Come along as we journey into the fascinating world of radiant floor heating. We’ll compare underfloor heating with the traditional radiator, explore its numerous advantages, and discuss some disadvantages. If you are considering switching to radiant floor heating, you’ve come to the perfect place.

How Does Radiant In-Floor Heating Work, and What Is It?

Underfloor heating, often known as radiant floor heating, is a type of heating. Unlike traditional heating systems that release heat through radiators, radiant floor heating is installed beneath the floor to heat the whole space uniformly.

electric vs hydronic in-floor heaters

Radiant floor heating is classified into water underfloor heating and electric underfloor heating. Radiant in-floor heating work with heating pumps circulating hot water from the boiler through tubes to warm the space. On the other hand, electric underfloor heating transfers energy through wires to produce the same effect.

Below we will discuss the two types of radiant floor heating in more detail.

Electric radiant in-floor heating

How does Electric radiant in-floor heating work

Electric Radiant Heat heats the floor using electric heating wires or heat mats. Installation is rapid and low-energy. Considering how electric radiant in-floor heating works, running this system might be more expensive. However, the cost of power in your area still determines the cost-effectiveness of running the system in your place.

Electric radiant heat may be incorporated into an existing home if the floor joists can be accessed. Regular maintenance is not necessary. However, it is recommended.

Electric radiant heat employs zig-zag loops of resistance wire and is often adapted to a single room. When deciding which area to install electric radiant heat in, the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room are frequently at the top of the list.

The flooring in these rooms is often tile, hardwood, laminate, or vinyl. Considering how electric radiant in-floor heating works, these are the places where radiant heat feels the most comfortable on the feet. It functions similarly to a driveway snow-melting system.

Electrical wires and sensors that detect snow development based on temperature and other variables are put beneath your driveway to melt the snow in your driveway. The wires instantly heat up, melting the snow and cleaning your driveway.

hydronic radiant in-floor heating work

How hydronic radiant in-floor heating work

Hydronic systems employ heating pipes beneath the floor that are heated by a boiler system that transports hot water. Long-term warm-water radiant floors are approximately three times less expensive to operate than their electric counterparts.

So this approach is less expensive than utilizing electricity to heat the floor, but the installation is more costly. When heating the entire house, the hydronic electric radiant in-floor heating works better in new construction than in older structures. This form of radiant heat does need routine maintenance.

When installing radiant floor heat, you should consider heating zones. This makes it easy to regulate the quantity of heat distributed to different rooms. Electric or hydronic radiant floor heat is more energy efficient than forced air heat, and you won’t have frigid flooring or cold air pockets around your house.

Radiant In-Floor Heating Work vs. Radiators

Radiant In-Floor Heating Function vs. Radiators

The most frequent kind of heating is central heating. It functions by transferring warm water from the boiler to the radiator. The radiator then radiates heat into the room, warming it. The difficulty with radiators is that they tend to make one region of the room warmer than another.

If you walk into different spots of the room and feel cold, you may either turn up the thermostat in the hope that the heat will go further, use a plug-in electrical heater, or put on extra layers of clothes. Two alternatives would increase your energy consumption, and all three are inconvenient.

What is the solution? Considering how in-floor heaters work, the entire room is heated evenly and effectively, so you can say goodbye to being cold because you aren’t sitting near the radiator.

Contrary to popular assumption, radiant floor heating does more than only heat the floor. Because hot air rises, you can be confident that your radiant floor system will warm the entire space up.

Furthermore, radiant heating on the floor requires just temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees to be effective. Radiators, on the other hand, must be adjusted to a higher temperature, often between 60 and 80 degrees. Radiant floor heating is, therefore, beneficial for both your carbon footprint and your energy expenses.

However, we do not have to eliminate radiators from our life fully. Radiant floor heaters and radiators can coexist.

advantages of the Radiant Floor Heating systems

What are the advantages of the Radiant Floor Heating system?

Radiant floor heating has several advantages, including saving space, money, and the environment. Take a peek at our top seven.

With the method of radiant in-floor heating works, they improve the style & use of space

Radiant in-floor heating is beneath the floor, making it virtually unnoticeable. This implies that the location of the radiator does not influence your interior design.

You have a lot more creative flexibility when it comes to decorating and organizing your furnishings. As a consequence, rooms will appear more spacious as well as attractive, modern, and sophisticated.

Considering how radiant in-floor heating works, they provide flexibility

Radiant floor heating may be put in any type of house, whether new or old, upstairs or downstairs, and in new construction, additions, or restorations.

Install it in a single room or across the house – the option is yours. Radiant floor heating is conditioned by your requirements rather than the other way around. It is also suitable with most floor materials, including wood, carpet, tiles, laminate, and vinyl.

The system of the radiant in-floor heating works is energy efficient

Radiators are 25% less efficient than warm-water radiant floor heating. The radiant in-floor heating works about 40% more efficiently when combined with a heat pump. The fact that radiant floor heating heats a room more effectively while covering a bigger surface area than radiators at a lower temperature is fairly astounding.

This is advantageous for your energy bill as well. Your monthly payment will decrease since less energy is used to heat the space.


This brings us to our second point: radiant floor heating is better for the environment since it is more energy efficient. Installing an underfloor heating system will assist you in minimizing your carbon footprint by lowering your carbon emissions.

The way radiant in-floor heating work makes it a safe option

Unlike radiators, no sharp edges or boiling points may injure young children or the elderly. Even though they heat from the bottom up, heated floors are never overly hot or unpleasant to walk on. They will, nevertheless, make cold floors seem warm and pleasant to walk on – especially in the morning!

Low maintenance

It’s mostly easy sailing after you’ve installed your radiant heating system. A smart thermostat allows you to manage the temperature and set a heating plan.

So you don’t need to manually switch it on each time you wish to use it. Get radiant floor systems that include lifelong technical support and warranty protection for more peace of mind.

in-floor heating installation

Are there any Disadvantages to Radiant Floor Heating?

Now that we’ve looked at the advantages of radiant floor heating, it’s time to consider the disadvantages. Like any other product, radiant floor heating has advantages and disadvantages. And, while the benefits outnumber the problems, it would be unfair to let you go without addressing the negatives.

Most of the disadvantages of radiant floor heating are related to installation logistics rather than how radiant in-floor heating work and operate, but let’s look at them in more detail.

Purchase cost

The radiant floor heating cost may vary depending on various circumstances, but it will be costly.

But on the other hand, it is one of the home improvements that may add value to a home, and the way radiant in-floor heating works also will help you save money on heating expenditures in the long term.

Installation cost

After acquiring the radiant floor system, you must consider the installation cost. Considering the function of in-floor heating systems, they must be installed correctly by a certified heating and residential plumbing specialist and tested if radiant in-floor heating works correctly.

This varies based on where you reside and the sort of underfloor heating system used. However, installing the fixing system and tubes yourself can save money for smaller, simpler jobs. Then have the home plumbers install the manifold and reconnect it to the boiler room plumbing system.

Electric running costs

It’s hardly a dealbreaker, but electric heating systems are more expensive to run than warm-water systems. Because electric radiant in-floor heating works better in smaller areas, we recommend placing them in places such as the bathroom rather than throughout the home.

Floor height

While you won’t have to dig up your flooring to install radiant floor heating if you’re remodelling, the height of the floor will most likely increase.

This is because our overlay solutions are built on top of existing solid or timber floors; however, there are systems that, with them, this build-up may be as low as 15-22mm. This rise may indicate that doors need to be sanded down.


We hope you found our comprehensive guide on radiant floor heating useful. Overall, the advantages of radiant floor heating outweigh the disadvantages. No matter which one of the types of radiant floor heating you want to install, it’s always best to contact in-floor heating contractors to install them.