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  • Lisa Gardener

A quick comparison between underfloor heating and radiators

Updated: Oct 17, 2019

Underfloor Heating


  • Underfloor heating operates at a lower temperature than a radiator-based system, making it more efficient

  • As underfloor heating does not need high water temperatures to operate, it is particularly well suited to heat pumps

  • Underfloor heating frees up wall space, giving greater flexibility with the placement of furniture and the interior design

  • It distributes an even heat throughout the room/space, meaning no cold spots - creating a comfortable living environment


  • It is not as instantaneous as radiators (depending on the set up); although, conversely, radiators also cool down faster

  • The floor finish needs some consideration

  • An underfloor heating system arguably requires more planning and needs to be properly installed to ensure it runs at optimum efficiency



  • Radiators are quick to respond to desired changes in room temperature

  • Radiators are a familiar option and well understood by almost all heating engineers and plumbers

  • They are typically cheaper to buy and install

  • Can offer a place to hang towels etc in bathrooms

  • Radiators are comparatively less disruptive to install in existing homes with radiator-based systems

  • Work well with an existing boiler


  • Radiators do not distribute an even heat throughout the room, which can result in cool spots

  • They cool down quicker than underfloor heating

  • They are less efficient

  • They take up wall space, which can provide less scope for window/door placement and furniture layout

  • Cheap radiators can distract from the aesthetic of a room. That said, "designer" radiators may complement the overall interior design scheme


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