The Cost of Installing Underfloor Heating

All you need to know about installing underfloor heating for your home including costs of materials, labour and time frames.

Underfloor Heating

What the job entails

Underfloor heating can be installed under almost any type of flooring and is a modern and luxurious alternative to a conventional central heating system with radiators. This type of heating can bring an unrivalled level of warm comfort to your home and is available in two different types: Electric underfloor heating (dry systems) and Water underfloor heating (wet systems). Electric underfloor heating is usually cheaper and easier to install and can be done as a DIY project. Though the running cost of this type of underfloor heating system is generally higher. Whereas water underfloor heating (wet systems) is a lot more involved, way beyond the scope of the DIY enthusiast and usually reserved for new-builds. However, as they are plumbed into existing boiler systems, they cost much less to run.

The total cost of installing an underfloor heating system will be dependent on the area to be heated (whether a room or entire house), the system type (wet or dry system) and the groundwork required. Electric underfloor heating systems use a network of electrical wires running under the surface which warms the floor but does not heat the room very efficiently, so are best installed in smaller rooms (great in bathrooms for example). Different models of electric underfloor heating systems are available including heating mats which are the easiest to install. Wet underfloor heating systems can also work with different flooring types, but the installation is a lot much more involved and they are best suited to larger areas or for use as heating in entire homes.

Water underfloor heating use pipes to run hot water from a boiler through the floor and into the room. These wet underfloor heating systems are far more efficient than conventional radiators but are more expensive to install. Wet systems are ideally suited to new-build luxury homes as the retrofit costs will be even greater. Wet systems are definitely not DIY friendly as they will certainly require professional assistance from a heating engineer or underfloor heating specialist. If considering underfloor heating, then a professional survey should be carried out to help you select the best type of underfloor heating for your home, budget and circumstances.

Installation Cost of Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating installation costs vary depending on the area to be heated and the complexity of the system. Whichever underfloor system you choose, the floor will need to be removed before the system can be installed, but electric systems are much less hassle and the preferred option for retrofits as they don’t require extensive pipework. Typical costs for electric/dry underfloor systems are around £60 per m2 when using electric heat mats, rising to over £100 per m2 for wet underfloor heating systems, with whole house system installations costing £2,500+.

The average rate a professional underfloor heating specialist is typically around £200 per day. The total labour time is ultimately dependant on if wet or electric systems are installed. Wet underfloor heating will take the longest as pipework is required and will take around 4 days to complete. Electric underfloor heating is the quicker option and is expected to take around 2 days to complete for your entire home.

Below are some estimated costs of hiring a specialist to install underfloor heating:

Type of Underfloor Heating Description Avg. Cost Duration
Wet underfloor heating New build property £2500-£3000 3-5 days
Electric underfloor heating New build property £1000-£1500 1-2 days
Wet underfloor heating Home renovation £4000-£4500 4-6 days
Electric underfloor heating House renovation £1500-£2000 1-2 days


Cost Breakdown

Individual Costs of Electric Underfloor Heating Installation in a House Renovation - Total Cost: £1500

75%

Materials
£1125

25%

Tradesmen
£375

0%

Waste Removal
£0

FAQ's

Electric underfloor heating running costs are higher than underfloor water heating systems. Electric systems do a great job at keeping the floor warm but are not so good at warming the entire room. So even with small rooms such as a bathroom, you should expect a small increase in your electricity bill using electric underfloor heating. Wet underfloor heating systems are plumbed into existing boilers, therefore replacing the need for radiators. These wet underfloor systems are more efficient at circulating the heat when compared to radiators so you can actually expect to make a small saving on your heating bills.
Yes, if you use the dry system option then heat mats are a simple DIY choice. You could install DIY underfloor heating in a small bathroom for just a few hundred pounds (including heater controls, screed and insulation boards). But please note that you will still require a professional electrician to connect the power up to your system. DIY wet underfloor heating kits are also available but you would have to be a very competent DIY enthusiast to attempt this job! Full kits cost from £500 including pump, valves, thermostats, plus pipework for an area of around 20 square metres. if you plan on attempting this as a DIY project at least consult a heating engineer and plumber for advice!
Both types of underfloor heating systems will achieve the same result, but as a general rule of thumb, warm water underfloor heating systems are cheaper to run, whereas electric underfloor heating systems are cheaper to install. If possible, water systems are recommended due to their more economical running costs, but if being retro-fitted this involves a lot of mess and inconvenience, so many go with electric systems, which is the easier option and cheaper (at least in terms of initial cost). But if you can afford the extra installation cost and can put up with the extra inconvenience for a few days, go for a wet system.
You can almost any type of flooring over underfloor heating, but these systems really suit tiles and stone floors best.
Yes, manufacturers all strongly recommend the use of insulation for economical underfloor heating systems. The more insulation the better, where floor heights permit. The insulation stops much of the heat being wasted, so even though extra insulation will increase the initial costs, it will greatly reduce your energy bills in the long run!
With most systems a minimum of 40mm screed is recommended before the screed becomes too weak, thinner screed you will save money in material costs plus the underfloor heating system will actually heat up quicker.
It all depends on the type of screed used by the installer, some screed will need a couple of days, whereas others will need a week or longer - check with the installer.