Boiler vs water heater for radiant floor head

Radiant Floor Heating Water Heater Vs. Boiler – Comparison in 2023

The radiant floor heating water heater vs. boiler is a discussion that many people partake in up to this day. Both systems work great, so which one is the better option out of the two?

Here, we’ll talk about those two systems, covering their benefits and disadvantages. By the end of this read, we’ll have a better understanding of how each one works, which should help us make our call on which one is the best.

Reasons for Getting Radiant Floor Heating Water Heater

These are the reasons why you’d want to have radiant floor heating systems.

Energy Efficiency

You can get either electric or water-based systems for radiant floor heating. Both work similarly, heating the room from the bottom to the top. Floor heating devices work at an 84°F temperature or less, depending on the floor type, but it means the same thing: less energy used.

Runs Smoothly

The effort you’d have to put would be only for the installation process. After that, floor heating requires no maintenance at all. Also, the warranties, which often go beyond two decades, will keep you covered.

Less Space Needed

Radiant floor heating makes it possible to enjoy a warm temperature in the room without having a big boiler taking a lot of space.

Compatible with Every Floor Finish

With an underfloor heating system, you don’t have to worry about whether or not it’d be compatible with the floor finish. Regardless of the floor type, be it laminate, wood, tile, carpet, or others, floor heating works with all of them.

Safe and Comfortable

Since the floor heating system works from underneath the surface, you won’t have to worry about bumping into a boiler. Also, children won’t be able to mess with the devices either.

Easy to Install

It may seem tricky, but installing the floor heating system isn’t that difficult. In fact, setting up these systems in the house would be better during a renovation, as you’d have all the freedom to connect the wires and make the accommodations needed.

Disadvantages of Water Heater Systems for Radiant Floor Heating

After learning about the good, now we cover some of the downsides of having these systems, both electric and water-based.


The estimated installation costs vary from 10 to 20 dollars per square foot, which, of course, could be more or less depending on the system you choose.

That’s only the installation because you’d also have to hire a professional to connect the device to the power supply, which would be a couple of hundred dollars more.

If you choose a water-based system instead, you’d have to install it during a renovation project, which is even more expensive too.

Resulting Floor Height

Putting a whole system underneath it only means that the height of the floor will change drastically. Fortunately, there are some ways to sort out this issue.

For instance, the Warmup’s StickyMat electric system features thin wiring, which won’t create a highly noticeable difference in the floor.

Advantages of Using a Boiler

The alternative is using a boiler instead of a whole radiant floor heating system. Of course, boilers also have advantages and disadvantages, as we’ll learn through the following information.

Energy Efficient

Most boilers feature an automatic feature that controls the performance of their systems. Such is the case of the Advanced Flow Control, an exclusive mechanism of Tempra Plus models.

Also, boilers are capable of checking the amount of energy used to see whether or not it requires modulation to perform at a better level.

Sleek Design

It depends on the brand, but most boilers will consume less space once installed. Their compact design allows homeowners to set them up easily in many areas of the household.

Less Expensive

There’s no doubt that boilers aren’t cheap, but they’re way more affordable than the radiant floor systems. Better yet, you’d be able to install boilers any time you wish to do it, basically.

Even though a professional is necessary, people with DIY skills could handle boilers without problems.

Continuous Performance

Once installed, boilers will perform continuously without interruption. They’re capable of supplying water, steam, and warm temperature conditions to enjoy around the house, which is something most homeowners would appreciate.

Disadvantages of Using Boilers

In the previous section, we mentioned that there are many boilers available that feature a sleek design. That’s true, and they aren’t necessarily a hassle, but you’d still be able to see them hanging on the wall if that’s the location you choose for them.

One problem with boilers is that, if there are curious children in the house, they could meddle with the devices.

Naturally, it’s up to the parents to prevent this situation from happening, but children always find away.

Another issue is that some boilers aren’t as intuitive as we’d expect. Yes, making temperature adjustments is possible, but it isn’t always easy.

Which One to Choose Between Floor Heating Water Heater and Boiler?

Radiant floor heating systems are incredible, but all the hassle, money, time, and effort required for their installation is a big setback.

Not everyone is willing to invest the money, let alone renovate the whole house in order to install these systems.

Of course, if you’re getting a new home, or you’re currently thinking of doing a renovation, floor heating systems are probably the best choice. They’re expensive, but they’re way more convenient.

These systems work efficiently, saving money, and you can control every bit of their operation. Boilers aren’t bad either.

They perform well, albeit not as efficient as the alternative. Either way, choosing a boiler is far more convenient, as homeowners will have an easier time installing them. Even better, the amount of money spent isn’t as high as it would be with the other option.


Choosing between the radiant floor heating water heater vs. boiler is tough. Since there are many brands that offer their products, making the decision is even harder.

Ultimately, it’s your decision to select one of the two. With the information we covered in this article, you should be in a better position to choose wisely.

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