The typical heated floor cost ranges from $1,700 to just over $6,000
A homeowner can expect to pay between $1,700 and $6,000 or an average of $3,800 for a heated floor system. However, you may spend as little as $200 or as much as $11,000 for a partial heated floor system.
For a whole-home system, you may see prices of up to $48,000. The price you pay ultimately depends on factors like the type of heated floor system, the type of flooring you have, labor costs, site prep, and more.
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It's a cold winter morning, and you head to the bathroom to get ready for the day. But when your feet hit the bathroom tile, instead of recoiling at their frigidness, they're warm to the touch. Now that's a great way to start the day! Heated flooring is more than just an alternative method of heating your home—it has luxurious bonuses like the scenario above, and it's not as expensive as you might think.
Cost Breakdown of Installing Radiant Floor Heating
While the average cost for a radiant floor heating system falls between $1,700 and $6,000, many factors impact the total heated floor cost. The size of your surface area, type of flooring, and type of radiant floor heating system are some of the biggest factors, but you’ll want to consider all of the following factors as you budget for your project.
Size of Area
Expect to pay between $6 and $20 per square foot for your floor heating system. That means that the average 2,300-square-foot home will cost anywhere from $13,800 to $48,000 to heat the entire house. Most homeowners heat a few key areas of the home to save money, however. You might choose to heat your bathroom, kitchen, and primary bedrooms, for example.
Type of Flooring
The cost to heat your floors can vary from $15 to $60 per square foot, depending on the type of existing flooring. Tile flooring costs between $20 and $40 per square foot on average, while laminate or hardwood flooring costs an average of $15 to $20 per square foot. Here’s a breakdown of the different prices per square foot, including installation:
Heating bathroom tiles costs between $20 and $40 per square foot. Ceramic tile flooring is one of the most popular, affordable, and rewarding choices for heated floors—after all, walking on heated floors on your way to the bathroom at night is a surefire way to avoid feeling like you’re walking on ice! Tile flooring is an excellent heat conductor, meaning your home will use less energy to keep the floors warm. It also holds onto heat longer, further saving you on energy costs in the long run.
Installing radiant heat flooring on concrete costs between $15 and $30 per square foot. Concrete garage floors generally fall toward the lower end of the price range, while basements with concrete floors fall toward the higher end of the price range. This price difference boils down to ease of access more than the concrete itself.
Laminate radiant heating costs between $15 and $20 per square foot on average. As a low-priced option, laminate flooring may seem like the obvious choice. However, this material isn’t as good of a heat conductor as tile flooring and may cost more on your energy bills over time.
The price of hardwood radiant heating falls anywhere from $15 and $20 per square foot. While this option is one of the most affordable, wood flooring comes with the added risk of mold and rotting if you choose a hydronic system and it leaks.
Radiant ceiling panels cost between $50 and $60 per square foot on average. Lower voltage and lower wattage panels are the most budget-friendly options, while higher voltage and wattage panels fall higher on the price range.
Type of Radiant Floor Heating
The type of radiant floor heating system you choose plays a big role in the total cost of your heated floors. Propane flooring costs the least, while hydronic systems tend to cost the most—coming in at $6 to $20 more per square foot than some of the most budget-friendly options.
Heated floors cost between $550 and $2,500 for labor. Heated floors can take a team of professionals to install correctly—including plumbers, floor installers, and electricians. Here’s the breakdown for labor:
Plumbers: If you’re installing a new boiler or water heater, you’ll need a plumber. Hiring a plumber to install the pipes for the heated flooring costs anywhere from $45 to $200 per hour.
Floor installers: The average rate for floor contractors is between $100 to $150 per hour.
Electricians: Hiring an electrician costs $50 to $100 per hour. You might need an electrician to connect your new radiant floor heating system to the thermostat.
Keep in mind that every 1,000 square feet you plan on heating is roughly 12 hours of labor.
Hiring a flooring installer to remove your floors will run you between $60 and $120 per hour. There’s no way around it—preparing your home for the installation can be a bit of a grueling process, especially if you decide to remove your existing flooring yourself. You can save on-site prep expenses by DIYing it, but you’ll spend more on time and energy.
No one likes taking out the trash, but when it comes to tossing out your existing floors or removing waste from a geothermal heat pump excavation, you’ll need to factor in these costs. Debris disposal costs anywhere from $100 to $600 per truckload. If you opt for renting a dumpster in your area, you’ll want to tack on an additional $300 to $600 per week.
If you’ve ever walked up a flight of stairs while carrying way too many bags of groceries, installing heated floors can feel akin to that. It comes as no surprise, then, that hard-to-reach areas of the home will cost more than easy-to-reach areas. Namely, your garage or ground floor will cost significantly less than your basement or ceiling panels.
You’ll spend around three to five times more for ceiling panels compared to other types and $3,100 to $13,200 more to install radiant heat flooring in your basement compared to your garage—even if they’re both concrete.
Radiant Floor Heating Installation Costs by Type
When deciding what type of flooring is right for your home, radiant floor heating might be a top contender. But the amount you’ll end up paying ultimately depends on what type of radiant heating you choose. Here are four of the most popular types of radiant heating.
“For electric radiant heating materials, a good rule of thumb is $10 to $15 per square foot,” says Bob Tschudi, Angi Expert Review Board Member and general contractor in Raleigh, NC. “Add $5 to $10 per square foot for installation.”
Electric Radiant Floor Heat
An electric radiant floor will cost $19,000 to $36,000. Typically, these floor heating systems use strips of electrical matting that go across the subfloor, which are then set in mortar. These systems are particularly good for heating individual parts of the floor.
Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating
Hydronic radiant systems cost between $19,000 and $36,000 for a whole-home system. Hydronic systems work by using a hot water heater or boiler to heat water. Once the water heats, it travels through pipes to heat up your home. Since water retains heat better than electric baseboards, this option is one of the most energy-efficient systems for heating floors.
Geothermal In-Floor Heating
Geothermal systems cost $9,500 to $27,000. These systems use thermal energy along with heat pumps to spread this natural heat underneath the floor. They use a series of pipes under the floors that circulate hot water.
Solar Radiant Heating
If you want a solar radiant system, it will cost $8,000 to $19,500. With this system, solar panels store energy from the sun and heat a fluid that is piped through a tank, and then circulated underneath the flooring.
A propane system is your most affordable option at $2,400 to $2,900. As the name implies, this system uses propane as the energy source for heating the flooring.
Cost to Install Radiant Floor Heating Yourself
You can buy your own materials, but installing radiant floor heating is something you will still need to hire a professional to do if you don't have the know-how. This is potentially dangerous work due to its electrical nature, making it a DIY no-no. Plus, you might make some expensive mistakes—assuming you even have the tools needed to do the job.
The average price per square foot is $11 for a professional installation. This includes the cost of new flooring materials, $6 for DIY electric system materials, and $2 for hydronic system materials.
Cost of Hiring a Pro to Install Heated Floors vs. DIY
You can save around $4 per square foot if you DIY your electric floor heating system and $9 per square foot if you DIY a hydronic radiant heating system.
Again, if you don’t have experience installing heated floors, it’s best to leave this project to a qualified flooring contractor near you. Attempting to install it yourself involves electrical work, which can pose electrical and fire hazards to your household if improperly installed.
6 Ways to Save on Heater Floors Installation Costs
With such high upfront costs, finding ways to save on the cost of your heater floors might be on the top of your priority list. Try out the following tips to save money:
Heat the most important areas of your home to avoid paying for more square footage.
Choose a more affordable heater floor system, like propane.
Do as much site prep as possible to avoid paying extra to hire a professional.
If you have experience installing heater floors, you can save by DIYing it.
Check federal tax credit requirements through the Inflation Reduction Act to potentially receive 30% off a geothermal heat pump system.
See if you’re eligible for 22% savings via federal solar tax credits.
Check if your local or state government offers rebates for solar or geothermal systems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Though they have a high upfront cost, it can be worth it to upgrade to heated floors. You’ll save money on your energy bills, increase your home’s resale value, and feel more comfortable in your home. If you live in a warm climate, however, it might be less worthwhile to take the plunge.
Heated floors use less electricity than traditional heating systems. The average electric bill for running radiant floor heating nonstop is around $3 per day.
For example, a 1,500-watt electric space heater costs around $4.80 per day, a 27,000-BTU electric boiler costs around $6.25 per day, and a 100,000-BTU electric heater costs $46 per day.
Heated floors can last anywhere from 35 to 50 years with proper maintenance and high-quality existing floors. Many radiant floor heating systems also come with 25-year warranties. Keep in mind that some types of floor heaters need replacement parts. For example, hydronic radiant floor heaters need a new boiler and heat pump every 15 to 20 years.
Though there are many advantages to underfloor heating, some of the downsides to underfloor heating systems include that you need to replace your existing floors if you can’t access the floor joists or aren’t installing heating on concrete. Also, your floor height increases by roughly an inch when you install underfloor heating on top of the subflooring, potentially impacting your ability to close doors.
There’s a high upfront cost compared to other heating options, and depending on the complexity and extent of work, installing floor heating is often a time-consuming installation process that can take a handful of days—hence the high installation costs!
The best floor type for radiant heating is tile. Porcelain, ceramic, and natural stone are the best tile options because they’re excellent heat conductors, won’t mold or rot if your hydronic system ever leaks, and don’t pose a fire safety in the off chance your heating system overheats like with wood flooring.