Before making a decision for a planned building project or renovation, you may want to think about underfloor heating costs. To assist you in this, we’ve provided some specialist information on the costs involved with installing and running the different types of UFH systems, as well as information relating to the options you have for solar-powered underfloor heating.
How Much Does Underfloor Heating Cost?
Underfloor heating costs can vary greatly, depending on the most efficient solution for the property involved. This means some small projects may start at £200, while other, larger installations may exceed £10,000. There are a few factors that can help to determine the overall cost of any system you are preparing to install:
- The size of the room you’re fitting the system in (per m2)
- The age of the building being fitted with a UFH system
- Whether you’re fitting a wet system or an electric system
Both warm water underfloor heating and electric underfloor heating systems can provide effective, evenly distributed warmth and comfort for property owners and users. If you would like to learn more about these different types, see more in-depth information on how they work, and find out what they can bring to your planned project in general, please see our advice page on underfloor heating.
Other Factors that Affect Costs
It is also possible for the type of insulation used in the property and the thermostat installed to affect the cost of underfloor heating. The thermostat will regulate the timing of the heat output, while high-quality insulation will allow the system to distribute a higher heat yield that ensures energy efficiency by keeping the property warmer for longer.
Retrofit Underfloor Heating Costs and Materials
Fitting underfloor heating as part of a renovation project will often cost more than installing a system as part of a new build. This is because more materials will need to be supplied with any type of retrofit system (whether you are installing wet underfloor heating or electric underfloor heating). The process will also be more labour-intensive, as you will have to remove the original floor coverings before work can begin.
Prices for electric foil film (for electric underfloor heating systems) usually start at around £50 per m2, excluding the cost of a thermostat. Wet underfloor heating systems, on the other hand, will usually be priced at £40 per m2. This price excludes fitting charges and the price of extra equipment required.
Generally, you can expect the materials for a retrofit electric underfloor heating system to cost upwards of £3,500, depending on the size of the room or rooms you are renovating. Warm water underfloor heating systems for renovated properties will cost more than this, and may exceed £8,500-£,9000.
New Build Underfloor Heating Costs and Materials
Installing underfloor heating in a completely new build is often the most practical and cost-effective choice, as it can be fit neatly into a building schedule under a range of floor finishes. Pairing an underfloor heating system and screed is often the most popular choice, as the installation of the material prevents gaps and cold spots in the flooring, helping to create an even distribution of heat. This is especially useful in rooms that often need help retaining heat, such as bathrooms.
In a new build, you can expect the materials needed to fit an electric underfloor heating system to cost between £2,100 and £3,000. A wet underfloor heating system for the same property will normally be £4,800 or more.
Labour and Installation Costs for Underfloor Heating Systems
Once you have decided on a system type and are aware of its price, the next factor to take into consideration will be labour costs. The work should always be carried out by a specialist UFH contractor with years of experience in the supply and installation of systems, with installation costs based on the size of the area being fitted, the age of the property, and the type of system being installed.
It is also possible that installation costs may be affected by some other factors:
- The type of floor cover you intend to use
- The overall state of the property
- How many days the system takes to install
Labour costs for professional UFH contractors will vary, but you may expect prices to range between:
- £200 and £500 for an electric underfloor heating system in a new build
- £500 and £800 for a retrofit electric underfloor heating system
- £900 and £1,500 for a hot water underfloor heating system in a new build
- £1,200 and £1,700 for a retrofit wet underfloor heating system
Running Costs for Underfloor Heating Systems
Running costs for underfloor heating systems may fluctuate over time, and will differ in terms of amount between individual properties and different system types. Boiler and heat pump types can also have an effect on how much your own system will cost to run.
Wet underfloor heating systems are more often cheaper than dry, owing to the cost per unit difference between electricity and gas or oil. They also have lower running costs than both electric UFH systems and traditional radiators, while offering an efficiency level of around 25% when paired with a modern condensing boiler. This increases to 40% when the system is running from a heat pump.
A dry system may cost more to run (often up to four times more than a water-based system) but they are also a very efficient option for small spaces, such as a bathroom or a refurbished kitchen, as they are capable of transferring heat more quickly in smaller areas.
Advice on Running Costs for UFH Systems
Both floor heating types can be regulated in order to minimise unnecessary heat usage, and leaving your system on for long periods of time is not recommended in most cases. The only exception to this might be during the cold winter months, though this will also depend on individual circumstances.
Underfloor heating can also take several hours to warm up, so turning it down rather than switching it off completely is advisable when the weather is colder. This has even been determined to save property owners as much as £10 a year for each degree reduced.
Underfloor Heating Costs: Wet Systems vs Electric Systems
The type of system you should choose for your property will all depend on your project’s needs and individual circumstances. We should note, however, that hot water underfloor heating systems will cost more to install, both for renovations and new builds, while electric underfloor heating systems will have higher running costs.
The combined materials, installation, and labour costs for UFH systems will generally be between:
- £2,000 and £2,600 for an electric system in a new build
- £4,000 and £4,500 for a retrofit electric system
- £5,500 and £6,500 for a wet system in a new build
- £9,750 and £11,000 for a retrofit wet system
Using Solar Powered Underfloor Heating
Solar-powered underfloor heating is also a possibility for many properties based across the UK. This involves using solar PV panels and converting solar energy into electricity, which can then be used to power appliances. By installing a solar thermal store cylinder, you can combine your floor heating with the mains pressure hot water. These cylinders are designed to work with solar panels and a boiler, but can also be adapted to take additional heat sources.
Water in the thermal store cylinder will be heated to between 60°C and 70°C and there are two thermal coils within the thermal store that are linked. The mains water will enter the bottom coil and circulate through until it reaches the desired temperature at the top.
There are also two tappings in the thermal store in order to provide heat for a UFH system. The solar coil can be found at the lowest part of the thermal store, as this is the coolest area of the system. This is because it is not heated by the boiler and is cooled further by cold water coming from the mains and the domestic hot water coil. In turn, this then allows for a higher contribution from solar energy towards heating a property.
How Solar Powered Underfloor Heating Reduces Costs
As solar energy allows a property to be powered with less reliance on utility providers, it also aids in reducing the cost of energy bills. Combined with the energy efficiency already provided by an underfloor heating system, this may mean that the amount a homeowner pays over the course of a year could be significantly reduced.
Contacting a Professional Underfloor Heating Contractor
If you have been looking at underfloor heating for your planned work project and believe that screed is the ideal material for achieving maximum thermal efficiency and a stylish floor finish, contact Screed It and let us know what you need today. We can provide you with an instant quote online for the water-based UFH system that covers everything you’ve asked for, before getting it installed exactly as you have asked for it in time to meet your deadline.
One of our members of staff will be waiting to discuss what you need as soon as you get in touch, so we can help you move on to the next part of your project while keeping you firmly within your budget.