Underfloor Heating: Electric Kit vs Water Systems

Underfloor heating is an affordable luxury these days! But which of the two types is better? Here’s a quick ‘Electric Kit vs Water Systems’ post, exploring both kinds of underfloor heating.

underfloor heating electric vs wet

Having underfloor heating in your home is heavenly; no more chilly floors on bare feet! You can, very quickly, transform a cold room into a cosy sanctuary. Gradually, more and more people are inviting underfloor heating into their homes. If you’re looking at installing some underfloor heating in your home, you might be a bit confused by the different types. There are two main kinds: electric kits, which come as wires and are laid on the top of your existing floor, and ‘wet’ water fed systems, which consist of tubing or piping that sits in channels in your substrate; and warm water flows through it. We’ve listed the difference between electric and water systems, to help you choose one or the other…

Underfloor Heating Installation

Electric – With underfloor heating kits, the cables can be laid very quickly onto existing floors.

Water – With a water fed system, you’ll need to dig channels into existing substrates and inlay the heating pipes.

Installation cost

Electric – Due to the ease of installation, the cables can be laid by any competent DIYer. Alternatively, a tiler can do the job for a small charge.

Water – Due to the work involved with a water fed system, installation cost can run into the thousands.


Electric – Electric underfloor heating systems can be laid in as much or a little of your property as you like. From individual rooms, to isolated parts of a room, and even on the upper floors; in the bedrooms and en suites.

Water – Due to the nature of a water fed system, you are limited to the spaces in which you can install the piping.

Heat up time

Electric – An electric underfloor heating system can heat up a well-insulated area. It can also be turned up or down, on or off at the flick of a switch with no impact on the heating in the rest of the property.

Water – It will generally take 2-3 hours for a wet system to reach optimal temperature.


Electric – In the very unlikely event that there is an issue with your electric heating, with the right equipment, faults can easily be found and repaired in an a couple of hours, just by removing a tile, fixing the cable and replacing the tile.

Water – With a wet system, a water leak can be catastrophic. As well as the tiles coming up, the screed will need to be dug out and the pipes replaced, before the screed and tiles can be re-applied. The system will need to be switched off completely which means the heating in the remainder of the house cannot be used in the time it takes to repair and be safe for recommissioning.

So there you have the differences between electric and water fed underfloor heating systems. Here’s a link to some affordable electric heating kits, which can be used with ceramic and porcelain tiles along with natural stones such as slate, marble, limestone and travertine. These kits will also effectively heat wooden flooring, laminate, carpet and vinyl flooring.

For any other questions about underfloor heating or tiles, be sure to visit our Help Centre – it’s the ‘Wikipedia’ of tiling queries!

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