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Underfloor heating - water-based or electric?

Broadly speaking, there are two types of underfloor heating (UFH) systems, one with pipes (water-based), and one with wires (electric). Both systems serve a single purpose, that is, to heat a room or a house, but they are entirely different. They have their own pros and cons and differences.

Water underfloor heating

Installation Costs?

The installation costs vary for both the systems and the scale of a project determines whether you require the services of a plumber or a professional UFH installer:

Wet UFH system costs:

  • £120-£135 per sq m for new build properties

  • £135-£185 per sq m for renovated properties

Electric UFH system costs:

  • £50-£75 per sq m for new build properties

  • £60-£85 per sq m for renovated properties

Running Costs?

An electric UFH system running cost is higher than that of a wet UFH system because electricity is expensive, and this results in higher bills. An electric UFH system can be three to four times more costly in running costs than a wet UFH system.

So although a wet UFH may have a higher installation cost, it turns out to be more cost effective in the longer run. Another words, an electric UFH system may not cost much during the installation, but it makes a hole in the pocket a few months down the line.

A wet UFH system is also 25% more efficient than radiators when connected with a boiler and it gives 40% more efficiency when linked with a heat pump.

Electric Underfloor Heating

Installation Time?

A wet UFH system takes longer to install than an electric UFH system. There are generally four steps involved. First is the testing of the UFH system, next is a test of the pressure and flow of water, and then there’s waiting for the screed to dry to set the layer of the floor.

An electric UFH system is quick and easy and can takes minutes to a few hours to finish. There’s no overhauling of the floor or the screed drying, so it is quicker than a wet UFH system. An electric UFH uses techniques like Sticky mats or an Eco film or Ecofoil electric system that are easy to install.

All in all, installing both wet and electric underfloor heating can be achieved in a maximum of three to five days. The only care required is that these systems are technical and they should be installed by skilled professionals. This is where Weknowflooring provides a professional installation through our approved UFH installers.

Project Type?

UFH is undoubtedly the most energy-efficient and modern heating system for a home, but the project type will determine the system we would advise you to install in your home.

An electric UFH is ideal for a property undergoing renovation because it does not require overhauling of the floor. It can be easily installed on existing floors. There is no need to scrape off the floor, lay down the electric cable system, or wait for the screed to dry. The heating mats can be easily glued within minutes.

On the other hand, a wet UFH is a perfect fit for newly built properties because it requires a lot of overhauling and laying down screed and then waiting for it to dry. After that, a new floor is fixed. That’s a lot of work required but can be easier to install throughout a new-build home and making it more cost-effective.

Which one to choose?

Both wet and electric UFH systems are equally efficient. They just serve different purposes so

For more information and advice on which UFH system is better for your desired requirement, contact Weknowflooring today. 


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