Water Underfloor Heating Vs Electric Underfloor Heating



Water underfloor heating and electric underfloor heating are two popular systems for providing radiant heat to indoor spaces. Both systems have advantages and considerations, and the choice between them depends on various factors such as the type of installation, energy efficiency, upfront costs, and the desired level of control. If you are looking for the best Underfloor Heating Company in Ipswich, Superflow UFH is the best place. Let’s compare water underfloor heating and electric underfloor heating:

Water Underfloor Heating:


Water underfloor heating, also known as hydronic underfloor heating, circulates warm water through a network of pipes installed beneath the floor.

Energy Efficiency:

Water underfloor heating can be more energy-efficient than electric underfloor heating, especially when paired with a condensing boiler or a heat pump. The water can be heated at lower temperatures, reducing energy consumption.


Installing water underfloor heating typically requires more extensive work during construction or renovation. It involves laying pipes within the floor structure, making it more suitable for new builds or major renovations.

Heating Response:

Water underfloor heating has a slower response time than electric underfloor heating. It takes longer to warm up and cool down, so it may not be ideal for spaces requiring rapid temperature changes.

Zoning and Control:

Water underfloor heating systems can be divided into multiple zones, allowing different areas of the property to be heated independently. This zoning capability provides better control over heating individual rooms.

Electric Underfloor Heating:


Electric underfloor heating utilises a network of electric cables or heating mats installed beneath the floor. When electricity moves through these elements, they produce heat.

Energy Efficiency:

Electric underfloor heating can be less energy-efficient than water underfloor heating, primarily if the electricity is derived from non-renewable sources. However, advancements in technology have improved the energy efficiency of electric systems.


Electric underfloor heating is more straightforward to install, making it a viable option for both new constructions and retrofitting in existing spaces. The heating elements are thinner and require less floor depth.

Heating Response:

Electric underfloor heating responds quicker, reaching the desired temperature faster than water systems. This rapid response makes it suitable for spaces where instant heat is needed.

Zoning and Control:

Electric underfloor heating can be divided into zones, but it may require additional wiring and thermostats for individual control, which can impact upfront costs.

Can electric underfloor heating be used as a primary source of heat?

Electric underfloor heating can be a primary heat source for specific spaces and situations. While there may be other methods for whole-house heating, it is an effective and efficient solution for specific applications.

Here are some scenarios where electric underfloor heating can be used as a primary heat source:

Single Rooms:

Electric underfloor heating is suitable for heating individual rooms or specific areas within a home. It is commonly used as the primary heat source in bathrooms, kitchens, or smaller living spaces.

Sunrooms and Conservatories:

Sunrooms and conservatories often have limited space for traditional heating methods. Electric underfloor heating can efficiently provide a consistent and comfortable temperature in these spaces.

Retrofit Projects:

Electric underfloor heating is relatively easy to install. It is a popular choice for retrofitting existing homes or spaces where other heating systems may need to be more feasible and cost-effective.

Supplemental Heat:

Electric underfloor heating can sometimes serve as a supplemental heat source in larger rooms or homes with other primary heating systems. It can provide extra warmth in areas not adequately heated by the main heating system.

Energy-Efficient Homes:

Electric underfloor heating can be a viable primary option for homes with excellent insulation and energy efficiency. These well-insulated homes may require less heating capacity, making electric underfloor heating sufficient for maintaining a comfortable temperature.

While electric underfloor heating is practical and convenient, it is essential to consider the space’s specific heating requirements and energy consumption. In colder climates or larger homes, a combination of electric underfloor heating and other heating systems (such as a central heating system) may be more practical and cost-effective as a primary heat source.

Before deciding, it’s advisable to consult with a heating professional company like Superflow UFH or an engineer who can assess your home’s heating needs and recommend the most suitable heating solution for your specific situation.


The choice between water underfloor heating and electric underfloor heating depends on your specific requirements, budget, and existing infrastructure. Water underfloor heating is often favoured for more significant properties and new constructions due to its energy efficiency and zoning capabilities. On the other hand, electric underfloor heating is more straightforward to install and may be preferred for smaller spaces or retrofit projects. Ultimately, both systems provide comfortable and efficient radiant heat, and the decision should be based on individual needs and preferences.

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