Photo by Giorgio Magini/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Giorgio Magini/iStock / Getty Images

Electric v’s Water Underfloor heating?

So you’ve decided to opt for underfloor heating to heat your new kitchen. The next question is electric vs water underfloor heating? Here are a few tips to help you make the decision.

Electric UFH 

The beauty of the electric system is the ease and relatively inexpensive way of which it can be installed. The low profile nature of the cables means it can be installed in many applications, including small spaces and low ceilings. It is a ‘take out of the box and install’ product which can even be done by any competent DIYer.

The electric system is also independent of your heating system as its electric, and it can be run on a timer for instant heat, were the water system takes much longer to get warm as its heating a large concrete screed.

Electric underfloor heating is suitable for existing floors, concrete or wooden, top floors, such as bathrooms, and small to medium areas in kitchen diner spaces.

So the most commonly asked question about electric underfloor heating is how much does it cost to run? These costs are only estimates and are based on the system being installed with 6mm insulation boards to the subfloor which is essential to reduce heat loss and maximize your running costs.

              How much does it cost to run?

Example 1 – Kitchen 6m2 for 4 hrs a day. Average Monthly cost £8.40

Example 2 – Kitchen 10m2 for 4 hrs a day. Average Monthly cost £12.41


1.     Small to medium sized kitchens

2.     Existing floors

3.     Height restrictive spaces

4.     Primary heat source in small/medium space

5.     Inexpensive to install

6.     Cheap to run

7.     Secondary heat source

8.     Lots of systems to choose from, don’t skimp on the quality

Water UFH

Water, otherwise known as wet systems are best suited to a new concrete floor installation, either a new build or an add on extension. The reason for this is a wet system requires a deep screed of concrete to be poured over the heated pipes which in turn heat the screed when connected to the boiler. A typical floor requires 100mm of Celotex insulation, 15mm heating pipes and 65-70mm Cement based screed. It is possible to opt for a Anyhdrite screed which is just 50mm.

Retro fit wet systems – There also retro fit wet UFH systems on the market which will (providing you have the ceiling height) go straight onto your existing floor. These are made up of modular boards with channels for the pipes to run through and returns at the ends, thus creating the flow of heated pipes back to a manifold the same as the above system. Boards tend to be 18mm thick, fixed to the ground either with screws or adhesive. Your chosen floor finish then goes straight on top.


1.     New build homes, or extensions

2.     Requires expert advice and installation

3.     More expensive to install than electric UFH

4.     Great primary heat source for a larger space

5.     Cheap to run on low heat

6.     Lots of systems to choose from, don’t skimp on the quality

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