Electric or Water Underfloor Heating? Differences & Installation Process

Electric or Water Underfloor Heating? Differences & Installation Process

Electric or Water Underfloor Heating? Differences & Installation Process

Posted on Aug 25, 2023

Welcome to the world of underfloor heating systems – a modern solution that brings warmth and coziness to your bathroom floors. 

In this blog post, we'll explore the key differences between electric and water underfloor heating and take a closer look at the installation process. 

Join us as we delve into the advantages of these systems and guide you through their installation steps.

Let's dive in!

The Underfloor Heating Advantage

If you are remodeling your bathroom, underfloor heating is a game-changer in bathroom comfort. Say goodbye to cold tiles and chilly mornings – underfloor heating systems provide a gentle and consistent warmth that elevates your bathroom experience. 

Let's dive into the distinct benefits of underfloor heating:

Cozy Comfort

Underfloor heating evenly warms the entire floor space, creating a luxurious sensation that makes stepping onto the bathroom tiles a delight.


Say farewell to bulky radiators that take up precious wall space. Underfloor heating systems are discreetly integrated beneath the floor, freeing up room for your design vision.

Energy Efficiency

Underfloor heating systems can be energy-efficient when used strategically. The radiant heat warms the room from the ground up, allowing you to maintain a comfortable temperature without excessive energy consumption.

Electric Underfloor Heating

Electric underfloor heating is a cutting-edge solution that transforms your bathroom into a haven of comfort. This system involves the installation of heating cables or mats directly beneath your flooring, radiating gentle warmth to create a cozy environment. Let's walk through the installation process step by step and explore the advantages and considerations of electric underfloor heating.

Installation Process

This is how you install electic underfloor heating:

  • Subfloor Preparation: Ensure the subfloor is clean, level, and debris-free.
  • Heating Element Installation: Lay out heating mats or cables evenly across the subfloor.
  • Insulation Layer: Add an insulation layer on top of the heating element to maximize energy efficiency.
  • Flooring Installation: Install your chosen flooring material, such as tiles or wood, on top of the heating system.


  • Quick Response: Electric systems heat up rapidly, providing near-instant comfort.
  • Room-by-Room Control: You can control the temperature in each room independently.
  • Ideal for Retrofitting: Electric underfloor heating is suitable for existing spaces due to its ease of installation.


  • Higher Running Costs: Electric systems might have higher operating costs compared to water systems.
  • Not Ideal for Large Areas: They might not be as efficient in heating larger spaces.
  • Limited Heat Retention: The warmth dissipates relatively quickly once turned off.

Water Underfloor Heating

Water underfloor heating introduces a gradual and even warmth to your bathroom, elevating your comfort during the colder months. This system involves the circulation of warm water through pipes beneath your flooring, creating a cozy ambiance. Let's explore the installation process, and delve into the benefits and considerations of water underfloor heating.

Installation Process

  • Design and Planning: Carefully plan the layout of pipes and their connection to the central heating system.
  • Pipe Installation: Lay pipes across the subfloor according to the designed pattern.
  • Insulation Layer: Add insulation over the pipes to direct heat upwards and prevent heat loss.
  • Flooring Installation: Install your chosen flooring material atop the pipe network.


  • Even Heat Distribution: Water systems provide consistent warmth across the entire room.
  • Energy Efficiency: These systems can be energy-efficient when integrated during construction.
  • Ideal for Large Spaces: Water underfloor heating is effective in heating larger areas.


  • Slower Response Time: Water systems take longer to heat up compared to electric systems.
  • Complex Installation: Installation is more intricate and is typically done during construction or renovation.
  • Cost Considerations: The installation cost might be higher, particularly for retrofitting projects.

Our Verdict About Electric vs. Water Underfloor Heating

When evaluating the choice between electric and water underfloor heating systems, electric emerges as the optimal selection for several compelling reasons. 

Electric systems present a notably simpler installation process, involving the placement of heating mats or cables directly onto the subfloor, bolstered by an insulation layer and the chosen flooring material. This straightforward approach not only makes electric underfloor heating an appealing option for both new constructions and renovations but also offers the invaluable advantages of swift heating response and precise room temperature control, tailoring your comfort to your preferences seamlessly.

While water underfloor heating showcases its merits in uniform warmth distribution and energy efficiency, particularly in larger spaces, the intricacies of its installation process, from designing pipe layouts to connecting them with the central heating system and laying them across the subfloor, might deter those seeking efficiency and convenience. 

Moreover, the cost considerations associated with electric underfloor heating are mitigated by its rapid warmth provision and customizability, ultimately offering superior comfort without compromising practicality. In conclusion, electric underfloor heating stands as the frontrunner, providing optimal warmth, simplicity, and control, making it the ideal choice to elevate the comfort of your bathroom sanctuary.

Related: How to Choose the Perfect Tiles for Your Bathroom Remodel


Both electric and water underfloor heating systems have their merits, each catering to unique preferences and requirements. Electric systems offer swift warmth and room-by-room control, making them an ideal choice for those seeking immediate comfort and customization. On the other hand, water systems excel in even heat distribution and energy efficiency, particularly in larger areas.

However, in the world of bathroom comfort, at Custom Baths & Remodeling LLC we celebrate the advantages of electric heating. Offering a streamlined installation process and quick heating response, electric underfloor heating emerges as the prime solution for creating a warm and inviting bathroom space. The ability to enjoy individual room temperature control adds a level of personalization that enhances your comfort experience.

Are you ready to transform your bathroom into a haven of warmth and comfort? If you are in Connecticut, contact us at (203) 779-6311 or via email at [email protected] to discuss your underfloor heating options and embark on a journey towards a cozier bathroom space. 

Let's work together to create a bathroom that's truly inviting, from the ground up.

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