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Underfloor Heating vs Radiators - What You Need To Know

UFH & Radiator Heating diagram

When it comes to heating your home, there are several options available including electric underfloor heating, water underfloor heating and traditional radiators. Choosing the right one for your home can be a daunting task. There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing between underfloor heating and radiators, from aesthetics to energy efficiency and cost. In this article, we will take a closer look at the pros and cons of underfloor heating versus radiators to help you make an informed decision.

Radiators have traditionally been used as the standard heating system in UK homes, however, underfloor heating has become more popular, offering a more luxurious heating option in people's homes. Whether in a new build or a renovation project, installing underfloor heating can be a viable option. The main areas of comparison between underfloor heating and radiators are heat distribution, comfort and air quality, cost efficiency, aesthetics and zoned heating.

Heat distribution

Underfloor heating is generally considered more efficient than radiators for heat distribution. One of the key differences between underfloor heating and radiators is how they distribute heat throughout your home. Radiators work by heating the air around them, which then rises and circulates throughout the room. This can result in uneven heating and cold spots in the room. On the other hand, both cables using underfloor heating mats and underfloor heating pipes distribute heat evenly across the entire floor, creating a comfortable and consistent temperature throughout the room. Due to the heat being distributed across the entire floor, the room will retain heat for longer, even after the heating has been turned off.

Another advantage of underfloor heating is that it can save you money on your heating bills. Underfloor heating operates at a lower temperature than radiators, making it more energy-efficient. This means you can heat your home for long periods without worrying as much about the cost. However, one disadvantage of underfloor heating is that it can, depending on the system, take longer to heat up than radiators.


Something to consider when deciding between underfloor heating and radiators is the aesthetic of your home. Radiators can be bulky and take up a lot of space, which can be a problem if you have limited room in your home for furnishings. On the other hand, underfloor heating is hidden beneath the floor, so you don’t have to worry about it taking up any valuable space.

Furthermore, underfloor heating is ideal for those who want a minimalist and modern look in their home. With no visible radiators, you can create a sleek and streamlined look that is perfect for contemporary interiors. As underfloor heating does not take up any floor or wall space it does not restrict the placement of furniture meaning it gives complete design freedom. It is worth noting that underfloor heating can be more expensive to install than radiators. This is because it requires more work to install the heating elements beneath the floor, plus any installation of decoupling matting or insulation boards.

Zoned heating

In most cases, underfloor heating can be set up in zones from room to room, with an underfloor heating thermostat controlling each specific zone. This allows heating to be supplied to the room when required, which in turn reduces the amount of energy needed. On the contrary, radiators are often based on one central thermostat meaning they heat up throughout the entire house at once.

Underfloor Heating Manifolds act as the central control point for your water underfloor heating system, allowing precise temperature adjustments in different zones of your home, making it easy to customise your comfort level.

What should you choose?

Ultimately, the decision between underfloor heating and radiators will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you want a more energy-efficient and consistent heating system, underfloor heating may be the best option for you. However, if you are on a tight budget and want a quick heat source, radiators may be the better option.

Underfloor heating is more energy-efficient, provides even heat distribution, and is maintenance-free. However, it is more expensive to install than radiators. Radiators are cheaper to install, but their energy consumption can be costly over time, and they require more maintenance. Ultimately, the decision between the two systems will depend on your preferences, budget, and the size and layout of your home.

If you’re ready to install underfloor heating in your home, why not browse our full range of electric underfloor heating kits, cables, thermostats and more today!