Winter Warmers: Underfloor Heating Vs Radiators, which is better suited to your home?


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Our clients often come to Granit asking what form of heating they should choose for their home. Whether you are building something entirely new, or renovating an older building it is a crucial decision to make – and one that has to be made early in the design process. At this time of year it all feels particularly important: you want your home to be cosy and warm, but don’t want to be paying out a vast bill every month.

So what should you choose?

Here’s a handy breakdown of the pros and cons of both options for you to think about.

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Radiators –  feature or flaw?

Firstly, let’s look at the more traditional option of good old-fashioned radiators. There are two main reasons why people started to move away from this method of heating their house. In terms of aesthetic, radiators are not always a desirable option. They take up valuable wall space and, although there are of course various designs available, they can take away from the clean-lines of a minimal interior.

The second reason that radiators have become less favoured in recent years is their efficiency. Though they are quick to heat up, they also cool down quickly and in terms of choosing a greener (and cheaper) option, it is preferable to have the heating on for longer, but at lower temperatures.

To counter this, they are far cheaper to install than underfloor heating, so that should be taken into account too.

Radiators – A Summary:

Pros:

  • Cheaper to install
  • Quick heating response

Cons:

  • Cooldown quickly
  • Less efficient – Higher running temperatures: 80c flow and 60c return.
  • Take up wall space, don’t always fit in with design aesthetic.
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Underfloor Heating:

This option for heating is energy efficient and leaves you with more wall space. However, the main drawback to consider is installation cost and disruption. It is a great long-term option, especially as the cost of utilities increase and we are encouraged to priorities efficiency and greener options for our homes.

In terms of architectural design, this choice is favourable as it leaves you with more options – freed-up wall space can be used for storage or rooms can be configured in different ways. The initial cost and lengthy installation should not be underestimated however, if price and time are your top priorities, then it may not be the option for you.

Pros:

  • More space, allowing for freedom of design
  • Efficient – lower running temperatures: 55c flow and 45c return
  • Can be installed under all flooring types
  • Even distribution of heat

Cons:

  • Higher installation cost
  • Installation time

Overall, for us underfloor heating is preferable. However, this does not necessarily mean it is the right choice for you and your build. Make a list of your top priorities and if time and cost are crucial to you, then radiators may well be the best option going forward.

Every project is unique and we guide all of our clients through big decisions for their home – like how best to heat them.

Take a look at our portfolio to see some of our previous projects and how heating options have been integrated into the design process.