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8 Jan 2024

The ultimate guide to radiator installation costs

Anna Dearden
Home Sector Specialist

Radiators — we all have them, albeit some more modern than others. Whether you're considering radiator installation for the first time or thinking about replacing your old radiators, understanding the costs involved is essential. 

The rising cost of living, combined with an increase in energy costs means that securing the most effective heating system is an absolute necessity. However, investing in a full radiator installation can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when it comes to financing them. 

Understanding radiator installation costs

Before diving into the specific types of radiator installations and replacements, it's important to have a clear understanding of the factors that influence the overall cost of the project. 

On average, a single radiator can cost between £150 and £300 as of 2023 in the UK. But radiator installation costs can vary significantly depending on several key factors, so it’s essential to understand the basics. 

Type of radiator

The type of radiator you choose is a major determinant of installation costs. There are various options available, including traditional hydronic radiators, electric radiators, and modern designer radiators. Electric radiators tend to be more expensive to install due to the need for electrical wiring and potentially a dedicated circuit.

What different types of radiators are there?

There are several types of radiators available, each with its own unique characteristics and heating mechanisms. 

  • Traditional hydronic radiators: Use hot water or steam to heat a room, making them a common choice in many homes. 

  • Electric radiators: Rely on electricity to generate heat, providing a more energy-efficient and versatile option. 

  • Modern designer radiators: Combine functionality with aesthetics, offering a wide range of stylish designs to complement any interior decor. 

  • Panel radiators, column radiators, and cast iron radiators: Some examples of the diverse styles and materials available, allowing homeowners to choose the radiator that best suits their heating needs and design preferences.

Ultimately, the type of radiator that’s right for you and your home depends on your budget and your desired aesthetic.

Number of radiators

The number of radiators you plan to install or replace will directly impact the overall cost. Installing multiple radiators will require more materials, labour, and time, which can increase the project cost.


The location of the radiators in your home can affect installation costs. Radiators in hard-to-reach or awkward spaces may require additional work for installation, potentially increasing labour costs.

Existing heating system

If you're replacing existing radiators, the condition of your current heating system can influence the cost. Upgrading to a more efficient heating system may require modifications that add to the overall expense.

Materials and accessories

The choice of materials and accessories, such as thermostatic valves or radiator covers, can impact the total cost. High-quality materials and additional accessories will increase the installation cost.

Labour costs

Labour costs are a significant portion of the overall installation expense. Labour rates can vary depending on your location and the complexity of the installation.

Electric radiator installation costs

Electric radiators offer a convenient and energy-efficient heating solution, especially in spaces where traditional hydronic heating is impractical. 

In the UK, a single electric heater costs on average around £500 per unit. Here's a breakdown of the costs associated with electric radiator installation.

Electric radiator unit

The cost of the electric radiator unit itself can vary widely based on its size, brand, and features. Basic electric radiators can be relatively affordable, while high-end models with advanced controls and design elements can be more expensive.

Electrical wiring

One of the primary expenses for electric radiator installation is the electrical wiring. You may need to hire an electrician to install a dedicated circuit for the radiator, which can increase the overall cost.

Thermostatic controls

Many electric radiators come with thermostatic controls that allow you to regulate the temperature more effectively. These controls can add to the overall cost, but they can also enhance energy efficiency.

Running costs

While not part of the installation cost, it's essential to consider the ongoing running costs of electric radiators. They are generally more energy-efficient than traditional radiators, but electricity rates in your area will influence your monthly heating expenses.

Standard radiator installation costs

Standard hydronic radiators (also known as standard box radiators) are a common choice for heating homes. On average, they are the most affordable radiator and cost around £145 per unit.

Radiator units

The cost of the radiator units themselves can vary based on their size, material, and design. Cast iron radiators, for example, tend to be more expensive than steel or aluminium models.

Piping and plumbing

Installing standard radiators requires piping and plumbing work to connect them to your central heating system. The complexity of this work will impact the installation cost.

Radiator covers

If you choose to install radiator covers for safety or aesthetic reasons, this will add to the overall cost of standard radiator installation.

Radiator replacement costs

If you're looking to replace your existing radiators, it’s important to consider the extra costs involved in removing and disposing of your old, existing heating system.

Removal of old radiators

The first step in radiator replacement is removing the old units. This process includes draining the heating system, disconnecting the radiators, and safely disposing of them. Labour costs for this phase should be considered.

New radiators

The cost of the new radiators you choose will be a significant portion of the replacement expense. As discussed above, you can opt for similar, cheaper models or upgrade to more efficient and stylish radiators depending on your desired functionality and aesthetics.

Tips for managing radiator installation costs

While radiator installation costs can vary, the more energy-efficient your home is, the more cost-effective your heating costs will be. 

Obtain multiple quotes

Before starting your radiator installation project, obtain radiator installation quotes from several reputable contractors or heating professionals. This will give you a better idea of the average cost for your specific needs and location.

Consider energy efficiency

Investing in energy-efficient radiators may cost more upfront but can lead to long-term savings on your energy bills. Look for radiators with high energy efficiency ratings.

Plan ahead

If you're replacing existing radiators, plan the installation during the off-season or when contractors may have lower rates. This can help reduce your overall labour costs.

Compare materials and brands

Research different radiator materials and brands to find the best combination of quality and affordability. Keep in mind that higher-quality materials may have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance.

DIY vs. professional installation

While some homeowners may have the skills to install radiators themselves, it's often best to hire a professional for safe and efficient installation. DIY installation can lead to costly mistakes and safety hazards.

Explore financing options

If the upfront cost of radiator installation is a concern, look into financing options or energy-efficiency incentives that might be available in your area.

Compare radiator installation costs with SpotDif

Thinking about installing a new heating system in your home? Before you take the plunge and make a big investment into a brand new set of radiators, compare deals with SpotDif.

We’ll compare hundreds of prices from our database of providers, so you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you’ll be getting the best deal on your radiator installation.  Browse our radiator deals, or get in touch with us today to find out more.

Anna Dearden
Home Sector Specialist
Combining in-depth research with an interest in all things home improvement, I aim to keep SpotDif readers up to date with interior design trends, renewable energy options, and more.
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