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Underfloor Heating vs Radiators

I don’t know why we put up with radiators for so long – I’ll never go back!

We hear this all the time from people living with underfloor heating.

In the past, radiators have always been the obvious choice for heating a room, but UFH is now so versatile it can be installed – and enjoyed – in virtually any home. This gives rise to a couple of questions; underfloor heating or radiators; which is the best option for me, and can radiators replace underfloor heating altogether?

Underfloor heating can be used in any room of your property. With a wide range of underfloor heating options, from low profile underfloor heating, electric UFH and wet UFH systems, you can find the perfect solution for your heating needs. We do understand however, that there may be situations where you prefer to keep existing radiators in some areas of your home.

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Why not email us or give us a call on 01404 549770 to talk things through?

Underfloor heating vs radiators: different build types

Combining underfloor heating and radiators in a home renovation

Renovated room underfloor heating

It doesn’t always have to be a question of underfloor heating vs radiators; it is possible to combine the two. You may not be in a position to rethink the heating for your whole home, or you may just want to keep some of your current radiators. The two systems can work hand in hand to effectively heat your home.

Maybe you want to avoid the disruption of removing your existing radiators, or perhaps there is no budget to replace your entire heating system. With so many flexible retrofit underfloor heating (UFH) systems on offer, the possibilities for hybrid UFH and radiator systems are increasing.

Thanks to these developments, there is no longer a need to choose one system for your entire property. Underfloor heating and radiators can both be successfully installed in different areas of a property to create a flexible and efficient heating system. By Installing a radiator manifold, you can control your entire home’s heating system from a single app, radiators and underfloor heating alike.

Underfloor heating vs radiators in an existing build

Choosing between UFH and radiators in an existing building depends on the scale of the renovation being undertaken. Taking up floors in order to install certain UFH systems can be a big job therefore, if the floor was not on your ‘to do’ list for the renovation, you may think that underfloor heating is not the best option for you. You should however consider retrofit UFH systems, such as LoPro® – it’s quickly and easily laid on top of the existing floor, helping to minimise the disruption to your home.

If there are plans to extend the property in the near future and it currently has radiators, you have the choice to stick with your existing radiators or to install a future-proofing UFH system (allowing for extra ports on the manifold so that UFH can also be installed within the extension). In either case, you may need to upgrade the insulation levels in older buildings for the property to stay snug.

Read some of our underfloor heating case studies for renovations

Underfloor heating vs radiators when renovating a single room

Retrofit underfloor heating

When it comes to renovating a single room, the choice between underfloor heating or radiators comes down to how the room will be used.

  • It is a myth that if the property already has radiators throughout, and the new room will be a bedroom, a radiator is likely to be the cheaper and easier option. UFH is ideal for bedrooms and can even help to save you money. Find out more about the costs of underfloor heating.
  • Kitchen and living space renovations are particularly well suited to UFH, freeing up wall space and offering a touch of luxury, especially if tiles or wood flooring will be used.

Underfloor heating vs radiators in a new extension

Rather than disrupting your whole home, you may want to install UFH in a new extension, while keeping radiators in the rest of your home. As extensions must be built to current building regulation standards, there will be plenty of insulation present. This means it will be suitable for most underfloor heating systems, depending on the sub-floor.

In this scenario, UFH can be installed without the need to replace or disrupt the existing radiator system. It can even run off of the existing radiator circuit – great for new kitchens or living spaces.

When adding a new extension, a single pack of screed UFH is cost-effective, simple to install and offers considerably more benefits than a radiator system.

Read some of our underfloor heating case studies for extensions

Adding underfloor heating alongside an existing radiator system

Combining radiators underfloor heating

It’s easy to install underfloor heating alongside an existing radiator system. UFH can be fitted on all floor areas, or in a single room such as a bathroom or extension.

But how is UFH controlled alongside an existing radiator system? The type of underfloor heating system you choose – either standard screed or a retrofit system – will affect this:

  • If the UFH is a standard screed or floating floor system it will work at its best with independent control from the radiators. This caters for the difference in heat-up time.
  • If the UFH is a retrofit system, like LoPro®Max, that offers a high heat output run UFH directly from the existing radiator circuit. This solution heats up and cools down similar to a traditional radiator system and is simple to control, using the existing time clock.

Underfloor heating radiators both

Underfloor heating vs radiators in new build properties

In a new build, you need to consider whether it’s worthwhile installing radiators at all.

Underfloor heating is easily installed as part of the build schedule and it is also cost-effective, offering far more benefits than a radiator system at comparable running costs.

You could even save money on your energy bills as underfloor heating is up to 25% more efficient than radiators. Open plan living is often a key feature in new build design, meaning underfloor heating is likely the more desirable solution.

Take a look at some of our underfloor heating in new build case studies

Underfloor heating is best for renewables and environmentally-friendly homes

New build underfloor heating

Interested in creating a more energy efficient, green and eco-friendly property?

Standard radiators are at a disadvantage when it comes to their compatibility with renewable heat sources, such as air source and ground source heat pumps. For a radiator to heat a room, using the lower flow temperatures of a heat pump, it would have to be oversized, taking up more wall space.

In this type of scenario, UFH will always come out on top.

UFH is around 40% more efficient than radiators when paired with a heat pump, as it uses a much lower water temperature than required by radiators.

Find out more about Nu-Heat’s range of renewable energy solutions

Underfloor Heating VS Radiators: Pros and Cons

Underfloor Heating Pros Underfloor Heating Cons
No cold spots or draughts Initial purchasing cost can be higher
25% more energy efficient May be new to you
Lovely warm heated floor
Frees up wall space
No exposed hot surfaces or sharp corners
Complete interior design freedom
Radiator Pros Radiator Cons
Your home probably already has them Uneven heat, draughts and cold spots
Everyone knows what to expect Ugly and take up wall space
Quick blasts of focused heat Exposed unsafe hot surfaces
Not very energy efficient

Underfloor heating gives you the freedom to enjoy your home.

How we heat our homes affects how we live in them. If you find your chilly kitchen is a no-go zone, frequently abandon your comfy sofa to fight for the hot-spot by the radiator, and discover yourself reaching for an extra blanket – it’s time to break free from bad heating.

Don’t let radiators spoil your fun. Reclaim your space and replace radiators with UFH.

Underfloor heating windows

Warm water underfloor heating gives you the freedom to enjoy every last inch of your home, meaning you can place fixtures and fittings where you please. We believe that underfloor heating is the best way to heat your home – and here is why.

  1. It doesn’t cramp your style: Underfloor heating frees your walls. You’ll never have to place a sofa at a jaunty angle or compromise on your interior design ever again. You can even hide thermostats away and control the entire system from your smartphone or tablet. Even with a standard dial thermostat, only one is required in each zone – far less intrusive than at least one radiator in every room. UFH is particularly well suited to open plan living.
  2. Reclaim your space: Cast off your fluffy slippers and put the champagne on ice – your cold kitchen just became the perfect entertaining space. Every part of room is toasty when you choose underfloor heating. No draughts, no cold spots and no need for socks!
  3. Enviously efficient: The great thing about underfloor heating is that it feels fantastic and frees up your home whilst still being incredibly efficient. Up to 25% more efficient than an equivalent radiator system*. *EURay 2005

Future-proof and try open plan living with underfloor heating

The biggest advantage radiators have is that they are familiar. Installers generally all know how to install a radiator system and every homeowner knows what to expect when it comes to performance. Radiators work, and will continue to work, in many properties.

Underfloor heating kitchen

However, one of the downsides is that they are not suitable for open plan living. In a large open plan kitchen-dining area, there could be bi-fold doors, kitchen units and appliances, leaving just a small section of wall space for a radiator.

In this case, it’s unlikely that the radiator would be able to sufficiently heat the room – there just isn’t enough wall space for the size of radiator that would be needed. With more homeowners opting for open plan living, this is a problem.

Choose heating as it should be

Whatever the age, size or construction of your home, chances are it’s suitable for underfloor heating.

Underfloor heating renovation

Whether you’re plotting an extension, tackling a new build or giving your existing home a complete overhaul, your heating should be designed to be a perfect fit. There’s no guesswork with UFH – everything is calculated for you, so you know that the system will perform.

Designing a tailored underfloor heating solution for your home

We will work out heat loss calculations for every room, designing your tailor-made underfloor heating system to ensure super-efficient, sensational snugness throughout your home. Every system Nu-Heat supplies considers room sizes, floor coverings and how rooms are used day-to-day.

Underfloor heating is easier to install than radiators

Another big pro for underfloor heating is that it really is simple to install with a clear, comprehensive instruction manual – some homeowners even lay the UFH tubes themselves and leave the plumber to pressure test and commission the system.

UFH also requires less supply pipework from the boiler than a radiator system. You only need to run a flow and return to the manifold/s, rather than to the whole radiator system, making for an easier installation. Why not request a site visit to discuss options for your project?

Over 60 different underfloor heating solutions

With over 60 different floor constructions available, UFH is a very flexible solution that can be installed in any type of property It can be installed:

  • Throughout the whole house
  • On just one floor level
  • In a single room such as a bathroom, kitchen or new extension

New retrofit systems that are laid over an existing floor make UFH an exciting option for renovation projects. They can be installed very quickly and cause minimal disruption to existing fixtures and fittings. You can even opt for wireless thermostats to avoid chasing wires up walls.

Still not sure on the best solution for the project?

Call 01404 540650 or email info@nu-heat.co.uk and one of our team will be happy to help.

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