Are Radiators or Underfloor Heating Best For Your Home?

When it comes to distributing heat around your home, the choice will almost invariably come down to traditional radiators or underfloor heating solutions.

The latter comes in both wet (network of water pipes) and dry (network of heated cables) variations secured using flow screed and able to efficiently warm your home, whilst the former is a series of heat emitters fitted in each room that spread heat around.

Exactly which solution is best for you can depend largely on your existing heating system, your boiler, the size and shape of a room, as well as other factors such as allergies, installation time and thermal efficiency.

When initially installing a new heating system, radiators are typically simpler and easier to set up, although certain dry underfloor systems can be installed by someone competent at DIY work.

Retrofitting a wet underfloor system is in some cases more expensive than it is worth, as in some cases you may need to dig up the floor to lay down the pipework.

With that said, underfloor heating using a heat pump is the most efficient heating option, with an even temperature around a room and a lower flow temperature needed than a radiator, which is often much warmer to ensure the far side of the room is heated as well.

In terms of affordability, which heating solution is best depends on a range of different factors. Radiators are easier and therefore cheaper to install, are cheaper and easier to repair, but wet underfloor systems can last considerably longer and are more efficient overall.

For a new build or a substantial renovation of a property, a wet underfloor system is the most efficient choice, especially with effective insulation allowing for less wasted heat.

However, if a home already has radiators, seek advice from a professional before installing underfloor heating, as it may not necessarily be worth it in the short term.