Electric underfloor heating vs water underfloor heating

Underfloor Heating is a luxurious yet energy efficient way of heating your home. It is an increasingly popular solution and alternative to the conventional radiator method - requiring a lower temperature for the same room heating effects. 

As winter dawns you may be looking at alternative solutions to heating your home. Your main options for heating a room or house with underfloor heating are electric underfloor heating and water underfloor heating. 


Electric underfloor heating uses heating mats or wire coils powered by the mains electricity supply. These coils and heat mats convert electricity into heat energy to heat up a room. 

Water underfloor heating takes water heated by your boiler and pumps it through a series of pipes, sometimes referred to as circuits. This network of pipes is usually laid just below your finished floor.

What comes out on top?

Unfortunately, there’s no straight forward answer to this. Electric vs Water based underfloor heating depends on individual circumstances. Below, we go through the benefits and disadvantages of each. 

Electric vs water underfloor heating running costs 

There’s a clear winner in the efficiency category with the crown going to water underfloor heating. Dependent of course on the efficiency of your boiler, of which most modern forms can run at over 90% efficiency. Water based underfloor heating is a fantastic way to save on monthly energy costs.


Electric underfloor heating is still a contender, with the running costs not falling too far behind the water based option. This of course depends on the size of the room you want to heat. 

Electric vs water underfloor heating Installation costs 

Electric underfloor heating is not out of the fight yet with the installation costs beating out water based solutions due to the less disruptive fitting method. Water underfloor heating requires a longer more in-depth process, which involves connecting pipes networks to your central heating system. 


It all depends on the scale of the project

Due to the simple installation but lower efficiency of electric underfloor heating, it is recommended for smaller rooms, which end up taking less energy to heat. This kind of heating suits smaller projects due to the fact that installation is fast and does not involve increasing the floor height in your home. Electric underfloor heating also keeps the initial installation costs low due to the faster installation process. 

Water underfloor heating is generally better for larger spaces due to superior efficiency. This form of heating suits larger renovation projects that span across multiple rooms due to the potential rise in floor height. If you are planning to renovate an entire floor or building, it’s a great time to get water underfloor heating installed to avoid an otherwise disruptive and lengthy installation process. It’s also good to note that there are lower profile systems available that have less impact on floor height. 

What’s the verdict?

There’s no doubt that underfloor heating has won over the traditional radiator in both efficiency and convenience but the choice between electric and water underfloor heating is a tighter one. The information provided here is designed to help you make a more informed decision on which direction to go. Whichever side of the fence you end up on, it’s always recommended to opt for a trusted underfloor heating installer to complete the work. 

Get in touch for electric or water underfloor heating installation

Careys Plumbing & Gas Ltd are experienced underfloor heating installers and fit both electric and water underfloor heating to homes throughout Sutton Coldfield, Tamworth, Birmingham and Castle Bromwich. You can find out more about our underfloor heating installation service here. To enquire today call us on 0121 2889944, email us at careygas@outlook.com or fill out our websites contact form.