The most critical factors when selecting an underfloor heating system are the floor construction, floor finish and the size of the area to be heated.

Hydronic Underfloor Heating

Hydronic UFH systems are generally thicker than  Electric UFH systems and as a result are best suited to new screed or suspended timber floors.  Overlay systems are available for situations where it is not desirable remove and replace an existing structural floor, but at 16mm or more in height, they are more disruptive to finished floor levels than  Electric UFH systems.

When adding  Hydronic UFH during a room or whole property renovation, the existing heat source can be retained and reused as the dwellings heat load will remain the same.  When swapping from a high temperature system such as radiators to a low temperature  Hydronic UFH system, the heat source efficiency will be increased.

Benefits of Water Underfloor Heating:

  • Excellent for new builds and extensions
  • Can be used with any heat source
  • Can be used as a primary or a supplementary heat emitter
  • Low running costs
  • Compatible with all standard floor constructions

Electric Underfloor Heating

Electric systems are generally less disruptive as the systems are low profile, as thin as 2mm.  While in screed systems are available, they are generally installed over the structural floor and are selected to compliment the floor finish being installed over.

The systems can used independently to your existing heating system and are ideal for extensions as they do not increase the load on your existing heat source.

When combined with supplementary insulation that separates them from the thermal mass of the structural floor,  Electric UFH systems normally reach operating temperature in less than 30 minutes.

Electric underfloor heating is suitable for new or existing, concrete or wooden floors and are especially well suited to bathrooms.

Benefits of electric underfloor heating:

  • Great for renovation projects
  • Low profile- excellent for rooms with height restrictions
  • Can be used as a primary or a supplementary heat emitter
  • Inexpensive to install
  • Minimal disruption


To read more about the differences between Electric and Water UFH systems, read this blog post.