Underfloor heating or radiators? The winter debate


Which is better … underfloor heating or radiators?

Today we address a topic that in all interior design of new construction, especially in cities, comes out as a point to be defined. A question that, as interior architects and interior designers, we are asked repeatedly. Perhaps many of you already assume the answer, but not everything is black or white. Lets go see it!


underfloor heating or radiators


At the time of choosing the heating or thermal insulation system in a new work, or when we take advantage of the occasion of a comprehensive reform, the price factor is something that limits and influences us. However, we will see that in the final decision there are other aspects that we must take into account.

Underfloor heating system

Although in the beginning, the installation of underfloor heating was affordable for very few, the increase in demand has democratized its access. Nowadays it is cheaper, which is why this option has expanded its market.

The radiant floor budget is usually high. Its high price has always been justified by different factors, including the complexity of its installation. In general, this system is installed at the time of the work, since it requires lifting the entire floor to locate the necessary elements such as pipes, valves, etc.

This system takes approximately six hours to heat the entire circuit, always depending on the dimensions of the home. However, the heat is maintained for a longer period despite the system being turned off. For what it will cost us more to achieve a specific temperature, but later it will remain without the need to be constantly consuming. This is one of the reasons why it is good to change radiators to underfloor heating.

Underfloor heating advantages

The great point in favor of the radiant floor would be, above all, that this system emits hot air from the ground and rises by its weight less than cold. Once it rises, the hot air falls again, as it cools again. In this way, a more stable and naturalized room temperature is achieved.



underfloor heating or radiators | Molins Design interior designers

Radiator heating system

Radiator heating is one of the most traditional and well-known products worldwide. In its first versions, the material used was iron. However, at present, the design of radiators has evolved in aluminum radiators, reducing their price considerably.

There are water or electric, but in this post we talk about water, which are those that need a previous installation. The others just have to be connected to the current.

If we talk about its quality and energy efficiency, we must accept that this type of heating system is not as stable and natural as we saw in radial heating. This is because the radiators are normally installed with a slight elevation from the ground, and we have already seen that the heat tends to rise. So, in this way, the phenomenon of having the coldest foot area and the highest temperature roof areas is created.

The value for money of the radiators is very good. As we said, in consequence of the great demand, a great supply has been generated, finding very affordable prices in the market.

Panels to hide radiators | Molins Design interior designers

Underfloor heating vs radiators

Radiant floor or radiators? Let’s compare, then, both interior design projects. Depending on specific factors for each case, the best system will be the one that best suits the case:

Underfloor heating is always a good option if:

  • You are in the works phase or you have to do them in the future
  • To reduce long-term energy consumption
  • In very cold places where heating must remain during the day

Radiator heating is a good option if:

  • We just want to weather certain rooms
  • We do not want to carry out works or we have a tighter budget
  • Temporary use places with mild weather.