Underfloor heating versus radiators
8 April 2019
Selecting the right home heating system is a big decision and there’s a lot to consider when choosing between underfloor heating and radiators. Whatever heating system you go for, it should be chosen dependent on your own needs and lifestyle. However, the style of your house and budget will be major influencers on what’s most practical.
The aesthetic and practical difference of installing underfloor heating or radiators
With a little thought, you can achieve the look you’re after within the tightest budget but there are practical considerations when choosing between the two heat sources. For instance, both radiators and underfloor heating is available in wet and dry (electric). Electric is typically more expensive whichever is selected - so this article helps you consider the difference of installing underfloor heating versus radiators more generally.
Why underfloor heating is more popular than radiators in Europe
Underfloor heating is more typical than radiators in European countries where the weather is more consistent and predictable. Typically the whole house has a stone or tiled floor and you can turn the heating off from May to October. Although room zoning is often sold as an underfloor heating benefit, modern designer radiator valves provide the thermostatic control in much the same way.
Why radiators are more popular than underfloor heating in the UK
Here in Blighty, you often need the flexibility of heat for a single day here and there. Underfloor heating can take time to heat the room as it first needs to heat up whatever floor covering is in place. Radiators are much more responsive, as their metal fabrication is selected on its heat conductivity - so they start heating the room within minutes. Most houses in the UK have a mixture of floor coverings and carpet is still very popular.
When to choose underfloor heating over radiators
Underfloor heating is hidden beneath your floor allowing for clean lines and an open flow throughout your home that isn’t interrupted by radiators. If it can be left on consistently, then underfloor heating will provide a good economic source of heat evenly distributed throughout the room. But you will be limited on the floor covering options. This is because the best flooring for underfloor heating needs good conductivity. It needs to heat up and radiate the heat, which is why stone and tiled floors are preferable.
When to choose radiators over underfloor heating
Most people are put off having underfloor heating because of its high installation price, particularly in older houses. In older buildings creating the right conditions under the floor can take time and cause major upheaval. There are hundreds of design options when it comes to radiators, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can’t get something to suit your interior scheme. There’s a wealth of attractive designer radiators to help you choose something a little more stylish for your living space.