Electric or hot water underfloor heating?

Electric or hot water underfloor heating?
Photo by James Forbes

Have you decided on underfloor heating and are hesitating whether hot water or electricity is better for you? We'll show you how both types work. This will make it easier for you to decide which one will be more suitable for your home.

Hot water floor heating

Hot water underfloor heating needs a heat source, most often a heat pump or boiler. This can be a wood-fired boiler, solar collectors or gas. You can thus use one heat source for both heating and hot water preparation. Hot water underfloor heating is actually storage heating, where hot water flows through pipes under the floor or on the floor and transfers heat to them. This then heats the floor and the space above it. Installing hot water heating is more difficult because the pipes must be sufficiently protected from damage, and the connection to the heating element must be secured.

Installation of hot water heating is possible in the dry or wet method. The wet method consists of a concrete screed, heating and insulation layer. The total thickness is 10 - 15 cm. With the dry system, the thickness is slightly less, approximately 11 - 12 cm. This system is also suitable for structures that cannot be loaded with concrete screed. The initial costs of this type are higher than for electric heating, but the operating costs for gas heating are considerably lower. Care should be taken in the choice of tubes, which should be of good quality material, ideally polybutene. In addition to its long service life, this prevents corrosion and also deposits that can clog pipes and make the whole system dysfunctional. 

Electric underfloor heating

Direct-fired electric underfloor heating does not need a heat source. It gets its heat from resistance cables or mats that are laid into the floor. The mats can also be laid on top of the original floor, increasing the height by approximately 2 cm. In the core of the resistance heating cable, the electrical energy is converted into thermal energy. The heat is then transferred to the higher layers of the floor and into the space. You will therefore need a separate heat source for hot water.  

Electric underfloor heating is easier to install compared to hot water. It can be used wherever gas is not available. The initial cost of electric heating is lower than hot water. Due to electricity prices, the running costs are at least 30% higher. This type of heating is more suitable for smaller areas. Electric mats heat the room faster, but you have to take into account that they do not have the ability to store heat. This means that the floor will cool down more quickly when the heating is switched off. 

dream-plans team 06.09.2022

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