How much does underfloor heating cost?

10 December 2022 | 0 Comments

Longing for more warmth underfoot? Here's what you can expect to pay for installation and materials, plus how much underfloor heating costs to run

When the cold weather bites, there's nothing more comforting than the feeling of warm floors beneath your feet.

READ MORE: How to insulate your home and slash energy costs

As well as being an energy-efficient way of heating your home, underfloor heating frees up valuable wall space in your living areas by removing the need for radiators.

Coupled with environmental concerns, it's no surprise that it's becoming an increasingly popular option in the UK.

According to a 2021 Home Improvement Trends report by tradesperson site Rated People, underfloor heating was number six on the list of jobs that had increased the most in popularity among homeowners in the previous year.

But how much will installation set you back, and crucially, how much will it cost to run in your household as energy bills rocket?

Types of underfloor heating

There are two main types of underfloor heating: water (or wet) and electric (or dry) systems.

The Rated People report said there had been a 100% rise in the popularity of water underfloor heating in 2020, and both water and electric underfloor heating made the list of the top 10 eco home improvement jobs posted to the site in 2020.

Image: Standard / ShutterstockAn installer fitting pipework for a water underfloor heating system. Image: Standard / Shutterstock

Water underfloor heating is more common in new builds because it's easier to install at the build stage. This is because it involves laying down a series of pipes that are then hooked up to your boiler.

Whether fitted to a new or existing building, water systems are more expensive to install, though they are also more energy-efficient than electric heating so could save you more on your energy bills over time.

Image: New Africa / ShutterstockAn electric underfloor heating system being fitted beneath laminate flooring. Image: New Africa / Shutterstock

Electric underfloor heating is easier to fit (especially in an existing house) and therefore less expensive in terms of labour costs. It uses more energy to run than water heating though, so in the long term it might cost you more.

Underfloor heating installation costs

The cost of installing underfloor heating will depend on the size of the area you want to heat, the type of system you’re using, the age of your property and your location.

Tradesperson listing site Checkatrade says the average cost of materials and installation for underfloor heating typically ranges between £500 and £8,000.

The table below, compiled by Checkatrade, has a guide to the average cost per square metre of the different systems.

Underfloor heating system
and property type
Average installation
cost per m2
Electric in renovation £60-£85
Electric in new build £50-£75
Water in new build £120-£135
Water in renovation £135-£185

Many people only opt for underfloor heating in certain rooms, often bathrooms or kitchens, and tradesperson finder site Household Quotes has some specific guidance on these costs (see table below).

Project Estimated electric underfloor heating costs Estimated wet underfloor heating costs Labour costs Time required
Small bathroom (5m2) £250-£375 £400-£750 £200-£300 per day 1-2 days
Medium-sized bathroom (10m2) £500-£750 £800-£1,500 £200-£300 per day 2-3 days
Medium-sized kitchen (10m2) £500-£750 £800-£1,500 £200-£300 per day 3-5 days
Large kitchen (20m2) £1,000-£1,500 £1,600-£3,000 £200-£300 per day 3-5 days

DIY underfloor heating

Unless you happen to be a plumber or heating engineer, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to install a wet underfloor heating system yourself, though there are DIY kits available for these systems.

Electric underfloor heating is much simpler to put in and you could certainly save a tidy sum if you’re handy enough to install this type of underfloor heating.

Checkatrade puts the average cost of DIY underfloor heating (with electric heat mats) at just £20-£50 per metre square. They add that you should budget about £100 for extra materials such as heating controls, screed and insulation boards.

MyJobQuote points out that DIYers are likely to need an electrician to connect power to their system, but even so, by doing it yourself they estimate the total cost of a DIY bathroom installation could be less than £500.

How much does underfloor heating cost to run?

According to Checkatrade, underfloor heating can cost between £26.60 and £30 a month to run for four hours a day across a 10m2 floor area. 

Meanwhile, Household Quotes puts the running costs of electric underfloor heating at around 10p per m2 when used for a duration of six hours. By their calculations, a bathroom of 3.5m2 would cost £10.50 per month to run. 

However, it's important to note that costs will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your home, your floor insulation and your energy provider.

READ MORE: 45 fabulous flooring ideas

Featured image: studiovin / Shutterstock


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