Electric underfloor heating pros and cons for homeowners

Posted: August 2020

Do you dream of feeling warmth underfoot on a frosty winter morning? Or are you looking for some added luxury for your bathroom renovation? If you’re researching electric underfloor heating pros and cons, you’re not alone. The underfloor heating market is expected to grow by 4-6% annually between 2020-2024.

The way electric underfloor heating works is simple. You can install a system beneath your flooring to distribute gentle, even waves of heat into a room. These systems consist of wiring or mats which generate heat when connected to mains electricity. You can turn them on and control their temperature using a programmable thermostat.

But is it the right choice for your bathroom? Read information on electric underfloor heating pros and cons, cost, and installation below.

Advantages of electric underfloor heating 


Perhaps the first benefit on most homeowner’s minds is the sense of luxury and comfort it adds to your bathroom – particularly on stone or tile flooring on chilly mornings. It can also add value to your property as many buyer’s see it as a desirable, high-tech feature.

Electric underfloor heating warms a space more evenly than a traditional heating system, preventing cold or overly hot spots, while heating objects from the ground up. It’s especially energy efficient when used alongside solar power and battery storage systems.

Extra design space

Installing underfloor heating frees up wall and floor space by removing the need for radiators. This can then be used for extra design and décor or to simply create a more spacious feel.

Electric systems can be installed in new builds and retrofit projects with almost any type of flooring. If you are adding electric underfloor heating to multiple rooms in your home, you can also split a system into zones to heat different areas at different times.

Disadvantages of electric underfloor heating 


While far simpler, faster, and cheaper to install than water underfloor heating, you may still need to be prepared for some upheaval if retrofitting. You’ll need to clear the floor and potentially raise it to accommodate the system and extra insulation - though this impact is usually minimal as electric systems are compact. If applying a self-levelling compound, you’ll need to leave time for it to dry before adding your floor covering.

Time taken to heat up

Electric underfloor heating can take longer to warm up than traditional central heating. This shouldn’t be an issue however if you plan ahead and set it to come on with a timer.   

Electric underfloor heating systems are relatively cheap to buy and install depending on the size and shape of the area you’re working with. They typically make most sense for single, small rooms. 

Your overall cost could include the cables or mats, controls, insulation, and labour. Labour costs are typically minor as most systems can be installed in as little as 30 minutes. You can even do it yourself if you feel confident enough - in which case you’ll only need to hire a suitably qualified electrician to safely connect yours to the mains.

Is electric underfloor heating expensive to run?
Though cheaper to install, electric systems are usually more expensive to run than water systems. In spaces less than around 15sqm however this incremental cost is very small. 

Knowing how to use electric underfloor heating efficiently helps. Rather than turning it on full blast when you get up, it’s best to be gentle with the temperature dial and set it to come on earlier than you need it.


Electric underfloor heating is suitable for new build or retrofit projects. 

With both, installation will typically involve measuring your bathroom area and factoring in any fixtures or fittings to make a rough plan of what needs to be covered. The floor should then be prepared and insulated in advance of laying the wire or mat network. 

The best way to prepare the floor and the type of heating system you use will depend on the floor type and whereabouts it is in your home. You may want to seek professional advice in this early stage. Once decided, laying the system itself should be relatively simple when following product instructions.  

You’ll need to hire a professional electrician to connect your underfloor heating to the mains supply and add thermostat controls. Your system will need to be signed off in line with relevant government building regulations - which in England is 
Approved Document P. This won’t take long. 

Finally, you can lay your surface flooring on top, set your timer, and wait to feel the warmth kick in.  

How much does electric underfloor heating raise the floor level?
You can install electric underfloor heating into a screeded floor as part of a new build or house extension project with no impact on floor height. If it’s a retrofit project and you’re adding insulation, you may need to raise the floor by between 2-10mm depending on its thickness. This is less than you would with a bulkier water-based underfloor heating system.

Buying electric underfloor heating with The Bathroom Showroom

This blog aims to give you the information you need on electric underfloor heating pros and cons and other common questions. And whatever the type of system you’re looking to add to your bathroom, we can help there too. 

We stock a range of products from leading brands, including cable kits, heated floor mats, insulation panels, and smart controls. 
Speak to your local Showroom Manager today to find your electric underfloor heating solution.

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