Electric or Wet Underfloor Heating?

5 Nov 2009
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United Kingdom
We are planning on having an orangery built (6m x 4m) with a roof lantern at the rear of our house. We plan to have open access into the orangery from our lounge (no doors to go through from the lounge into the orangery) so that the orangery can be used all year round.

We have a radiator central heating system throughout the house with our boiler located in the garage. We would like our orangery to have underfloor heating (UFH). As the orangery will be a new build, appropriate insulation will be installed into the floor. Assuming we comply with Part L of the Building Regulations, our options are either to:
  1. extend our existing central heating system and have a wet UFH system. This will have its own zone, timer and temperature controls, OR
  2. have electric underfloor heating

I have heard that whilst installation costs for electric UFH is cheaper, they are not as reliable as a wet UFH system. In addition, running costs for electric is greater than gas (however, with soaring gas prices set to continue for the foreseeable future, this may become less of a deciding factor).

From anyone's experience, can anyone recommend which UFH system I should consider for the orangery? I have attached a photo of the proposed orangery.


  • Orangery for forum.jpg
    Orangery for forum.jpg
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I’ve got wet ufh, linked to a combi, it works independently to the house.

I think it’s economical, and haven’t noticed the gas bill a lot higher since I switched it on last year.

the costs are higher, but Well worth the money.

After screed, Primer, I used a decoupling mat, then tiled (limestone).

I wouldn’t entertain electric, too expensive to run/reliability.

My floor or around 30 sq m.

Mine is a polypipe system.
thanks @Mr Chibs. Is your entire ground floor UFH? What does the decoupling mat do? We are looking to have the flooring tiled (porcelian) so want to make sure the flooring is comfortable.
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Not just In my kitchen, sadly.

If I’d have known how nice ufh is from a comfort point of view, I would have done the whole ground floor.

The decoupling mat stops the the tiles cracking, when the floor contracts/expands.

I used Ditra C+ I think it’s called.

I also had a liquid screed, which costs a bit more than conventional screed, but it’s very quick and pan flat.

Porcelain is a good choice As well.

Good luck with it.

thanks @Mr Chibs. Is the rest of your house normal radiator central heating? Did you install UFH in your kitchen as a retrofit or did you install the UFH as part of a new kitchen build?

Are you able to control the UFH totally seperately from the rest of the heating in your house?
House is run from a combi, 11 rads.
There are 2 two port zone valves installed, these, along with two Wireless thermostats allow the ‘house’ and ‘kitchen’ to be controlled separately, this morning the ufh has come on, but house has not.

It was all a retrofit, but would have been straight forward as a new build.

My plumber, doesn’t like the systems that have an aluminium layer in the ufh pipe work, as he said it’s a handful fitting, so I went polypipe, it’s a simple system.

Hope this helps.

I fitted my own system, so it’s possible to diy, just used plumber to make final connection to existing system.
As you have a room you will have movable furniture in go for 'Wet' UFH. Electric is ok with set layout but shouldn't have furniture or similar on the floor over the heating element - that shortens the life of the elements as that causes overheating and burns the insulation out.

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