How Much Does Underfloor Heating Cost?

Underfloor heating is a luxurious addition to any home, providing comfort and warmth efficiently. Before diving into this modern heating solution, it's essential to understand the costs associated with it. This guide compares both electric and water underfloor heating, including installation, maintenance costs and long term considerations.

Installation Costs of Underfloor Heating:

  • Electric UFH: Electric Underfloor Heating installation costs are typically lower than the water counterpart. It utilises heating cables or mats installed beneath the floor surface, so there's no need for complex pipework or a separate boiler system. On average, installing electric underfloor heating costs £50-£75 per square meter for new builds and £60-£85 per square meter for renovations. However, the system itself can be more expensive, ranging from £40-£90 per square meter.
  • Water UFH: Expect to pay £35-£80 per square meter for the system itself, plus installation costs that can range from £40-£50 per square meter. This generally involves raising floor levels for pipework, which adds to the expense.

Running Costs:

  • Electric UFH: Electric underfloor heating systems may have higher running costs compared to wet underfloor heating, as they rely on electricity to generate heat. However, modern systems offer better control and zoning, allowing for targeted heating and potentially lower overall usage.
  • There are a few factors you need to consider when calculating your electric UFH cost: room dimension, presence of extensive glass areas such as Bifold doors, insulation level of the area, system operation duration, and your energy rate.
  • Water UFH: Once installed, water underfloor heating energy costs are lower compared to electric UFH due to its use of warm water, typically generated by a gas boiler. Expect running costs of £0.04-£0.07 per hour per square meter, depending on energy prices and usage.

Maintenance Costs:

  • Electric UFH: In terms of maintenance, the costs for electric underfloor heating are relatively low, primarily involving checking the electrical connections and ensuring the system is functioning correctly.
  • Water UFH: Maintenance costs are also minimal for the wet underfloor heating system, primarily consisting of occasional system checks and ensuring the boiler or heat source is functioning efficiently.

Factors Influencing Underfloor Heating Costs:

  • Floor Type: Some floor types may require specific underfloor heating systems and it can affect installation costs. For instance, it is suggested to install a foil mat system under wood and carpet floor, while using cables or sticky mats beneath tiles.
  • Room Size: Larger rooms will require more heating elements or pipework, impacting both installation and running costs.
  • Insulation: Good insulation can help reduce heat loss, improving the efficiency of underfloor heating systems and lowering running costs.

Additional Considerations:

  • Thermostat Controls: Investing in programmable thermostats can help optimise heating schedules and further reduce energy consumption.
  • Professional Installation: While DIY installation is possible for some electric systems, professional installation ensures proper setup and warranty coverage.
  • Energy Efficiency: Look for underfloor heating systems with high energy efficiency ratings to minimise long-term running costs.

When considering underfloor heating for your home, it's essential to factor in both installation costs and long-term running and maintenance expenses. Whether opting for water underfloor heating or electric underfloor heating, each system has its advantages and associated costs. By understanding the cost breakdown and considering long-term factors such as room size, insulation, and energy efficiency, you can make an informed decision about whether underfloor heating is right for you and your budget.