Water-based underfloor heating provides warmth by running pipes beneath your floors and heating the water inside. Electric underfloor heating provides warmth using wires instead of hot water. There's really no single right option, but there are several signs that you should opt for a water-based system.
Here are four of the most common.
1. You're Heating a Larger Area
Probably the central advantage that water-based underfloor heating holds over electric systems is that they generally deliver more heat while consuming less energy. This isn't such an issue when you're only going to be heating a small room, but the difference in energy consumption levels will become far more significant as the space gets larger. It's going to take a bit longer to heat up larger spaces when you go electric, and you should see your energy bills rise considerably.
2. You're Heating Several Rooms
You might have read that water-based underfloor heating should be avoided because the system will be relatively complex, using several expensive components. It's certainly true that electrical systems tend to be cheaper, at least initially, but they aren't always cheaper. A water-based system may demand more expensive components, but those components can be shared between several rooms. If you're going to be heating more than one, you might just find that installing a water-based system is cheaper than installing an electric one.
3. You're Building New or Renovating Extensively
Water-based underfloor heating can be a little tricky if you simply want to install it in a room that will otherwise remain the same. This is because the pipes it uses are thicker than the wires used for an electrical system. As such, the floor may need to be raised slightly to accommodate them. But if you're building a new home or extensively renovating your current property, water-based underfloor heating will be more advantageous. Due to its efficiency, you can use underfloor heating to warm an entire property, which is great if you have the freedom to remove radiators and plan the home around an underfloor system.
4. You Only Want One Heat Source
Water-based underfloor heating uses the same heat source that is used to warm water for your other fixtures, and many people prefer having just one such heat source instead of adding in an electrical one. A water-based system will fit around such desires, and you'll find that they work with a wide array of renewable heat sources, such as heat pumps.