/ Blog / Choosing a System

How Does Underfloor Heating Work?

Written by Warmup Inc on February 7th, 2018 | Choosing a System | Electric Underfloor Heating | Insights


Unlike radiators which heat the air in their immediate vicinity, underfloor heating produces radiant heat that makes you feel warm. Radiators heat the cold air near the radiators which rises upwards to the ceiling heating the air.

The air will eventually cool down dropping to the floor level where it will be heated by the radiator again, creating a circular airflow which provides heat. Underfloor heating and the radiant heat emitted from the floor brings warmth to the floor level and provides more even heat distribution than conventional heating methods. This means that the entire floor works as a giant radiant heater-heating people rather than objects meaning that there is no risk of overheating and energy wastage.


Electric underfloor heating works by having an ultra-thin heating wire installed under the floor level. The wire heats up when the system is on, heating the floor surface and providing radiant heat.

The heating cable is available both pre-spaced on a mat or in foil, depending on the floor type, and as a Membrane and loose wire system. It is especially suitable for renovations as it doesn’t raise floor levels and it can be installed by a competent DIYer. The thermostat used to control the system needs an electrician as only a certified electrician can make the electrical connections and connect the thermostat to the underfloor heating system.

Warm water system works by utilizing warm water that circulates through pipes installed under the floor level. The pipes are normally laid into the structural sub-floor meaning that a possible increase in room height needs to be taken into account. Water-based underfloor heating is especially suitable for new developments and larger refurbishment projects where the rise in floor levels can be accommodated for.

The pipes are laid down in a shape that provides even heat distribution and the system is connected to a heat source, such as a boiler. A manifold and pump mixing unit are installed between the heat source and the underfloor heating system to ensure the water enters the pipes at the correct temperature.

You should always confirm with your boiler manufacturer whether your boiler or any other heat source can be used with warm water underfloor heating.

A thermostat is used to control both types of underfloor heating systems. Using a smart thermostat such as the Warmup 4iE Smart Thermostat, you can effectively manage your heating system and save a significant amount of money on your heating bills.


Warmup’s Electric Underfloor Heating systems work under almost any floor finish, including tile, carpet, wood, laminate and vinyl finishes. Depending on the sub-floor construction and the floor finish, additional insulation may be required to ensure the most responsive system.

Read our blog post about suitable floor coverings for floor heating and find out which floor covering works best!

To learn what would it cost in your project, get a quote now or use our Product Selector tool.


Heated Floors

Floor heating is the modern heating solution – creating the perfect temperature, making you feel warm and comfortable from the moment you enter the room.

Warmup Quoting Tools

instant, accurate, flexible

Scroll to Top