Underfloor heating in Kitchen- Central Heating? Electric? Your opinions please

Hi all

We are having a new kitchen.  in 3 months we have the new floor screed poured but we still haven't made up our mind on should we use the pipe method or the electric method?  The things that put us off (or make us undecided) are:
Pipe system will raise the kitchen floor 30mm.
Electricity system is more expensive.

Any thoughts? Opinions? Pro's? Con's?

Thanks in advance
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  • FreeBear
    FreeBear Posts: 14,257
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    edited 7 November 2023 at 11:48AM
    Go for a wet system. With the cost of electricity, you will be paying 3 times plus what it would cost to run a wet system. When heat pumps eventually take over from other forms of boilers, having a wet UFH will be ideally suited to a HP.
    Just make sure you have plenty of insulation built in to the slab regardless of what type of heating you go for.
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  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,251
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    Electric plinth heaters are another option.  Easy to install and only on when you need them.  My sister-in-law has them in her kitchen and actually rarely uses them.  Heat from the rest of the house is enough in the kitchen when it's not in use.
  • FreeBear
    FreeBear Posts: 14,257
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    TELLIT01 said: Electric plinth heaters are another option.  Easy to install and only on when you need them.
    Plinth heater are god - I have one in my kitchen plumbed in to the central heating system. It is possible to get models that do both wet and electric, so you get the choice of which to use.
    But wet plinth heaters are not so good (generally) with low flow temperatures unless designed with them in mind - I've had to modify mine to work reliably with a flow temperature of ~40°C. Going to have to make another modification now that the new boiler will generate an even lower flow temperature..

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  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 46,760
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    We recently had to make this decision. We ruled out electric as too expensive to run. We ruled out wet under floor heating as too expensive to install (and raises the floor too high).  We ruled out plinth heaters as being insufficient for the space. We went for designer radiators running of the same boiler that the old radiators were using. 
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  • jennifernil
    jennifernil Posts: 5,567
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    We have a plinth heater in our kitchen, linked to our gas CH.  Works fine, but thinking back, it would have  been less hassle and expense to fit one of those vertical radiators behind the door.  The door is always closed when  I am  in the kitchen in winter.
  • Why will the pipes raise the floor by 3"? UFH is normally laid into screed which has to be a certain thickness with or without pipes? Can you dig down deeper if this is the case. Concrete, screed & insulation is cheap, electricity isn't.
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  • moneysaver1978
    moneysaver1978 Posts: 325
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    edited 7 November 2023 at 11:24PM
    If still undecided and you do not want radiators, is skirt board heating an option for you?
  • danrv
    danrv Posts: 1,382
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    edited 8 November 2023 at 12:27AM
    silvercar said:
    We went for designer radiators running of the same boiler that the old radiators were using. 
    That seems the best idea if UFH pipes 
    would raise the floor level too much. 
    I have aircon in my kitchen diner although this is part of a multi split system.
  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 46,760
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    Why will the pipes raise the floor by 3"? UFH is normally laid into screed which has to be a certain thickness with or without pipes? Can you dig down deeper if this is the case. Concrete, screed & insulation is cheap, electricity isn't.
    In our case, the floor is partly concrete, partly original 1930s parquet flooring and partly quarry tiles. To dig up and see what’s under all that would be expensive and who knows what we would discover. We are screeding over the top and having a new floor laid on top, there really isn’t room for UFH on top of that. 
    I'm a Forum Ambassador on The Coronavirus Boards as well as the housing, mortgages and student money saving boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Forum Ambassadors are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected] (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
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    edited 8 November 2023 at 7:31AM
    Hi FF.
    Quite a consensus against having UFH in a kitchen at all!
    Another reason - they are very slow-responding to changing demand - hours - and kitchens are typically rooms where you get fast and dramatic temp changes that should be responded to. 
    Save yourself a £oodly amount and go for one of the other options - column rads (best), wet plinth heaters (seemingly good - have no experience of them), leccy plinth (ditto), skirting radiators (neat, tho' you may not have enough skirting in a kitchen?)
    If you were considering electric UFH, then you should equally consider electric plinth heaters - surely the cheapest to buy and install? (Not sure about noise levels, tho').
    A new-build room should have the latest insulation values, so should be easy to heat. We've had a 6m X 6m extension built a few years back, and that is heated successfully using two 450mm wide, 1800mm high column rads - not only pretty discrete, but actually quite pretty. And that's a sitting room, so needs to be warmer than a kitchen.
    Surely there's enough wall space somewhere? If not, then wet plinth, leccy plinth, wet skirting, I guess.
    Although UFH is awesome, the kitchen is probably where it's of least benefit. I suggest you want a system that responds quickly to the cooking process.
    Do you have UFH anywhere else in the house?
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