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Underfloor heating versus radiators

Whether you’re building a new property, upgrading, or simply want to re-evaluate how you heat your home or business, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to the question of underfloor heating versus radiators.

Although people think of underfloor heating as a modern invention, the principle was actually used by the Romans to heat their bath houses. Conventional radiators, on the other hand, have been around since the 1930s. But which is better?

The first point to explain is the two different heating methods involved.

Radiant heating: Underfloor heating uses radiant heat which makes a room feel warm throughout as the warm or hot water in the pipes heats the floor above. The floor covering, whether that be stone, tile, laminate or an appropriate carpet, grabs that heat and in turn heats objects in the room.

Convection heating: Radiators use convection heating which heats the air around the radiator causing it to rise towards the ceiling where it cools and drops back down towards the radiators, where it can be heated again.

Heat distribution

The resulting distribution of heat, and level of comfort throughout a room, from these two methods is very different.

While underfloor heating spreads heat evenly throughout the home, leaving you toasty warm wherever you are, radiators produce hot and cold spots. This usually means getting uncomfortably hot near to the radiators as you desperately try to heat the cold spots in the middle of rooms.

Energy efficiency

Radiant heat is more energy efficient than convection heating. If you’re using a wet system, the water circulating under the floor can heat the room at a much lower temperature and therefore requires a lot less energy to heat the space. This means your energy bills will be lower.

Space and practicality

As well as the luxurious feeling of being lovely and warm wherever you are in your home or place of work, the other big bonus of underfloor heating is the space you gain from not having radiators on the walls. Although you can now buy more attractive, slimmer radiators, you’re still restricted in how you furnish a room. As underfloor heating is hidden and concealed under the floor, you’re free to use all the walls in a room which is not only more practical, but it also looks better as well. And can you imagine being able to decorate a room without having to take a radiator off the wall or force a paintbrush behind it?!


In addition to the long-term investment in energy savings, underfloor heating can also help you command a higher price for your house should you wish to sell. It could just be the USP that sets your property apart from the competition. Not only will your house offer more flexible layout options, it will also be cheaper to heat.


This is an often-overlooked benefit of underfloor heating versus radiators. Because underfloor heating uses radiant heat, it doesn’t move and circulate the air like radiators do. Circulated air means circulated dust mites which can feel unpleasant, especially for people with asthma, allergies and skin conditions. Cold, damp spots caused by radiators also provide the perfect breeding ground for mites and other bugs.


Underfloor heating is one of the easiest heating systems to install. While it might be wise to seek professional help on choosing or designing a system that’s tailored to your home, you can easily do it yourself with our underfloor heating kits.

And with our new, ultra thin retro fit underfloor heating system, any home or business can now easily retrospectively fit underfloor heating, without having to dig up the entire floor.


If installed correctly, there is little that can go wrong with underfloor heating, saving you lots of time and hassle throughout its lifetime. This means no annual servicing, no bleeding the system because air has become trapped inside, no changing of rusty radiators and so on. All it needs is a few system checks now and again.

As one of the UK’s leading suppliers of underfloor heating systems, you could rightly expect us to say that underfloor heating is best. However, we are so confident in this that our pipe is backed by an impressive 50-year guarantee, giving you peace of mind and lasting confidence in your choice.

Speak to one of our expert advisors for more information about underfloor heating.

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