How much will your floor installation or replacement cost?

Ashburn, VA 20149

Flooring Specialists on Thumbtack cost$1000 - $10000

National average fixed price

  • Lowest price:$0
  • Most common low price:$1000
  • Most common high price:$10000
  • Highest price:$0

How much does radiant floor heating cost?

By Evan Crowther

The national average cost of radiant floor heating is $18,221, including labor and materials. At the low end, you can expect to pay at least $13,484 for radiant floors, while higher-end installations average as much as $20,044.

The total price of installation varies based on several factors, including material, floor size, and location.

Radiant floor heating cost:

National average cost range


Average low-end cost range


Average high-end cost range


Figures above reflect the cost of installing 1,200 square feet of radiant floor heating. Labor and material costs are included.

This data offers an overview of the installation cost for a radiant heat system covering 1,200 square feet. The average cost of heated flooring is around $15 per square foot. More expensive installations can cost about $17 per square foot (or more).

The best way to get an accurate price for your underfloor heating system is to get a free estimate from nearby pros. Keep reading to learn what factors can impact the cost of installing a radiant floor heating system.

What is radiant heat?

Radiant floor heating works by warming the floor of your home directly. The system relies on the transfer of heat from the surface of the floor to the things in the room.

There are several types of radiant heating for floors:

  • Radiant air floor heating. Heated air is pumped through tubes beneath the floor.
  • Electric radiant floor heating. Uses electric radiant heating coils built into the floor panels
  • Hydronic radiant floor heating. Pumps heated water through a tubing system.

Common heat sources for radiant floors include electricity, boilers (gas-fired, oil-fired, and even wood-fired), and solar water heaters.

In addition to the method and source of heating, radiant floors can also use a variety of materials, including concrete floor slabs. Installers may use several different installation methods (wet vs. dry), depending on the type of flooring.

Although radiant heat plays a part in how radiant floor heating systems warm your home, they also rely on convection. Because heat rises, the heat given off by the floor naturally circulates through the room.

Get a free estimate from a great flooring specialist near you.

Heated floor cost per square foot:

National average cost range


Average low-end cost range


Average high-end cost range


Labor and material costs are included.

Material and labor costs to install heated floors:


Labor cost

Material cost

National average cost



Average low-end cost



Average high-end cost



Figures above reflect the cost of installing 1,200 square feet of radiant floor heating. 

Radiant floor heating cost breakdown.

Several factors will impact how much you pay for radiant floor heating. These factors include:

Labor costs and service fees.

Flooring installation is a skilled trade, and you should plan for contractors to charge appropriately for their labor and expertise. More complex flooring designs and customizations may increase the cost of labor.

Material and equipment costs.

The most common floor covering material for a radiant heat system is ceramic tile. However, you may also consider using vinyl, linoleum, thin carpeting, or laminated wood. Some flooring materials are more expensive, while others will cost less. Naturally, homes with larger square footage will also use more flooring materials.

The heating materials also vary in price. Hot water tubes in hydronic systems can use rubber, steel, or copper tubing.


Depending on the flooring material, your installation may involve an underlayment above the subfloor. This is a protective layer that goes beneath the flooring material. Some underlayments work better for certain flooring materials, but they may vary in price. Ask your contractor.


Radiant floor heating systems use insulation under the heating tubes to prevent wasting heat. This forces the heat up into the room. The type of insulation and flooring may also affect the cost of materials.

Electrical considerations.

Electrical systems require access to the wiring, which can drive up the installation cost. If your home doesn’t have the right electrical fixtures, specialized electrical work may be necessary. You may need to hire an electrician for this task.

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Gas or fuel considerations.

Hydronic systems use a boiler to heat the water that goes through tubes under the floor surface. These boilers can use electricity, natural gas, or oil.

Hydronic systems are generally more energy-efficient than electrical or air systems, but they still use energy. Factor the cost of fuel into the operating cost of your floor heating.

Removing existing heating system or flooring.

If you already have a heating system in place, the installation price may include the cost of removing the old system or flooring. Be sure to account for the cost of removal in your budget.

Retrofit vs. new construction.

The cost of labor will also vary depending on the parameters of the installation. It tends to be more economical to install heated floors in new construction than to retrofit an existing home. It isn’t impossible to redo existing flooring with radiant heat, but it will usually be more expensive.


The location of your home will also impact floor heating costs. The main reason location affects the price is because labor costs vary by state and city.

Where you live also determines the cost of materials and how easily installers can transport materials and equipment to your home.

Is radiant floor heat expensive to run?

How much you spend on energy for your radiant floor heating system depends on several things. The biggest factors tend to be floor type, heating type, and the climate in your area. You can also waste some energy if your home has poor insulation.

If your floor uses a material that insulates, such as carpet, the system won’t run as efficiently. An electric system will almost certainly increase your energy consumption compared to other heating methods. A hydronic system, however, can actually be less expensive to operate than a traditional furnace.

Is radiant heat cheaper than baseboard heating?

Baseboard heating is usually more affordable than radiant floor heating.

However, radiant floor heating is often a more efficient heating method than baseboard or central heating. Because floor heating doesn’t use air ducts, it tends to waste less heat than other heating systems.

How to save money when installing heated floors.

For homeowners with a set budget, it’s crucial to keep the cost of installing radiant floor heating as low as possible. Here are a few strategies you can use to save money on the installation:

  • Get more than one quote. Compare estimates from multiple companies to ensure you get the best price.
  • Electric vs. hydronic. While electric panels may be less expensive to install, hydronic panels may save money in the long run. According to the Department of Energy, "Hydronic (liquid) systems are the most popular and cost-effective radiant heating systems for heating-dominated climates."
  • Use existing flooring. In some situations, you may be able to reduce the cost of installation by using the flooring materials already in place. Talk to your contractor to find out if they can retrofit your existing floors with radiant heating — or if they recommend you lay down new tile (or another type of covering).
  • Choose heating zones strategically. Instead of installing panels under every square foot of floor, talk to your contractor about spreading out the panels to heat your entire home without wasting energy.
  • Keep up with maintenance. You should consider the long-term and operating costs before deciding to install heated floors. Avoid costly repairs by hiring a professional to inspect your system regularly.
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Cost of DIY vs. hiring a pro to install your heated floors.

Experienced DIY remodelers may have the skills to handle some or all of the installation themselves. Installing a radiant floor heating system is a labor-intensive and complex task, however. Unless you have experience with this type of work, you should strongly consider hiring a pro.

Here are the pros and cons of going the DIY route:

  • Cost and savings. Taking on a DIY installation project can often save you money on labor costs. However, if you make a mistake when installing your radiant heating, you'll need to repair it — and that may be costly.
  • Convenience. If you choose to DIY, you don’t have to work around a contractor’s schedule. You can handle the project on your own time.
  • Skill requirements. Howeveronly experts should attempt to install floor heating on their own, as mistakes can be costly to repair. When you hire a pro, you can count on a certain level of experience and knowledge behind your installation
  • Liability and warranties. You’re responsible for your own work, so you’ll have to cover the cost of repairs if something goes wrong. Flooring companies and contractors often offer a warranty for their work. This helps ensure you aren’t responsible for any mistakes in the installation.
  • Time and efficiency. Without a team of professionals, floor heating installation can be time-consuming. A team of professionals will have specialized equipment and a big enough labor force to handle the project faster than a DIY installation.

Is radiant floor heating worth it?

Radiant floor heating offers several advantages over other heating systems, but it isn’t without drawbacks. Homeowners considering radiant floor heating should think about their unique heating needs.

Benefits of radiant floor heating:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Even heating
  • No visible heating fixtures
  • Quiet operation
  • Improved indoor air quality

Disadvantages of radiant floor heating:

  • High initial installation cost
  • Complex installation
  • Longer warm-up time
  • No cooling capabilities

Get free price quotes for heated floors.

Radiant floor heating can be a luxurious addition to any home. With so many options, finding a local contractor to install your new system can be a daunting challenge. Download the Thumbtack app today to get a free estimate from a heated flooring contractor near you.


What is the life expectancy of radiant floor heating?

Some radiant floor heating systems can last as long as 40 years with proper maintenance. Hydronic systems depend on a boiler, however, which may only last 20 years.

Does radiant floor heat increase home value?

There isn’t any data to demonstrably prove that homes with radiant floor heating sell for higher prices. However, it might be a selling point realtors may be able to use to increase the appeal of your home to buyers.

Do heated floors use a lot of electricity?

While electric radiant floor heating can use more power than forced air, hydronic systems are often an energy-efficient alternative to traditional heating systems. A flooring material like concrete can save electricity by storing thermal energy to use throughout the day.

All project cost estimates included in this article were provided by Xactware’s pricing data (unless otherwise noted). For more information, visit Xactware’s pricing methodology page.

*A note about project costs featured in this article: Figures represent national average cost estimates using data provided by Thumbtack pros and additional research. These figures are provided for educational purposes only and are subject to change at any time due to various factors. Details about your specific project and local rates can impact costs.

How do we know these prices?

Millions of people ask Thumbtack for help with their projects every year. We track the estimates they get from local professionals, conduct our own research and then we share those prices with you. The prices reflected in the article above are for informational purposes only and are subject to change at any time. Contact a professional near you to receive a personalized cost estimate for your project.


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