Water vs Electric Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating is becoming an increasingly popular way to heat homes – it’s energy efficient, cheaper to run and frees up space allowing more freedom to create your interiors. However, once you’ve decided to heat your home this way, all you have to do after that is choose what system to go for. Do you go for a water-based system or an electric? This is where we come in.

We’ll be diving into Underfloor Heating, including both Electric and Water heating options whilst also giving you the pros and cons of both systems to give you the information you need to make the best decision for your home.


The difference between Radiators and Underfloor Heating is firstly, with traditional radiators, they distribute heat unevenly throughout a room heating the air above and around the radiator at a much higher temperature, causing the warm air to rise. However, with Underfloor Heating, it provides an even temperature that produces radiant heat to make you feel warm whilst improving efficiency with energy and space.

Cost is sometimes what it bows down to, and you’ll need to weigh up your installation costs – plumber over electrician and also running costs over a longer period of time. We would also recommend that you undertake a heat loss calculation so you can choose a system that provides more heat output than the maximum heat loss.

Overall, Underfloor Heating allows you to control the heat in every room, doesn’t cause draughts unlike radiators and reduces airborne dust (a relief for those with allergies!) Whilst being virtually maintenance free, doesn’t it sound great?

Now let’s explore the differences between the two Underfloor Heating Systems…


Water-fed systems are generally better for ground floor usage, and larger areas to achieve better energy efficiency. The way they operate is through a series of pipes connected to your boiler that pump heated water in underfloor circuits. These are laid within or on top of the subfloor beneath your floor finish.

Polypipe Underfloor Heating has a water-based pipe system that is guaranteed for 12 months with the pipes guaranteed for 50 years, giving you longevity & security.

You have a range of thermostat controls so you can precisely set the temperature in every room and the heat will distribute evenly throughout your rooms and saving you energy costs – you’ll have complete control over your homes heating, room by room!

Polypipe offer a wide range of Underfloor Heating Systems with a product available for every conceivable floor type or residential heating project.


With John Guest Speedfit Underfloor Heating it has hot water pumped from a boiler to a pump pack, where it is mixed to approximately 50C then distributed via a manifold to heating circuits made using Speedfit Barrier Pipe.

With this Underfloor Heating option, they offer a heating control concept which is their unique 4-in-1 thermostat for the remote regulation of underfloor heating, hot water & radiators.

You can reduce your fuel bills and energy consumption with individual and multi room control which can be monitored anywhere and at any time with the free JG Aura App.

Ultimately, Water systems do take longer to install than electric systems and can be more expensive to install however, can be cheaper to run in the long run! These are all factors you should consider when making the right decision for you.

Now you know about Water-fed Underfloor Heating, let’s go onto Electric heating so you know all the facts to make the best decision for your home!


Much like Water-fed Underfloor Heating, with Electric you also get the evenly distributed heat throughout the room, radiating warmth from the floor up, eliminating cold spots. Unlike the water based underfloor heating and convectional heating, you don’t need to leave electric underfloor heating on for long periods for it to keep you warm. As it is very responsive, it’ll heat up quickly when you need it, and turn off when you don’t.

Additionally, if you are making this decision based on a new build, you will be able to go for one or the other. But, if your retro fitting to an existing property then you'll need to ensure that you have the right floor heights to install one system over the other. Electric based systems tend to be better for renovating as the floor heights aren't such an issue.

Electric Underfloor Heating works by sending electricity through heating cables connected to a mains supply. It is very inexpensive to install and with no pipework, easy to install too. But, it may be slightly higher in cost to run – but it’s worth it!
ThermoSphere’s Electric Underfloor Heating, consists of the first heating mesh system to feature a fully self-adhesive element. This element speeds up installation making it easier for self-levelling and tile fixing. ThermoSphere Mesh can be installed in any living space and under most floor finishes, making your interior design options vast.

They have a unique, twin twisted stress free cable construction for a longer lasting cable with zero electromagnetic field. This system reaches optimum heat levels faster and will heat your room to the full.

ThermoSphere state that their ‘Underfloor Heating costs less than one average takeaway coffee to run 2m² of electric underfloor heating for one month and is guaranteed for a lifetime!’ 

Both of these systems are worthy candidates for any home, whether Electric or Water-fed Underfloor Heating, it is down to what works for you and your space! But, we think Underfloor Heating is the perfect addition to any home especially during these cold months and if you think so too, get in touch here.

The above article was published on 11th November 2020, and is subject to change and further guidance.