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Electric Underfloor Heating vs Wet Underfloor Heating: Which is best for your home?

A wet underfloor heating system with the installer’s gloves, boots and hat. The customer has considered water underfloor heating vs. electric heating system.

Underfloor heating is a popular choice for many homeowners looking to achieve efficient and comfortable heating in their homes. If you’re considering this heating option as opposed to central heating systems, it’s essential to understand the two main types: electric underfloor heating and wet (water) underfloor heating. 

In this guide, our underfloor heating installation experts will explain everything you need to know to decide whether water or electric floor heating is the most efficient heating option. 

What is Underfloor Heating?

Underfloor heating is a modern heating solution that involves installing heating elements beneath the floor, providing a consistent and even distribution of heat throughout the room. This system is known for its energy efficiency and space-saving benefits, as it eliminates the need for radiators, allowing for more flexible interior design. 

Not sure if underfloor heating is right for your space? Our underfloor heating vs. radiators guide can help you decide what will work best for your home.

Types of Underfloor Heating

There are two types of underfloor heating systems:

  1. Electric Underfloor Heating
  2. Wet Underfloor Heating (also known as Hydronic or Water Underfloor Heating)

    Quick guide: Electric System Underfloor Heating vs Wet System Underfloor Heating

    FeatureElectric Underfloor Heating SystemWet Underfloor Heating System
    Suitable for?Smaller spaces, BathroomsLarger spaces
    Heat sourceElectricityWarm water
    Set upElectric cables or matsNetwork of pipes connected to central heating
    BenefitsQuick warm-up times, Lower purchase cost, Standalone systemLower running cost, Durable, Integrated with central heating
    Running costsCan be more expensive depending on electricity ratesMore eco-friendly, retains heat longer

    Electric Underfloor Heating

    Electric underfloor heating kits usually consist of heating mats beneath the floor. When turned on, the mats use ultra-thin electric heating wires to warm the floor and the entire room. Free-form electric wire can also be used to create electric underfloor heating, but this will take longer to install than electric heating mats.

    Benefits of electric UFH:

    • Quick Warm-Up Times: Electric systems heat up quickly, making them ideal for areas where you need fast heating, like bathrooms.
    • Lower Purchase Cost: Electric systems are generally cheaper to purchase and install than wet systems.
    • Standalone System: Electric underfloor heating can function independently of traditional central heating systems, which is great for specific rooms or smaller spaces. This can be an efficient way of heating a room when compared to a central heating system, as you can choose to only heat this space.

    Drawbacks of electric UFH:

    • Running Costs: Depending on your electricity rates, the cost of running an electric underfloor heating system can be slightly higher than a water system.

    Wet Underfloor Heating

    Wet underfloor heating, also known as water underfloor heating systems, uses a network of pipes to circulate warm water beneath the floor. This system is usually connected to your main central heating system.

    Benefits of water underfloor heating

    • Lower Running Costs: Generally, wet systems are cheaper to run because they use water heated by your existing central heating system, which can be more cost-effective than electricity.
    • Durability: Compared to electric systems, water underfloor heating is typically more durable because it is made up of multiple layers of plastic, adhesive, and aluminium.
    • Integration: Since it integrates with your central heating system, there’s no need for a separate heating system.

    Drawbacks of water underfloor heating

    • Higher Initial Installation Costs: The initial cost of installing a wet system is higher due to the complexity of the installation process. It generally takes longer to install than an electric system and is more tricky because it has to be connected to your central heating system.

    Cost Comparison of Electric Underfloor Heating Vs Water Underfloor Heating

    When considering water underfloor heating vs. electric, it is important to compare underfloor heating costs, including installation and running costs.

    Electric systems usually have a lower upfront cost but can be more expensive to run over time, depending on electricity rates. 

    Water underfloor heating has a higher installation cost than electric systems but benefits from lower running costs and greater efficiency in larger spaces.

    Suitability for UFH Systems

    Electric Underfloor Heating:

    • Efficient at heating a room such as a bathroom or smaller individual rooms.
    • Ideal for quick installation and minimal disruption.

    Wet Underfloor Heating:

    • Perfect for larger areas and whole-house systems.
    • Much more efficient at heating larger spaces and integrates well with existing central heating systems.

    Trust GLP Heating Experts to Install Underfloor Heating System in Your Home

    At GLP, we’re here to help you make the best choice from our range of underfloor heating systems for your home. Whether you’re leaning towards electric or wet underfloor heating, our team of experts can explain the pros and cons and help you find the perfect solution for your needs.

    Ready to upgrade your home with electric or water underfloor heating? Contact us today for more information and a free quote. Let us help you make your home warm and comfortable with the best underfloor heating solution.

    We are fit for the job.

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