Electric Underfloor Heating vs Water Underfloor Heating

Luxurious, cost-effective and environmentally friendly, underfloor heating boasts many benefits when compared to conventional heating methods like radiators. Freeing up wall space from bulky radiators and preventing accidents like bumps and burns, underfloor heating provides even heat distribution throughout the home.

FIXX Underfloor Heating is a new range, exclusive to Walls and Floors, that’s designed specifically for use with tiles and stone. Check out our blog on the Top 10 Tiles Suitable for Underfloor Heating to see some of the options available.

Once you’ve decided on getting an underfloor heating system, the next question to ask yourself is whether you want an electric or water-based system. In this blog, we’ll discuss which method would be better for your home.

Above, Ador Black Nero Marble Tiles

What’s the difference between electric and water-based underfloor heating?

Both electric and water underfloor heating use radiant heat to warm an area from the ground up. It provides an even distribution of heat throughout a room, increasing comfort levels and reducing energy wastage, whilst freeing up wall space to give you more interior design freedom in your home.

Check out our blog, FIXX Electric Underfloor Heating: Exclusive to Walls and Floors, to learn more.

Electric underfloor heating

> Cost-effective and easy to install

> Sits over the substrate to heat the floor covering directly, quick to heat up and cool down

> No ongoing maintenance required after installation

> Out of sight, easily and accurately controlled by a thermostat

Water underfloor heating

> Expensive and time consuming to install

> Sits underneath screed, takes longer to heat up the floor covering and cools down slower

> Regular maintenance and repairs required, which can be costly

> Boiler required – space required, gas not environmentally friendly

Above, Ledbury Charcoal Black Pattern Tiles

How long does underfloor heating take to install?

Electric underfloor heating

Depending on the size of the room, electric underfloor heating can be installed within just a few hours, ready for the next stages of floor covering. Please remember that you will need to hire an electrician to connect the system to the main supply.

Water underfloor heating

Water underfloor heating is quite time-consuming, as the pipework will need to be installed to connect to the existing hot water system. The pipes will need to be pressure checked before a thick layer of screed can be applied, which takes a long time to dry before your chosen flooring can be laid.

Above, Terrazzo Hexagon Mineral Green Porcelain Tiles

How much does it cost to install underfloor heating?

Electric underfloor heating

It is quick and easy to install electric underfloor heating, so you can expect significantly fewer installation costs, however, you will need to hire an electrician to fit the system to the mains supply.

Water underfloor heating

Water-based systems cost a lot more to install than electric, as you need to allow for the floor construction build-up and screed layers. A qualified plumber will have to install the system and connect it with your boiler, and an existing boiler may have to be upgraded to cope with the additional load.

Above, Nyans Candy Pink Wood Effect Tiles

How much does it cost to run underfloor heating?

Electric underfloor heating

Electricity is a more sustainable source of power, and this heating option presents great value for money and can even help you save on your bills in the long term. Tariff prices may vary, which can influence the cost.

The use of installation boards can help reduce the cost of electric underfloor heating, as less heat is lost through the substrate when they are used together.

Thermosphere Uncoated Boards are 100% moisture and rot-resistant, with high thermal insulation properties to boost the efficiency of underfloor heating. 

Water underfloor heating

Water-based systems could be cost-effective in the long term, however, one major drawback is the overall running cost is the maintenance such as annual boiler checks.

In addition to this, the UK government are looking to ban gas boilers in new builds by 2025 and the trend away from unsustainable sources of energy will impact the costs of gas making it less appealing as an energy source.

Above, Oakham Black Pattern Tiles

Which tiles would you use with our underfloor heating? We’d love to know! Tag us in your projects on Instagram @wallsandfloors.

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Anna Marie Clementson
Anna Marie Clementson