Underfloor Heating Costs, Installation Prices & Running Costs

James Elston
Written by James Elston
Updated on 9th May 2024
Posted on 30th November 2023
Topic: Boiler Advice
Underfloor Heating Costs, Installation Prices & Running Costs

How Much Does Underfloor Heating Cost?: Installation Prices & Running Costs

Underfloor heating costs can begin as low as just £30 for small projects to as high as £12,000 for larger projects. How much you pay for your underfloor heating is dependent on a host of variables such as:

  • The size of the room
  • How old the building is
  • The type of underfloor heating system selected

With good decision-making and consideration, getting an underfloor heating system for your home can be a great choice as it helps evenly distribute comfort and warmth.

If you can afford it then you could get this included with the price of a new boiler when getting a quote from certain central heating companies.

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Wet & Dry Underfloor Heating Systems

When it comes to the type of underfloor heating systems, they fall into two categories: water systems and electric. In a water underfloor heating system, also known as a wet system, hot water circulates to the pipework underneath the floor. These pipes connect to a heat pump or a boiler to power your central heating system.

An electric system, also known as a dry system, is designed to have a set of wires that engineers can install underneath or within floors. The heat output in this system is controlled with a thermostat.

On average underfloor heating costs about £50 per square metre, with the cost of the thermostat not included. This cost is for an electric foil film system. If you want a warm water system, you should know that costs can begin from £40 for each square metre. This cost also doesn’t include the cost of fitting and any additional costs.

On average, you can purchase an aluminium kit structure for a 140w/m² which also comes with a thermostat to control the heat output and a floor temperature sensor.

How Much to Install Underfloor Heating?

man installing underfloor heating

When considering installation costs, you need to understand that underfloor heating costs are affected by a host of variables such as:

  • The status of the building
  • The type of floor covering
  • The type of underfloor heating

The most expensive items when installing underfloor heating are the materials. The second highest expense will be the labour costs. Contractors can cost anything between £220 to £350 per day. How much you pay for labour costs will depend on how long it takes to install the underfloor heating system.

What are other variables that affect the cost?

A thermostat and high-quality insulation will add to the final price of your underfloor heating costs. How much you pay will vary depending on the size of the property and the model chosen.

However, you can expect to pay anything from £120 to £250. Insulation is something you cannot skimp on as it can help your underfloor heating system to distribute a higher yield of heat. The thermostat’s job would be to regulate when the heat is released.

For the most part, a wet underfloor heating system is best suited to a new building, as laying pipes will not require you to remove the old floor cover.

Conversely, if you are renovating your home and intend to add an electric type, the associated underfloor heating costs will be cheaper, especially when purchasing materials.

With this in mind, let’s look at the cost of each system in a new and renovated home.

Read more: Underfloor heating problems and fixes

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Which Underfloor Heating System Is Best for a Home?                         

Water underfloor heating system

In wet systems, pipes are laid underneath and connected to a heat pump or a boiler in this underfloor heating system. A major trait of a wet system is that you can use it with water at a lower temperature.

Due to their efficiency, heat pumps are a great component match for water underfloor heating systems. Nevertheless, if your home has higher heating requirements, you might want to consider a brand new boiler.

If you already have a boiler in your home, you should consider investing in an energy-efficient one to cut down your energy costs. Currently, the regulation states that underfloor heating boilers must be one of the best condensing boilers. When you use a condensing boiler, you can increase your energy efficiency by about 25% compared to radiators. A heat pump can significantly increase your energy efficiency by up to 40%.

The flowing water temperature can be as high as 65°C; however, that depends on the top floor cover. Heat pumps, especially air source ones, can work at 35°C. This variation means that you must consider closing the space between pipes and increasing the budget for materials.

Choosing a water underfloor heating system is a wise investment as it pays off in the long term thanks to better efficiency and cheaper running costs. This heating system should only be installed by a professional, leading to increased underfloor heating costs. This is especially true if placing this system in an old building. You will need to consider the floor preparation required.

Heat pump or boiler?

A new A-rated hydrogen ready boiler can cost about £2000, while a heat pump can cost even more. However, you should note that heat pumps are considered the best choice to run in the long term. If you aren’t entirely sold on either choice, you should bear the following in mind:

Boilers are best suited for small projects and colder areas as they are more efficient at generating more energy quickly.

On the other hand, heat pumps are three times more efficient, making them suitable for use under timber flows. Air source heat pumps can lower the operating costs associated with an efficient underfloor heating system. Compare air source heat pumps vs ground source heat pumps to see which is most suitable for you and underfloor heating.

Underfloor Heating Manifolds

Underfloor heating manifolds can control the water flow to provide consistent warmth throughout the entire floor. Open manifolds with temperatures as low as 60 degrees help distribute a constant temperature and even flow without requiring a mixing valve. This system typically circulates water using a heat pump.

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Electric Underfloor Heating System

System of underfloor heating

While the materials used with electric underfloor heating systems are cheaper, you also have to consider the higher energy bill.

So compared to wet underfloor heating systems, you can expect a higher operating cost in the long run. Electric floor heating systems are great for renovation projects or small spaces.

Underfloor Foil Film Heating

This type of electric underfloor heating system is installed in dry rooms. It is perfect for rooms with laminate, parquet and wooden flows. It is also the best electric underfloor heating system to install on top of chipboard or concrete. You can place it just underneath an insulation layer or with an overlay to be used on soft floors. This can help improve heat transfer.

Loose Cable Fittings

This electric underfloor heating system offers more flexibility, particularly when placed in an odd-shaped room. Generally, the cost of this type of underfloor heating material will depend on the manufacturer; however, the larger the room, the less expensive this method is over an electric mat. You can place loose cables seamlessly around heavy furniture, appliances and odd corners.

Underfloor Heating Mats

These mats are effective when installed underneath marble, tile, or stone as they can seamlessly retain heat. If you intend to use an electric mat in your underfloor heating system, then you will need a mat with the following parameters: 150W/m²-200W/m².

You should note that these mats are pre-spaced; however, you can select the size you need for a regular-sized room. You can improve efficiency by placing a thin insulation layer on the concrete floor. Doing this can ensure fast warmup times while also minimising heat loss.

You could invest in high wattage mats to help optimise your heat and energy usage. It can also let you reap the benefits associated with heat dispersion without increasing your energy bills.

Small rooms

If the average size of your rooms is 4 square metres and you intend to go with a wet underfloor heating system, then a condensing boiler replacement is the best choice for you. This is because gas is a lot cheaper than electricity.

Alternatively, if you intend to stick with an electric underfloor heating system, then an electric mat heating system is best for you. Electric mats are pre-spaced, making them ideal for small renovation projects.

Larger rooms

If you have a home with rooms about 14 square metres, the suitable wet underfloor heating system will be an air pump source. This is because this system has a cheaper running cost over time.

Alternatively, for an electric underfloor heating system, a loose-fit cable system is best-suited to the larger room. This system is cheaper to install in bigger rooms and can go around corners and odd angles.

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Underfloor Heating Installation Costs

Cost of installation in a renovated home

Underfloor heating is a great home improvement project, with bathrooms and single rooms, making great candidates for an electric underfloor heating system. This is especially true if your renovation project is a small one.

Remember that if you cannot locate the right size for your renovation project, you should always buy a smaller size and then add an extra mat to protect against cracks in the unheated areas. Doing this ensures that you do not unnecessarily overheat the room.

Water underfloor heating system

Installing a water underfloor heating system in a renovated home can cost about £150 per square metre. You should note that this cost doesn’t consider labour costs. And that depends on how long the project takes.

Electric underfloor heating system

Conversely, an electric underheating system costs about £300 for a 4.5 square metre room.

Cost of installation in a new home

Wet underfloor heating system

Wet underfloor heating systems, by their design, are best suited for new buildings. A warm water system could cost as much as £80 per square metre, which is substantially higher than what you would pay for an electric underfloor heating system.

Electric underfloor heating system

Underfloor heating costs can be quite significant, especially when the other associated costs are added; however, some electric underfloor heating systems are affordable. The average price for an electric underfloor heating system begins from £35 per square metre, with installation taking as much as 2 days.

Nevertheless, you should note that installing an electric underfloor heating system throughout your entire home will result in higher energy costs. If you’re addind a heat pump too such as the Vaillant aroTHERM heat pump, then cost will really start to skyrocket

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Underfloor Heating Equipment

underfloor heating setup

Wet underfloor systems are extremely complicated in terms of installation and materials; however, when the system is connected to a high-quality heat pump or condensing boiler, it can make for extremely efficient output.

On the other hand, electric systems offer flexibility and ease when installed. Different materials such as mats, heating film systems and loose cable fitting are all available for prospective customers.

Underfloor Heating Running Costs

Apart from the material, installation and labour costs, you must also consider the central heating running costs when calculating the total underfloor central costs over the long term. The price you pay for operating an underfloor heating system will depend on numerous factors, such as the major system generator: either a heat pump or a boiler.

One positive of installing a wet underfloor heating system is that it has a less expensive running cost. You can also reduce the required flow temperature by about 20% if you use a great floor leveller. When your system can efficiently run at a lower temperature, you could actualise savings of about £10 annually for each degree.

Note that both electric and water underfloor heating have regulation capacities to ensure unnecessary heat usage doesn’t happen. Furthermore, it isn’t recommended that you continuously leave your underfloor heating system on, especially if you have great insulation.

To clarify, let’s say that a room with an average size of 4 square metres is heated for about 4 hours every day. With the average cost of electricity in the UK being 14.37 per kilowatt, the running costs for the underfloor heating system will add up to £11 each month. You should note that the calculations above will depend on where you live, with higher electricity prices in some areas than others.

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Written by
James Elston
James Elston Director Of Boiler Central
Posted on: 30th November 2023
Topic: Boiler Advice

James Elston is our resident boiler replacement and heating expert here at Boiler Central. With over 20 years experience in the boiler installation industry, James ensures that he knows everything there is about our Gas Safe boiler installations, energy saving and home heating solutions. This can be from simply procuring the latest best combi boilers, to reviewing and ensuring that Boiler Central maintains the highest standards across our boiler installation company.

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