What is the true cost for underfloor heating?

Before you embark on your project a savvy person would have costed the project and employed a professional QS to compile an accurate bill of quantities.    Having done this there should be no shocks or surprises lurking in the shadows to jump out and bite you.    Having worked in the construction industry for many decades there have been occasions when I have overheard conversations regarding costs.   

“I did not realise the plastering would cost that much”

“It’s not a big roof, so how is it costing so much?”

“I never budgeted that much for windows”

 Some of the responses I have heard are

My mate down the pub said it would not cost that kind of money”

Does your mate work in the building industry and is he a QS?

“When I built my house the plastering did not cost anything like that”

Yes, the house referred to was built some 23 years ago and was half the size!


Using the elements of construction flow chart let us take a look at costs and what should be considered a cost for underfloor heating.    Not all the elements are direct costs for underfloor heating as a number of costs are a direct cost of building or renovating.


  • The cost to lay floor insulation, edge insulation and vapour control layer is a direct cost of building or renovating.     This work is required for compliance with Building Regulations, with or without underfloor heating.    Therefore should not be considered as a direct cost of underfloor heating.    This will be encompassed in your main budget.
  • Direct costs of underfloor heating to be considered are the components and labour to install the UFH system
  • Manifold including all relevant components (link to website – Quality)
  • Clip rail, underfloor heating pipework, actuator heads and room thermostats.
  • For clarity let’s include the electrical costs to wire up the manifold, room thermostats and electrical connection to boiler.
  • Let us not include the primary pipework, as this will be required for panel radiators.

Let us add up the cost for an underfloor heating installed system to include points (3), (4) and (5).

Question: Is this a true cost?    Answer: No.

Question: How do we arrive at the true cost?   Answer: you need to cost a panel radiator system and deduct this from your underfloor heating cost.


Example: 80m2 house with underfloor heating £3800.00

80m2 house with panel radiators £2880.00

Difference being £920.00

The example does not include decorating costs.

It is purely a mathematical example and should not be relied upon.

Undertake your own costings and apply due diligence.