How much you pay for underfloor heating varies dramatically depending on which type you choose, whether it will be installed in a new room or retrofitted to an existing room, and how your home's floors are constructed.
To give you an idea of how much you can expect to shell out upfront, we've worked with RICS (the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) to calculate likely costs for different scenarios.
We've also spoken to Which? members who have underfloor heating to ask them about how the running costs of underfloor heating have affected their energy bills.
There are two types of underfloor heating:
The table below shows how much you can typically expect to pay to buy and install water or electric underfloor heating in several rooms in different types of property, based on data supplied by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
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Regardless of your situation and the type of underfloor heating you want, we recommend getting at least three installers to come to your home to give you a quote, which should be free of charge. They can also advise you as to the best type of underfloor heating system for you, the wattage you will need, what insulation you will need below the floor and which flooring type is best.
If you're looking for an installer in your area, you can use our Trusted Traders search tool below. All Trusted Traders have been through our rigorous background checks.
You may be tempted to keep costs down by installing underfloor heating yourself. Whether this is a good idea depends on your DIY experience and the type of underfloor heating. Electric systems are fairly straightforward to lay for confident DIY-ers (though you'll need an qualified electrician to wire the system up to your electricity supply). Water systems can be complicated, though, so we'd recommend using a professional.
Regardless of the type of system you're thinking of, we'd suggest getting a professional in to look at the floor type and assess what's needed to make it level and insulated, before going ahead. This should ensure you have the right heating system for your needs.
If you do install underfloor heating yourself, make sure you get clear installation instructions from the company you're buying it from, and follow them closely. That way you're less likely to damage the system. And test it thoroughly to make sure it's working properly before you lay the flooring over the top.
If you're having underfloor heating professionally installed, the trader may take the lead on sourcing and supplying the equipment required. If you're installing it yourself, or buying your own kit for a professional to install, there are a number of retailers that sell underfloor heating, including both specialist heating stores and plumbing and DIY stores.
Remember that prices will vary depending on your home's existing insulation, the type and size of room, how much work needs to be done to prepare the floor, and the flooring you'll be laying on top.
Here is a selection of popular retailers that stock underfloor heating:
There are a number of factors that can affect the cost of buying and installing underfloor heating, which we've summarised below.
If you're getting a water system, it will need to be connected to whatever powers your heating (for example, a boiler). The cost of installation will likely be higher if your heating system is far away from the room the underfloor heating is being installed in, or it's difficult to run pipes to it.
Some installers we've spoken to have mentioned that the type of heating system you have can also affect the cost, as it will determine how powerful the underfloor heating system needs to be. There is also a chance that you will need adjustments made to your boiler or, in some cases, even need a brand new system if your current one is old and inefficient.
The cost of underfloor heating could be higher if you want multi-zone heating – where the underfloor heating is zoned off to specific parts of a room, or is fitted in more than one room – as it will mean more pipework and thermostats.
Also, if you're having water underfloor heating, keep in mind that the number of zones you have is likely to have an affect the size and cost of the manifold (the connection that links the water underfloor heating to your central heating system - take a look at our guide on for more on manifolds and what they look like). Therefore, think about where it might sit. Most people choose to put it in a cupboard out of sight, but make sure it will be accessible.
The more that needs doing to make your floor suitable, the more it will cost to install your underfloor heating. Whether it's being laid in a new-build property or extension, or fitted in an existing room, can also affect the cost.
For example, it would cost more if you wanted underfloor heating retrofitted on a second-storey floor made of suspended timber. This type of floor doesn't conduct heat well, and as it's already laid it would need to be prepared for the underfloor heating.
However, there are advances in underfloor heating that make retrofitting a floor and insulating easier, so it's worth asking to look at the options.
Retrofitting underfloor heating often means making changes to various aspects of your home, too.
Some underfloor heating systems can be fitted to the top of your existing floor, so it won't have to be ripped up, making it less work and therefore bringing down the cost. However, it will mean that the floor needs to be raised, so be prepared to put up with the effect of that or make sure you ask your installer for as low-profile a flooring system as possible.
If you're having underfloor heating installed in a new room, check that this extra height will be taken into consideration with the rest of the build.
Also keep in mind that if you're only getting it added to one room, whether retrospectively or in a new-build, raising the floor could create a small step up from one room to another.
How well insulated the room is may also alter the price, as this affects the type of system you need. Rooms that are less well insulated would need a more powerful system to heat them properly.
Running costs of underfloor heating can vary wildly as it depends on many variables (including room size, insulation, floor type and how many hours per day the heating is on). Based on estimates from underfloor heating manufacturers, we've calculated that electric underfloor heating for a 10 square metre room will typically cost between £18 and £25 a month, assuming you run it for four hours a day.
Yes you can – underfloor heating can be fitted in any home. However, in properties with low energy efficiency - for example those with single glazing and no insulation - it's unlikely that it will be able to act as the only form of heating – you'll probably need to have central heating and radiators as well. The first thing to do is to .
If you do carry out additional work to improve how well the house retains heat, such as fitting loft insulation and modern glazing, you shouldn't need to use multiple sources of heating and this will have a positive impact on your heating bills.
In most cases, no. However, if your home is a listed or a historically significant property, it's worth checking your plans with a qualified surveyor or architect. This is an additional expense you might need to consider.
If you're installing underfloor heating into a new room, work will need to conform to building regulations.
Most types of flooring are fine to use on top of underfloor heating, including vinyl, laminate and tiles. But some, such as natural stone, are even better as they naturally conduct heat. This means the floor will feel warm more quickly and will retain the warmth for longer. Bear in mind that natural stone will cost more than man-made tiles.
However, if your heart is set on a particular type of flooring, your installer should be able to adjust the underfloor heating system output, the underlay and screed to suit the floor type.
Engineered wooden or laminate floors are a much better choice if you don't want to run the risk of problems in the future but want the look of wood. However, it shouldn't exceed a maximum thickness of 18mm, as this will reduce the efficiency.
Although carpet isn't the most efficient floor covering on top of underfloor heating, as it will take time for the heat to get through, it can still be used. To get the best out of it, keep the combined tog value of the underlay and carpet below 2.5.
If you want exposed concrete floors, make sure you don't use this to encase the underfloor heating system. Both water and electric systems should be installed within a layer of screed, not concrete, as sharp aggregate can damage the system.
It's also worth keeping in mind that concrete will take longer to warm up, but will retain the heat for longer.
* In December 2021 we asked 119 Which? members who had fitted underfloor heating in the past five years about their experiences