A Guide to Underfloor Heating Installation Costs
Prices Updated For 2021
Water & Electrical Options
Underfloor heating is a booming industry and is experiencing year-on-year growth of well over 8%, here’s why:
- The comfort of walking on a warm floor; many of us know how unpleasant timber and laminate floors can be in winter.
- Flexibility; you get to choose where to locate your furniture without any restrictions.
- Energy savings; wet systems (these use hot water from a boiler) are more efficient than wall mounted radiators.
- Increased property value.
Let us show you how much underfloor heating costs and what options you have for retrofit projects.
When looking to install an underfloor heating system, the biggest concern for many consumers is how much will it raise the floor level.
If you’re looking to retrofit heating under your existing floor then slimline systems are your best bet, they can be fitted under carpet, tiles or laminate and are suitable for concrete or timber floors. Many will raise the overall height of the floor by less than 20mm while some can be embedded in floor screed, inside the floorboards or inserted between joists to keep the height gain even lower.
Unfortunately, these slimline systems are rarely powerful enough to fully replace a primary heating system so are best used in conjunction with radiators.
Systems that are powerful enough to fully replace radiators are best suited to either new builds or extensions as they increase the height of the floor considerably and this needs to be accounted for at the design stage of the project.
While it is possible to retrofit an underfloor heating system to fully replace all the radiators within a home, it’s not something we can provide a guideline price for as:
- The work is extremely disruptive and thus requires a bespoke quote.
- Concrete floors may need to be dug up.
- Extra height could cause issues at both internal and external doors as well as the stairs etc which will require considerable extra work that is impossible to estimate without first seeing the property..
We asked 38 underfloor heating installers for three prices:
- An electric underfloor heating system retrofitted to a single room.
- A water-based underfloor heating system retrofitted to a single room.
- A water-based underfloor heating system to a two-room extension.
Option 1 – Electrical Underfloor Heating System to One Room
This is a very popular option because dry (that means electrical heating rather than water-based heating) systems are cheap and easy to install and are perfect for smaller retrofit installations where the consumer wants some extra heat or underfoot warmth in one or two rooms.
This type of installation is often used in conjunction with existing radiators but is also popular as a replacement heating system in new bathrooms and other small rooms.
Below is a video by WarmUp showing how the mats are secured to the insulation boards and finished with a levelling screed. Tiles or carpet can then be laid over the system, and a control unit is wired to the wall. Modern control units allow for the underfloor heating to be controlled wirelessly by an app.
We asked a selection of installers from around the UK how much they thought it would cost to retrofit an electric underfloor heating system to one average-sized bathroom (6-7sq metres) with floor tiles.
Here is a brief schedule of the project:
- Lift and remove the existing floor tiles.
- Lay insulation boards to floor.
- Install the electrical underfloor heating system.
- Install all necessary wiring and a wall-mounted control unit.
- Test the system.
- Lay a screed to level the floor, so it’s ready for the new tiles.
- Lay new tiles which are to be supplied by the customer.
The prices below are an average of the figures given to us and exclude the cost of the new tiles but do include the cost of the labour for laying the new tiles.
Option 2 – Underflooring Heating Cost For a Single Room
We also asked for prices for a water-based underfloor heating system to a large master bedroom (25 sq metres).
Like the first price we asked for, this project is a retrofit to an existing home (not a new build or an extension).
As the floor is laid over timber joists, there’s plenty of slimline systems to choose from, some raise the floor by no more than a few millimetres, making them perfect for bedroom and bathrooms.
Below is an image of the system we wanted.
Note the aluminium trays that support the pipes and how they don’t increase the floor level. This isn’t the cheapest option, and the extra insulation adds to the cost.
There are cheaper systems available, but some will raise the floor by up to 25mm which could be an issue in single room installations.
This system sits between the floor joists on the first floor and raises the overall floor height by no more than 2mm, making this perfect for single room and retrofit applications. Photo by WarmUp.
Option 3 – Underflooring Heating Prices For an Extension
We then asked for prices to fit underfloor heating to a two-room extension with a total floor space of 48 square metres.
Downstairs there will be a kitchen/diner and upstairs a new master bedroom.
The property already has a new boiler installed, and it’s powerful enough to provide hot water to the two extra rooms.
The ground floor kitchen/diner will be constructed with a concrete floor while the first floor will be made from timber joists.
The prices below include all the materials, including the insulation and also the labour.
As you can see, the underfloor heating cost to an extension or new build is cheaper than for retrofit projects, by specifying the system at the design stage, you’ll have many more affordable options that aren’t suitable for retrofit projects.
Per Square Metre Cost for Fully Installed Underfloor Heating Systems
Below you’ll find the cost to install underfloor heating per square metre, these figures are based on prices given to us for specific projects:
|Electric underfloor heating to small tiled room||£115 sq mtr||£120 sq mtr|
|Water underfloor heating to retrofit bedroom||£95 sq mtr||£105 sq mtr|
|Water underfloor heating to extension||£60 sq mtr||£70 sq mtr|
|Need a Custom Price? >||Get Estimate|
Get a Price to Install Underfloor Heating Today
We hope you found our guide to underfloor heating prices to be insightful.
Choosing the best underfloor heating for your home can be complicated, especially if you are retrofitting the system.
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Underfloor Heating FAQs
Below you’ll find answers to common underfloor heating questions:
When Were These Price Published?
We sourced prices for underfloor heating in late December 2020 and early January 2021.
I Think Your Prices Are Too High/Low, what gives?
Please bear in mind that the prices displayed are based on quotes from a sample of underfloor heating installers from various places around the UK.
Underfloor heating is a very difficult project to guess the cost of as there are so many variables and different systems to suit differing scenarios.
We suggest using our figures as a rough guide but for an accurate price, get a written quote.
Can I Install Underfloor Heating to a Conservatory?
Yes but we recommend a high-powered water-based system with its own thermostat.
Conservatories can get very cold in winter, and the cost of running an electric system could be very high.
Will I Need to Upgrade My Boiler?
If you’re building an extension, then you may need to upgrade to a more powerful boiler to cope with the extra demand, but for most single-room retrofit projects, the existing boiler should work just fine.
How Much Does it Cost to Install Underfloor Heating to an Entire House?
For installations to a new build, see our prices on this page for extensions, the cost will be very similar.
The cost to retrofit underfoot heating to an entire home is difficult to estimate. It will depend on how much other work is being carried out, whether the concrete floor needs to be dug up, floor height gain considerations and associated remedial works.
NuHeat, a supplier of underfloor heating products, suggests a price of £65 per square metre for the basic materials, insulation and screed etc. but excluding labour.
Can Underfloor Heating be Used to Fully Replace Radiators?
Yes, but this is easier to achieve in a new-build or extension project.
To replace radiators, you’ll most likely need either a standard or high output system which uses thicker pipes compared to slimline systems.
The thicker the pipe, the higher the floor needs to be.
Also, to fully replace radiators, your floor will need to be very well insulated. This adds cost and potentially more height to the floor, which in turn, may require remedial works to doors, door frames stairs etc.
Underfloor heating can be installed to any home, either to complement or replace radiators but whether it’s financially viable will depend on the consumer and their demands and expectations.
Are There Any Negatives to Consider?
We love underfloor heating but there are a few reasons why some people dislike it:
- The installation is disruptive and expensive.
- Underfloor heating takes longer to warm up a room than radiators.
- If you replace your radiators, you won’t have anywhere to dry your clothes – a practical consideration if you don’t have space for a tumble dryer.
- Electric systems are expensive to run and best suited to small rooms such as bathrooms.
- If the underfloor heating leaks then repairs can be costly and disruptive especially if the system is embedded in concrete.
More detailed pros and cons can be found on the Which? website.
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