Underfloor Heating Cost & Prices 2021

There are two broad types of underfloor heating; ‘wet’ systems that distribute heat via water pipes connected to a boiler or heat pump and ‘dry’ systems that use electrical elements in the form of mats or wires laid under the floor. 

The cost of underfloor heating varies primarily on whether you want a wet or dry system. 

The total price will include the cost of the heating pads/piping itself (priced by area – or m2), labour, screed and fittings such as thermostats and insulation boards. 

Retrofitting or renovating a house with underfloor heating will always cost more than installing it in a newbuild. You will have to consider the age of your property and the type of flooring you already have fitted.  

Your flooring will likely have to be ripped up and re-laid in the case of retrofitting, which raises installation costs significantly. It’s also possible that you’ll have to raise the level of the flooring to fit the pipes/mats/wires underneath.

This article will cover the cost involved in underfloor heating and factors that can affect the price.

 

Electric ‘Dry’ System Costs

Electric systems are much easier to retrofit into homes. They can be laid under almost any type of flooring and are particularly popular for bathrooms. Electric systems are also easier to fit DIY compared to wet systems. 

Broadly speaking, electric systems are best chosen for single room installations and retrofitting. 

There are 3 main types of electric systems; foil, pads and loose wires/cabling.

Systems feature a wattage power rating, usually between 100w to 200w. The higher the rating, the more expensive the electric heating pads/wires are but the hotter they will get.

150w to 200w is recommended for colder houses whereas 100w would be fine for more heavily insulated new builds.  

  • Heat pads: The simplest type of electric underfloor heating for most floors
  • Foil pads: More efficient than heat mats. Ideally suited to wood, laminate, carpet and vinyl
  • Loose wires: Ideal for irregularly shaped rooms. Can be fitted under most flooring.
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Here are the average costs of electric underfloor heating.

Electric Underfloor Heating per m²Cost
Average£75
Typical Range£50 - £100

It’s worth remembering that the electrician only deals with the electrical aspects of electric underfloor heating.

Therefore, a tradesman such as a tiler will be needed to finish the flooring once the electricals have been completed. Expect to pay roughly £30 – £50/m² extra for this work.

The costs stated are the electrician’s part of the work and will need to work with a tiler to finish the floor. Typically an electrician will need the following aspects to be sorted before starting:

  • Existing floor to be fully removed in the subject area
  • A level floor area and surface for installation
  • Local power supply for this to install the controls and sensors

Generally, an electrician will charge by the hour. Labour costs will typically be around £350 – £500 plus materials for a smaller area size (<15m²).

These costs should be factored into your electrician’s quote (except the carpet/flooring removal and refitting), you’ll need the following extras for an electric ‘dry’ underfloor heating system. 

ItemCost
Insulation Boards£5 - £25 per board 
Thermostats (You may need more than one)£50 - £100 each 
Screed £10 - £20/m²

Labour Costs for Electric Underfloor Heating

Electric underfloor heating is quite cheap to fit overall, probably costing somewhere between £30 to £35 an hour on average. 

Most electricians will be able to fit electric underfloor heating at their standard hourly rate but you might need to hire a builder to pull up floors (unless your electrician is also able to do this/works in a company that can). 

Fitting underfloor electric heating in an entirely new build house of 100m2 might cost around £800 to £1200 on average. Labour costs for a bathroom at 6m2 might only cost £150 to £200 for a new build. 

Retrofitting is a lot more expensive as this will involve pulling up and relaying flooring. 

Some floors are much easier to pull up than others (e.g. joist floors). Labour costs will vary significantly with your property type and rooms. 

  New Build Retrofitted
Hourly Rate £30 £30 fitting + building costs
4-6m2 Bathroom (5 to 8 hours) £150 – £200 £300 – £400
100m2 House (2 – 5 days) £800 to £1500  £2000 to £2500

Water ‘Wet’ System Costs

Water systems are much more complex to fit and the initial costs are considerably higher than electric systems. But, they are much more efficient to run in the long-term and can amount to significant energy savings. 

Broadly speaking, wet systems are best chosen for green newbuilds with A-rated boilers or heat pumps. 

According to Nuheat, water systems are 20% more efficient than electric systems when fitted to the boiler and over 40% more efficient when coupled with a heat pump. 

Wet systems require more accessories than electric systems and most systems are sold as a ‘kit’ that includes boiler manifold, pipes, clips and other fittings. 

You can expect the costs of a larger installation to fall when purchasing in bulk. 

SizeCost
Per m²£25 - £35
20m² kit£450 - 600
100m² kit £900 - - £1300

Other Costs for Water Underfloor Heating

Water underfloor heating connects to your boiler. Many choose to upgrade their boiler to a newer A-rated model when they choose water underfloor heating. 

This can dramatically reduce long-term savings and improve energy efficiency. It’s often worth doing.  

For the greenest heating combination available, you could also opt for a heat pump. Heat pumps reflect the next generation of energy-efficient heating and are becoming more popular for newbuilds across the UK. 

Whilst the initial costs are high, this will be reflected in the value of the house. 

ItemCost
A-Rated Boiler£2000 - £3000
Heat Pump £8000 - £15000
Insulation Boards£5 - £25 per board 
Raising Flooring/Screed£10 - £30/m2

Labour Costs for Water Underfloor Heating Systems 

Whilst wet underfloor heating technology itself is roughly equivalent to electric underfloor heating, the installation cost is much higher, roughly double that of an electric system for retrofitting. 

Many plumbers will be able to fit water heating systems at their usual rate of £30 to £35 an hour on average. 

The main issue is elevating the floor level to fit the water piping underneath. Joist flooring makes this much simpler, but otherwise, pipes can be laid in the screed. Low-profile water systems can avoid the need to raise the floor at all. 

  New Build Retrofitted
Hourly Rate £30 £30 fitting + building costs
4-6m2 bathroom (5 to 8 hours) £400 – £500 £500 – £800
100m2 house (4 – 6 days) £4000 to £5000  £8,000 to £10,000

Comparing Electric vs Water System Underfloor Heating

Electric underfloor heating is the swiftest, cheapest and low-hassle option – ideal for retrofitting. It’s pretty cost-effective to heat just one room with electric heating, whether that’s a living room, bathroom or conservatory. Installation is fairly straightforward depending on your flooring type. 

Water underfloor heating is a more comprehensive and greener option. The main caveat is that you’ll need to upgrade your boiler to get the most out of the system. Heat pumps are even better, representing a new generation in green energy. They may also make you eligible for the government’s Green Homes Grant.

Get Prices on Underfloor Heating Near You

We’ve done our best to give you a good idea of what you can expect to pay for underfloor heating near you.

However, our guides are not a substitute for a fixed quote specifically for you.

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