Underfloor Heating Cost
|The underfloor heating cost is between £60 – £100 per m2 for an electric system, and £80 – £150 per m2 for a water based or piped system. There are several factors likely to affect the cost, all of which are discussed further down the page. The following prices are shown for average price ranges for a 20 m2 project, which is around the size of an average room, allowing for waste:|
|Low Cost||£60 – £75|
|National Average Cost||£190 – £840|
|High Cost||£235 – £865|
In this underfloor heating cost guide, we explore how much wet and electrical mat/wire underfloor heating costs to buy and install into your home, as well as examining how much underfloor heating costs to run alone and compared with standard central heating systems.
An Overview of Underfloor Heating Systems
- What it offers
- What are the benefits
- What are the types – electrical matt, electrical wired, piped.
When thinking about their options for central heating and heating the home, usually two systems come to mind, central heating and underfloor heating. There are two advantages to underfloor heating, also referred to as UFH. One set is practical and energy-saving; the other is a luxury you’ll enjoy.
The practical advantages include lower energy costs when using some types of UFH plus being able to remove wall-mounted radiators for more usable wall space. While wet systems don’t heat up as quickly, once the floor is warm, it will stay warm and radiate heat into the entire room for optimal comfort.
Wet vs Electric – Which underfloor heating is better? It depends on your purposes and the installed location. If lowering your bills is essential, then consider a wet system. They are more efficient than electric underfloor heating systems. The various types of UFH are discussed in the next section.
Electric UFH systems quickly heat the floor – a luxury underfoot in cold weather. But they aren’t as efficient and might adversely affect your bills. So, you’ve got a choice to make – economical heating over the years using a water-based system or quick heating with an electric system, but with higher energy bills.
Reminder: As shown above, a wet or water and pipe system costs more to install than electric UFH, but you’ll recover the extra expense over time with lower bills.
Where is each type used? Generally speaking, wet systems are the better choice for installation across an entire property because running costs are lower. Electric UFH is more suited to small spaces and retrofit work in a single room or two. It is used in new build projects too.
Wet or Piped: These systems feature a network of continuous plastic pipes aligned on the subfloor. The piping is connected to a boiler. Any boiler type will do, but condensing boilers offer the lowest running costs. While more disruptive in a remodel, with higher equipment costs, a wet system has much lower running costs and, importantly, is more effective in heating the entire space, not just the floor.
How Much Does Underfloor Heating Cost?
Cost of Underfloor Heating Products & Supplies
Electrical Underfloor Heating, Mat and Cable Systems
What is an electric underfloor heating system?
Before we move on to details about the cost of UFH, here’s a quick look at your three basic electric options . Running costs are explored below, but the basic principle again is that piped systems cost more to install but have lower running costs than electrical underfloor heating systems.
Electrical Mat: These mats feature a mesh backing with the wiring pre-attached to it. The wires on each mat neatly connect together and are easily trimmed. The system is then connected to an electricity supply. These features allow you to use mats for any size floor. Electric mat UFH is ideal for DIY – the simplest type to install, especially in large square / rectangular rooms. Even if you hire the work, labour costs are lower than with piped wet systems because the job goes more quickly.
Electric mat underfloor heating is ideal for use under tile and stone flooring. It isn’t recommended for timber, laminate or carpet, since those materials don’t conduct heat as well.
Electric Wire: This electrical UFH system is ideal for oddly shaped and small spaces like bathrooms and small kitchens. The wiring is loose, so it can be configured into any room shape. Once the wiring is in place and secured to the subfloor, it is connected to an electricity supply and the flooring is installed.
Electric Foil: Foil mat underfloor heating offers a gentler way to heat floors. The layer of foil diffuses the heat to prevent hot spots that might damage some types of flooring. It is the recommended choice when you intend to install laminate flooring over it.
|Electrical Underfloor Heating Costs|
|Underfloor Heating Type||Installation Type||Average Cost per meter Squared (m2)|
|Electric Mats||New Build||£60 – £75|
|Electric Loose Wire System||New Build||£75 – £85|
|Electric Foil Mats||New Build||£50 – £80|
|Electric Mats||ReFit / Home Renovation||£75 – £100|
|Electric Loose Wire System||ReFit / Home Renovation||£85 – £100|
|Electric Foil Mats||ReFit / Home Renovation||£60 – £100|
Costs vary on property size / location / additional works fees (e.g. heating model, Electrician Fee’s, distance from boiler)
- Underfloor heating system: Costs for the various types are listed above. As you can see, since ReFit/home renovation works is much more disruptive, cost is 15-20% higher. You might be able to save money by hiring a skip and doing the demo work of removing the old flooring yourself. https://improvementcosts.com/costs/building-construction/skip-hire-cost/
- Thermostat and controls: If you need a new thermostat and controls for your electric UFH, expect the installed cost in the region of £125 to £225.
- Insulation boards: These boards keep the heat where you want it rather than having it transferred into spaces you’re not trying to heat. Relatively inexpensive but important, the cost of insulation boards is less than £10 per m2.
- Adhesives and levelers: These installation supplies cost less than £5 per m2 for most jobs.
Water Underfloor Heating
What is the water based underfloor heating system?
Also called piped or wet, these systems feature a network of continuous plastic pipes aligned on the subfloor. The piping is connected to a boiler. Any boiler type will do, but condensing boilers offer the lowest running costs.
Pros and cons: While more disruptive in a remodel, with higher equipment costs, a wet system has much lower running costs and, importantly, is more effective in heating the entire space, not just the floor.
|Water Based Underfloor Heating Cost|
|Underfloor Heating Type||Installation Type||Average Cost per meter Squared (m2)|
|Water based||New Build||£80 – £100|
|Water based||ReFit / Home Renovation||£125 – £150|
Costs for Underfloor Heating Kits for Popular Brands
|Underfloor Heating Kit Costs|
|Brand||Budget Level||Electric / Water||Sq.m||Price Per Kit|
|Polypipe||Medium||Water / Piped||20 m2||£830+|
|Speedfit||Medium||Water / Piped||20 m2||£620+|
|Hep2O||High||Water / Piped||20 m2||£600+|
|ProWarm||Premium||Water / Piped||20 m2||£530+|
Pro Tip: Cost per m2 goes down when the size of the electric mat increases. For example, a 1 m2 electric mat costs about £20-£25; a 2 m2 mat drops to about £18 m2 and a 10 m2 mat runs approximately £15 m2. The conclusion is to use the largest mats available for the space.
Underfloor Heating Installation Costs
How Much Does Electric Underfloor Heating Cost to Install?
The total cost of electric UFH is £50 to £100 m2 based on system type and whether the project is new build or a re-fit. Those figures are for the complete job. Labour accounts for much of the cost, and the details follow.
Reminder: Labor costs are significantly higher in remodel jobs than in new build.
- £20 – £40 per m2 | Labour costs for electric underfloor heating. The remainder of the cost, £25-£80 m2, includes the cost of the mats or wiring plus installation supplies such as fasteners and insulation boards and the cost of a new thermostat or control if required.
How Much Does Water Underfloor Heating Cost to Install?
- £25 – £50 per m2 | Labour costs for water underfloor heating. Cost is higher than for electric for two reasons. First, it takes longer to install. Secondly, the tradesmen often have a higher level of skill required, so labour costs are fittingly higher.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Underfloor Heating
How much does UFH cost? Your underfloor heating cost will be determined by these factors.
- Type of UFH: Electric vs Water – As shown throughout this Improvement Costs post, electric underfloor heating cost is 25-33% less than wet UFH.
- New Build vs ReFit / Home Renovation – Renovations are disruptive; Adding UFH in a new build is quicker and much easier. That’s why the cost of a new build UFH system is 35% lower, as an average.
- Flooring replacement – If you’re replacing your home flooring then it’s usually cheaper to install underfloor heating when the old flooring is removed, rather than expecting to take up and put back down the original flooring.
- Quality of the Kit – As shown above, low cost electric UFH kits start at about £30 m2 while the best quality options cost more than twice that. The longer you want your electric underfloor heating system to last, the higher quality kits you should purchase.
- Room Size – Like many indoor improvement projects such as painting and flooring, the cost per m2 falls a bit as the project gets larger.
- DIY vs Professional Installation – It is possible to save £20 – £50 per m2 by doing the work yourself. But that’s only if the job is done properly. The potential costs of a DIY job gone wrong, especially a wet system, can be astronomical.
Long Term Costs – How Much Does Underfloor Heating Cost to Run?
Electric Vs Water Underfloor Heating Running Costs
There is no question that water UFH systems cost less to run than electric systems – though keep in mind wet underfloor systems cost more in upfront equipment and labour. In general, electric underfloor heating costs 25-35% more to run.
And keep in mind that the best purpose of an electric UFH system is to make the floor under bare feet warm and comfy. The best use of a wet system is to heat the entire room.
- Electric UFH running cost: £20-£24 per m2 per year.
- Water UFH running cost: £4-£6 per m2 per year.
If you have 25 m2 of UFH, you will save £400 to £450 per year with a water underfloor heating system. Keep that in mind as you balance the higher cost of the installed wet system with the lower running cost it offers. Do the maths when comparing professional quotes for electric vs water UFH.
These figures are based on 2020 prices – Standard electricity price of £.15 per kWh and natural gas cost of £.030 per kWh
Underfloor Heating Install Time Schedules
The size of the job is a major factor, of course. Let’s consider a 20 m2 space for new build and renovation/ReFit and for electric vs water UFH.
- New build electric (20 m2): 1-2 Days. On day one, the mats or loose wire will be laid out and secured to the underflooring. If the crew is large, the system can be connected to the electricity supply and thermostat, started and tested. A small crew or single installer will probably return a second day to complete the connection and testing and the installation of insulation material.
- New build water(20 m2): 2-4 Days. On the first day, the pipes will be laid out, fastened in place and connected to the boiler. If there is time, a layer of screed will be installed over the pipes. A small crew or single installer will probably screed on the second day. The leveler requires 24 hours to dry/cure. Once that is complete, on day 3 or 4, the system can be tested. At some point in the process, the system controls will be installed and connected.
- Renovation electric (20 m2): 2-3 Days. The first day involves demo and removal of the existing floor. Then the job will proceed as outlined above.
- Renovation water (20 m2): 3-5 Days. Again, removing the old floor takes about a day. And then installation of the new floor can begin.
Install Yourself? Or Get a Professional?
An electric underfloor heating system is easier to install than a wet system, so it is much more friendly to doing it yourself. Electric mats are more suited to DIY than loose electric cabling. The caveat to electric systems is connecting the wiring to the electricity source. This can be dangerous for the inexperienced.
Wet systems require knowing the right spacing for the tubing. The measurements are usually included when buying a kit. The retailer you purchase from should also be able to provide guidance – and of course, there are always YouTube video tutorials. Again, the most difficult part will be to connect the pipes to the boiler using a manifold. You’re better off hiring a plumber for that work.
Hybrid DIY and pro installation is a good fit for many homeowners who want to save money and have the pleasure of doing some of the work. Consult with an electrician or plumber, depending on the system type you choose. They can offer you guidance on getting the wiring or plastic piping installed and ready for them to connect, run and test.
Hiring a pro is always the best way to ensure proper installation and the long-term effectiveness of your UFH system.
Would you like to receive no-obligation, free quotes for underfloor heating? Local professionals are happy to provide costs for electric systems and for wet systems for you to prepare. They can also answer your questions about which system of UFH is the right choice for your project.