. If you want to get the most out of it, make sure that the total tog value of the carpet plus underlay is less than 2.5.
If you want the concrete floors to be exposed, you should make sure that the underfloor heating system is not encased in this material. Instead of installing water and electrical services within a layer of concrete, a layer of screed is recommended because concrete’s jagged aggregate can damage the system. It is important to remember that concrete will take more time to warm up, but it will keep the heat for a longer period of time once it does. Check out our information on laminate flooring, engineered wood flooring, and genuine wood flooring if you are in the market for new flooring. These guidelines can help you choose between real wood flooring, engineered wood flooring, and laminate flooring.