Is underfloor heating better than radiators?

If you are fed up of trying to keep warm in a freezing house, it could be time to try something new. Maybe it’s the cost of heating, or the fact it seems to disappear as soon as it enters the room. Deciding how best to heat your home can be frustrating. We’ve been weighing up the effectiveness of water-based and electric underfloor heating with traditional radiators.

Underfloor heating pros

    • It’s efficient because it effectively turns the whole floor into a radiator. The large surface area means it doesn’t have to be a high temperature to warm the room – only a couple of degrees warmer than room temperature. It can be expensive to install (especially if retrofitted) but can lead to energy savings in the long run. It uses 15-40% less energy than traditional radiators.
    • It can be laid in new and old homes.
    • It doesn’t take up wall space.
    • Warm feet! There is definitely a certain luxury in the radiant heat of underfloor heating.

Underfloor heating cons

    • The effects are not instantaneous; it can take up to two hours to heat a room.
    • Heat may struggle to transfer through carpet.
    • It may restrict what furniture you can use.

Radiator pros

    • Quick to heat up.
    • Easy to use.

Radiator cons

    • Takes up space.
    • Heat rises, so some heat is lost through the ceiling rather than circulating into the room, whereas underfloor heating heats from below.
    • Can look ugly.


So is underfloor heating worth the cost? Or is it only good for warm feet? Underfloor heating can be a bonus, but more often than not the room will still rely on a humble radiator or alternative heat source in addition.