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Is underfloor heating worth it?

Is underfloor heating worth it?
Energy bills have been a big concern for us all over the last couple of years. As tariffs have soared, finding ways to save money on gas and electricity has become a priority – which is why, more and more people have started to consider the possibility of underfloor heating.

A high-spec feature that adds a true touch of luxury to the home. Underfloor heating (UFH) is a great way to take the cold chill off the bathroom floor or heat the lounge on a cold winter’s day. But the reality is, it can be a messy, difficult and expensive thing to install.

So the question is, is it worth the initial outlay and upheaval? Could UFH really save you money in the long run? Or are you best sticking to your old faithful radiators?


Underfloor heating – an expensive but efficient investment

UFH may seem overly luxurious for many households and budgets, and there’s no denying, it is an expensive investment. But in most cases, that investment does turn out to be worthwhile

The cost of the installation will mainly depend on the type of UFH you choose – electric or water-based. Generally speaking, electric underfloor heating is much quicker and easier to install than a water system and therefore tends to be much cheaper in terms of upfront expense.

It can also vary depending on the size of the room and whether you’re having it installed in a new build property or as part of a renovation project for an older house.

According to recent data from, as a ballpark guide, underfloor heating installation and materials from a professional can cost anywhere between £500 to £8,000 (Oct 2023).



New build


Electric underfloor heating

£50-75 per m2

£60-85 per m2

Water underfloor heating

£120-135 per m2

£135-185 per m2



It’s certainly a lot of money. But is it money well spent? If you look at the long-term underfloor heating running costs, it seems the answer is yes.

At first glance, radiators do tend to be cheaper to run – costing approximately 3-4p per hour, compared to 20-30p per hour for electric underfloor heating systems and 15-20p per hour for water-based systems, on average. But the difference is, UFH is much more energy efficient.

Not only does it run at lower temperatures, it also covers a much larger surface area in a much shorter length of time – heating from the floor upwards and distributing heat evenly across the whole room, with no risk of any cold spots or draughts. As a result, UFH is said to be around 20% more efficient than a standard gas central heating system.

Of course, running costs will vary depending on how many rooms you have UFH installed in, the size and insulation of those rooms and whether you’re replacing radiators entirely. But the bottom line is, UFH could potentially save you money on your energy bills long-term, particularly if you choose a water system. And there are actually a few things you can do to help maximise this benefit.



How to maximise the efficiency of your underfloor heating


1. Choose your floor covering wisely

The type of flooring you decide to pair with the system will have a huge impact on its efficiency.

Laminate and vinyl are both great options due to their excellent conductivity. Not only do they warm up quickly, they can reach higher temperatures than other materials and are also slow to cool down.

By comparison, hardwood and carpet act as an insulator. This means they take a little longer to heat up and could potentially use more energy to get the room to the same comfortable temperature.

At the very least, it’s something to keep in mind when making your decision.


2. Invest in the right underlay

Typically, underlay is made to be as soft and thick as possible. These features help to improve underfoot comfort and boost thermal insulation. However, when it comes to UFH, they can have a detrimental effect – creating a barrier and reducing the transfer of heat into your room.

That’s why it’s important to invest in underfloor heating underlay.

Specifically designed for use with electric and water-based underfloor heating, this has a particularly low TOG rating, plus a range of other features intended to maximise the efficiency of the system.

Here at Carpet Underlay Shop, our current recommendations include:


For use with carpet – ThermalStream® Underfloor Heating Carpet Underlay

Underfloor heating underlay for carpets

A revolutionary product.

ThermalStream® is constructed from a unique foam, with a perforated hole structure – which allows heat to transfer quickly from the subfloor into the room.

It also benefits from a very low 1.1 TOG rating, meaning it can be paired with a range of thick and luxurious carpets without reducing the efficiency of the heating system. Yet, measuring 10mm, it’s still one of the thickest underlays for underfloor heating available – offering superior comfort.



For use with wood, laminate and vinyl – Thermal Pro X Multi-Surface Underfloor Heating Underlay

Underfloor heating underlay for wood, laminate and vinyl

Very similar in its design to ThermalStream®, Thermal Pro X has also been made with maximum heat transfer in mind. Thanks to its punched hole structure and extremely low 0.3 TOG, it successfully encourages air circulation and prevents heat from getting trapped beneath the surface.

As such, you should find it much quicker and less energy-consuming to heat your flooring.

It also demonstrates fantastic acoustic properties and will significantly improve underfoot comfort.


3. Have it professionally installed

Underfloor heating installation costs are high – therefore, for those on a budget, it can be tempting to take the DIY route in the hope of saving a little money. But this is very rarely a good idea.

Unless you know what you’re doing, installing UFH yourself can be risky.

It’s a tricky process and very easy for something to go wrong. If it isn’t fitted correctly, there’s a strong chance a fault could occur – potentially leading to significant damage to your property (e.g. leaks, flooding etc). If you’ve already laid the flooring, this can prove very costly to rectify. 

Recruiting the help of a professional will cost more upfront. But they’re skilled and knowledgeable in UFH systems. They can size and install it correctly. Before they leave, they will take the time to explain how it works. And if a problem does occur in the future, it’s their responsibility to put it right.


Flooring with underfloor heating and underlay


Want to learn more about underlay for underfloor heating?

If you’re still deliberating – weighing up the pros and cons of underfloor heating – and have a question about underfloor heating underlay, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

We have excellent knowledge in this area, particularly with respect to the products available in our store and how they could be of benefit. We’re always happy to help and, if you do choose to go ahead with the installation, you can rely on us for the most competitive, affordable prices – with ThermalStream® available for £126.99 per roll and Thermal Pro X priced at just £32.50.

Either give us a call on 0203 887 0994 or send an email to and a member of the team will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible. 


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  • Alex Illidge