How much does radiant floor heating cost?
How much does radiant floor heating cost?
$7 – $17 cost per square foot (without new flooring)
$11– $40 cost per square foot (with new flooring)
$1,500 – $6,400 cost for master bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen
$10,000 – $34,000 cost for a whole-house system
Heated floors cost
Installing a heated floor costs $1,500 to $6,400 per room or $10,000 to $34,000 for a whole house. Electric or hydronic radiant floor heating costs $7 to $17 per square foot without flooring.
Heated concrete floors cost $11 to $25 per square foot.
Heated tile floors cost $15 to $40 per square foot.
|Location||Square feet||Cost without new flooring||Cost with new flooring*|
|Bathroom||40||$300 – $700||$600 – $1,600|
|Master bathroom||160||$1,100 – $2,700||$2,400 – $6,400|
|Bedroom||120||$850 – $2,000||$1,500 – $3,200|
|Master bedroom||224||$1,500 – $3,800||$3,300 – $9,000|
|Kitchen||160||$1,100 – $2,700||$2,100 – $4,300|
|Living room||320||$2,200 – $5,400||$4,100 – $8,600|
|Porch or patio||200||$1,400 – $3,400||$2,200 – $5,000|
|Garage||400||$2,800 – $6,800||$4,400 – $10,000|
|Basement||1,000||$7,000 – $17,000||$11,000 – $25,000|
|Whole house||1,500||$10,500 – $25,500||$19,500 – $40,500|
|Whole house||2,000||$14,000 – $34,000||$26,000 – $54,000|
|Whole house||2,500||$17,500 – $42,500||$32,500 – $67,500|
*Includes removing old flooring.
Radiant floor heating costs $65 to $250 per month to run.
Installation takes 3 days for a room and 2 to 3 weeks for a whole house.
In-floor radiant heating coils or tubes last 30 to 50 years.
Radiant floor heating cost by system
Installing a radiant floor heating system costs $12,000 to $43,000 for a whole house, including a new boiler, water heater, or heat pump.
Hydronic floor heating costs $7 to $17 per square foot and is best for large areas or whole-house installations.
Electric floor heating costs $8 to $15 per square foot and is better for single rooms or supplemental heating.
|System type||Cost breakdown||Total cost installed (whole-house)*|
|Hydronic||$3,200 – $9,000 (boiler), plus $7 – $17 per square foot||$13,700 – $43,000|
|Electric||$8 – $15 per square foot||$12,000 – $30,000|
|Solar||$3,000 – $9,000 (solar water heater), plus $7 – $17 per square foot||$13,500 – $43,000|
|Propane||$2,800 – $7,500 (propane boiler), plus $7 – $17 per square foot||$13,300 – $41,500|
|Geothermal||$15,000 – $35,000 (heat pump), plus $7 – $17 per square foot||$25,500 – $69,000|
*Based on a 1,500-to-2,000 square foot home with boiler or other heating system.
Additionally, new flooring installation costs $3 to $15 per square foot on average to cover the heating elements.
Hydronic radiant floor heating cost
Hydronic radiant floor heating costs $13,700 to $43,000 for a 1,500- to 2,000-square-foot home. This price includes new boiler costs of $3,200 to $9,000, plus $7 to $17 per square foot for the in-floor heating system.
Ideal for large areas or a whole-house installation
Provides the most heating capacity
Highly customizable with zoning valves
Hot-water supply lines for radiant heat must stay separate from potable hot water lines for bathrooms and kitchens
Alternatively, installing a dedicated hot water heater costs $600 to $1,800 to supply small 1- to 2-room radiant systems.
Electric radiant floor heating cost
Installing electric floor heating costs $12,000 to $30,000 for a 1,500- to 2,000-square-foot home. Electric radiant heat costs $8 to $15 per square foot, depending on the floor size, system voltage, and if electrical upgrades are necessary.
Available as electric mats, strips, or heating cables
Connects to home’s electrical panel instead of a boiler
Higher operating costs and less powerful than hydronic heat
Common in bathrooms, kitchens, or as supplemental heating
Solar radiant heating system cost
The cost of solar-powered underfloor heating is $13,500 to $43,000 on average for a 1,500- to 2,000-square-foot home. Installing a solar water heater costs $3,000 to $9,000, plus $7 to $17 per square foot for the hydronic heating system.
Alternatively, installing solar panels costs $10,600 to $26,500 on average for converting the whole home to solar power.
Propane underfloor heating cost
Installing propane underfloor heating costs $13,300 to $41,500 total for a 1,500- to 2,000-square-foot home. A new propane boiler costs $2,800 to $7,500 installed, plus $7 to $17 per square foot for the hydronic floor heating.
Additional prices may include:
Installing a propane tank costs $2,100 to $4,300 for a 500-gallon fuel tank.
Renting a propane fuel tank costs $50 to $200 annually with free installation.
Geothermal in-floor heating cost
Geothermal in-floor heating costs $25,500 to $69,000 total for an average 1,500- to 2,000-square-foot home. A geothermal heat pump costs $15,000 to $35,000, plus $7 to $17 per square foot for the underfloor heating system.
The geothermal system transfers natural underground heat into the hydronic flooring.
Radiant-heated floor cost per square foot
Installing a heated floor costs $7 to $17 per square foot without new flooring or $10 to $40 per square foot with new flooring.
|Floor type||Cost per square foot|
|Tiles||$15 – $40|
|Concrete||$11 – $25|
|Laminate||$10 – $25|
|Hardwood||$13 – $32|
|Vinyl||$10 – $27|
*Includes heating elements and new flooring.
Heated bathroom tile floor cost
Installing a heated bathroom floor costs $15 to $40 per square foot for the subfloor heating elements and tile installation cost. A heated tile floor costs $600 to $1,600 for a 40 SF bathroom or $1,500 to $6,400 for a master bathroom.
|Tile type||Average cost per square foot|
|Standard tiles||$17 – $22|
|Ceramic||$15 – $30|
|Porcelain||$19 – $36|
|Marble||$22 – $40|
*Includes heating elements and a new tile floor.
Installing heated floors during a remodel reduces overall costs. A bathroom remodel costs $5,500 to $15,000 on average.
Heated concrete floor cost
Installing a heated concrete floor costs $11 to $25 per square foot for the in-floor hydronic heating system and pouring the concrete slab. Heated concrete floors are typical in garages and basements.
|Porch or patio (200 square feet)||$2,200 – $5,000|
|Garage (400 square feet)||$4,400 – $10,000|
|Basement (1,000 square feet)||$11,000 – $25,000|
*Includes heating elements and a new concrete floor.
Laminate or hardwood underfloor-heating cost
Radiant wood floors cost $10 to $32 per square foot installed for the subfloor heating elements and new hardwood or laminate flooring on top. Different companies typically install the heating system and new flooring.
|Flooring type||Cost installed per square foot*|
|Hardwood||$13 – $32|
|Laminate||$10 – $25|
|Bamboo||$12 – $27|
*Includes heating elements and a new wooden floor.
Cost factors to install heated floors
The cost to install heated floors depends on the existing building conditions, the plumbing design, and whether the system needs a new boiler.
System type – Hydronic systems are best for an entire home or large areas, while electric systems are better for smaller spaces or individual rooms.
Project size – Smaller jobs typically have a higher installation cost per square foot.
Labor rates – A plumber costs $45 to $150 per hour for installing a hydronic radiant system.
Floor design – Complex custom layouts with many corners take longer to plan and install.
New construction vs. retrofit – A retrofit costs 50% to 80% more than new construction and requires floor removal and home adjustments from the increased floor height. Floor removal costs $1.50 to $3.00 per square foot on average.
Electrical requirements – An electrician costs $50 to $130 per hour for installing electrical heating and making system upgrades.
Foundation type – Many concrete-slab foundations send heat down into the ground soil outside, so installers must put insulation between the concrete subfloor and heating elements.
Thermostats and zoning – A new thermostat installation costs $140 to $350 to control the floor temperature. Each room or separate heating zone needs a radiant-heat thermostat. An HVAC zoning system costs $1,700 to $4,500 to centrally manage all zones.
Replacing old flooring – Removing and disposing of old tile or wood flooring costs $1.50 to $10.00 per square foot.
Existing boiler modifications – Hydronic radiant systems need extra valves and piping connected to the existing boiler to regulate floor-heating temperatures.
Maintenance – Boiler service costs $70 to $350 for an inspection or cleaning.
Building department fees – Permits and inspections cost $75 to $180 on average, depending on the system size and local regulations.
Subfloor repair – Wood floor repair costs $35 to $80 per square foot to replace small sections of the subfloor.
Tax credits – Installing a new geothermal heat pump or solar panels to power radiant floors gets a 22% to 26% renewable energy federal tax credit. Local rebates may also apply for ENERGY STAR appliances.
Whole-house underfloor heating cost
Whole-house underfloor heating costs $10,000 to $34,000 on average with an existing boiler, depending on the floor size and radiant-system type. Installing a new boiler to power the heating system costs $3,200 to $9,000 more.
|Home size (square foot)||Cost without new flooring||Cost with new flooring|
|1,500||$10,500 – $25,500||$19,500 – $40,500|
|2,000||$14,000 – $34,000||$26,000 – $54,000|
|2,500||$17,500 – $42,500||$32,500 – $67,500|
|3,000||$21,000 – $51,000||$39,000 – $81,000|
*Prices include materials & labor.
Cost of radiant floor heat in new construction
Installing radiant floor heating in a newly constructed home costs $10,000 to $34,000, depending on the home size and system type. This price is for installing and connecting a new radiant system to an existing boiler or heat source.
|Radiant-heating system type||Average cost|
|Hydronic||$10,500 – $34,000|
|Electrical||$12,000 – $30,000|
*Based on a 1,500- to 2,000-square-foot home, excluding the new flooring above.
Pre-fitted subflooring systems
The radiant-heat subfloor brand Warmboard costs $10 to $15 per square foot installed. Subflooring panels with pre-fitted channels allow for faster tubing installation with lower labor costs, unlike traditional radiant tubing.
Other popular brands include Thermalboard and Ecowarm RadiantBoard.
Radiant ceiling heat cost
Electric radiant-ceiling heating costs $200 to $500 per panel installed, depending on the panel size and voltage. These panels are easy to mount and less labor-intensive than traditional radiant floor heating.
Panel sizes are between 2’x2’ and 2’x4’.
Each panel heats 40 to 80 square feet of room interior.
Installing a radiant-cooling system costs $40 to $45 per square foot on average. The system pumps cool water inside wall or ceiling panels to absorb indoor heat. Most radiant-heat flooring has no cooling options unless connected to a heat pump or geothermal system.
Radiant floor heating cost to run
Radiant floor heating costs $65 to $250 per month to run for a whole home, depending on the system type, house size and energy efficiency, climate, and usage. Radiant floor heating is 100% efficient because there is no heat loss through ductwork.
|Type||Running cost per month|
|Hydronic||$65 – $165|
|Electric||$90 – $250|
*Based on 4 hours of daily running time for a 1,500-square-foot home.
Pros and cons of radiant floor heating
The following table shows the advantages and disadvantages of radiant floor heating:
Radiant floor heating FAQs
What is radiant floor heating, and how does it work?
Radiant floor heating is a system of tubes or coils below the top layer of flooring that sends heat up through the tiles. The warmed air gradually rises and circulates around the room. Floor-surface temperatures reach 70° F to 85° F.
The most common types include:
Hydronic floor heating pumps hot water from a boiler through subfloor tubing. Subfloor water temperatures inside the pipes run at 85° F to 130° F.
Electric floor heating generates heat through electricity by running resistance cables under the floor.
What is the cost of in-floor heating vs. forced air vs. baseboards?
Alternative options to in-floor heating include:
Installing a new furnace costs $2,000 to $5,400, plus new ductwork costs $2,400 to $6,600 if there are no existing vents.
Baseboard heating costs $5,400 to $7,800 for an entire house.
Are heated floors worth it?
Heated floors are worth it for the benefits of:
More comfortable and stable indoor temperatures
Increased home resale value
Longer-lasting heating system
How long does in-floor heating last?
In-floor radiant heating coils or tubes last 30 to 50 years on average, depending on the system type, installation quality.
A boiler used for hot-water systems lasts 10 to 20 years before it needs replacing.
Which floors work best for radiant heating?
Radiant-heating floor options include:
Concrete or tiles of stone, ceramic, or porcelain work best for radiant heating.
Laminate, vinyl, and thin-wood flooring work but have temperature limits.
Carpeting or thick-wood flooring can work but block more heat.
Glued-down carpeting and rubber flooring are the worst for radiant heating.
How much does a heated driveway cost?
Installing a 2-car heated driveway costs $6,900 to $16,000 on average or $12 to $28 per square foot for materials and labor. These prices include installing electric or hydronic systems underneath a new asphalt or concrete driveway.
DIY radiant-heat installation cost
DIY heated-floor installation costs $5 to $8 per square foot for radiant floor heating mats, depending on the brand, size, and voltage. Homeowners with construction experience can install heating mats before laying new tiles, stone, vinyl, or laminate flooring.
Radiant floor heating mats:
Connect easily for larger floors
Are available in 120- and 240-volt models
Have a single power connection for easy installation
Heat the floor above but don’t have enough power to heat the whole room
Hiring a heated-floor installer
Before hiring a plumber or boiler installer near you to install radiant floor heating, be sure to:
Choose HVAC professionals with certifications from:
Radiant Professionals Alliance (RPA)
North American Technician Excellence (NATE)
American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
Factory training programs for installing boilers and radiant floors
Compare at least three quotes from experienced installers.
Select licensed, insured, and bonded HVAC contractors.
Avoid choosing the lowest quotes that signal low-quality work.
Review their ratings on HomeGuide and Google.
Request copies of estimates, plan diagrams, heating-load calculations, equipment orders, permits, warranties, and contracts.
Verify the bids include material, labor, and equipment costs, plus the installation schedule.
Set up a payment schedule. Never pay in full upfront.
Who installs heated floors?
A plumber typically installs heated floor systems with hydronic hot-water coils connected to boilers. These contractors also install floor-heating systems:
Electricians install electric-coil radiant systems.
Solar-panel technicians install new solar-powered radiant systems.
Propane-, gas-, or oil-boiler installers set up new radiant systems.
Geothermal technicians install new radiant floor systems connected to underground geothermal pumps.
Questions to ask installers
How long have you been installing radiant floor heating?
Which type of radiant floor heating system do you have the most experience with?
Can you show me a list of references from past jobs?
Do you charge for consultations, and if so, how much?
Can you connect a radiant floor system to my existing home heating, or will it need an additional heat source?
Will you make a Manual J heat-load calculation to design the most efficient radiant-heating system for me?
What are my best options for floor coverings on these heated floors?
Will this radiant system increase humidity in my home, and if so, how do you suggest I manage it?
How long will this installation take?
Do you use sub-contractors, and does it cost extra to manage them?
How can I best contact the project supervisor?
What type of warranty do you offer?
Does this bid include all materials, labor, equipment rentals, and cleanup fees?
Can I get a copy of the contract before work begins?
Will you need to pull a permit for this job? If so, are inspections also necessary?