Do you need radiators with underfloor heating?

Radiators have ruled the roost for decades when it comes to central heating, and they provide a convenient heat source for your home or premises in a way that we are all familiar with.

This article will look at whether radiators are necessary if you have an underfloor heating system and which heating system is best for you.

Should You Replace Your Radiator with Underfloor Heating - Factors to Consider

Are you wondering, can I replace a radiator with underfloor heating? Well, the main thing to consider is whether it will generate enough heat for the room. To do this, you should carry out a heat loss calculation. This is done by calculating how much heat is lost from your home via conduction and air infiltration.

It is best to get a professional to conduct this survey accurately. You will then be able to determine whether the underfloor heating system generates more heat than is lost.

If you find that an underfloor system is not sufficient, all is not lost. Insulating your home by using cavity wall insulation, double glazing, and loft insulation can all help.

So do you still need radiators with underfloor heating? It all depends on what is found during the survey - in other words, what might suit one home won't suit another.

The Differences Between Underfloor Heating and Radiators

Radiators use convection to heat a room, where the air around the radiator is heated and rises before the air cools and falls back down. This creates a flow and cycle of warm air but does mean that the area closest to the radiator remains warmest.

Underfloor heating uses radiant heat across the whole room, distributing the heat more evenly as it rises.

Underfloor Heating in Kitchen

The Pros and Cons of Radiator Systems

Here are the primary reasons you might want to keep or remove a radiator system.

Radiator system pros

  • Great heat conductors - There are many radiator styles and materials, and they are all designed to conduct heat as efficiently as possible.
  • Heat large spaces - They can be very good at heating larger areas, perfect for homes with high ceilings.
  • Customisable - You will be able to choose from many sizes and styles of central heating radiators to suit your needs.
  • Easy installation - Radiators are quick and easy for specialists to fit or replace.

Radiator system cons

  • Wasteful - Radiators require a lot of energy and produce a large amount of heat. Because the heat is not evenly distributed around the room, it can take a long time to fully heat a space meaning your energy bills will be high.
  • Take up space - The wall space taken up by radiators will influence how your room will be decorated.
  • Unsafe for kids - Having a large hot metal object on your wall is dangerous when you have young children, and there is also the risk of bashing against them when playing.

The Pros and Cons of Underfloor Heating Systems

Underfloor heating pros

  • Energy-efficient - Underfloor heating can offer excellent efficiency as it does not need to run at as high a temperature as radiators. This saves money on heating costs.
  • Even heating - Radiators will heat from their position against a wall, whereas underfloor heating heats from beneath the entire floor, giving a more even distribution.
  • Minimal maintenance - Underfloor heating systems require minimal maintenance after installation when compared with traditional heating systems.
  • Greater design freedom - Your rooms are often decorated around radiators. Without this large wall fixture taking up a lot of space, you will have more freedom to design your room how you want it.
  • Versatility - Underfloor heating works with carpet, wood flooring, tile, stone, and vinyl.
  • Safe - Any family with young children will know the importance of keeping curious hands away from hot surfaces. Removing radiators also removes the risk of burns.
  • Easily Installed - UFH systems can easily be fitted in new builds or older homes, making it an excellent choice for all home styles.

Underfloor Heating Cons

  • Installation - While UFH systems can be installed in most homes, they can be time-consuming and costly. It will depend on the size of the room being fitted, but you will have to employ specialist installers and an electrician for this process.
  • Floor Heights - UFH for new builds can be factored into the plans. Retrofitting in older properties can sometimes be more complex, and fitting the system will sometimes increase the height of the flooring.

How Much Will It Cost to Replace a Radiator with Underfloor Heating?

The cost of underfloor heating will differ depending on the size of the room and whether you are planning on installing an electric UFH system or wet. Wet UFH systems are more expensive, running at around double the electrical installation cost.

For more details on pricing and UFH systems, look at our underfloor heating products here.

Underfloor Heating Radiators

Underfloor Heating vs Radiators - Which Option is Best for You?

Choosing a heating system to suit your home will depend on your budget and whether your home requires insulation work before UFH installation. Weighing up the pros and cons provided in this article will help you come to a decision.

Final Thoughts

If your heat loss calculation shows that a UFH system will not generate the heat for your room, a combination of UFH and a radiator can help you enjoy a great temperature across the whole room.

Sometimes the cost of replacing windows, installing thermal wall insulation, and insulating your home sufficiently can outweigh the benefits of removing radiators, but installing a UFH system can improve the distribution of heat in a room.

Should underfloor heating replace radiators? Do you need radiators with electric underfloor heating? There are too many factors to give a definitive answer to this, but doing your due diligence should help you find the correct answer.


What are the running costs of an electric underfloor heating system?

This will differ depending on your home's insulation and how well it can keep the heat in. UFH systems tend to be cheaper to run than a traditional central heating system in an efficient setting and should reduce heating bills.

Is radiant floor heating unhealthy?

Radiant heat is not unhealthy and can be better for people with allergies as it will not disrupt allergens in the home, improving air quality.

How long does it take to install an underfloor heating system?

How long it takes to install underfloor heating will depend on the system being installed and the size of the room. You will be able to discuss this with the installation experts, who will give you an estimated timeframe.