How Much Does It Cost To Install Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating?


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Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating Costs

Indoor Cost Guides      Air-Conditioning & Heating (HVAC)      Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating Costs

Hydronic floor heating is the most efficient space heating alternative. This is due largely to total-floor radiation that will heat floor mass and the air as heat rises from the entire floor area. Personal comfort is excellent, in some cases air temperature can be 3ºF less than equivalent comfort using forced-air heating.

Hydronic floor heating requires a boiler whose hot-fluid output will be circulated by pumps to radiators that are integrated within the floor. The boiler and other equipment will occupy space in a prepared mechanical room with electricity, water, and fuel installations.

You will find that the cost of hydronic radiant floor heating varies by type of unit, its heating and pumping capacity, efficiency ratings, the extent of necessary floor-installations, and the labor rate. In the following table the Labor Cost figure is what the able DIY person should expect to save by performing the corresponding tasks.

Hydronic radiant floor heating: provide and install the complete system in a wood-frame single-story house of 2,800 square feet and fully prepared with exposed sub-floor structure and space in the mechanical room with fuel, water, and electrical outlets. Include all related materials, supplies, transport, equipment, finish trim, final adjustments, and clean-up. New flooring not included.

Item Unit Cost Quantity Line Cost
Basic: mild winter climate; install 35,000 BTU/h boiler and 2,800 sq.ft. of radiant floor tube-and-plate circuit. Include floor and mechanical room integration and hookup of gas, water, electric, drains, valves, control wiring, thermostat, testing and balancing. $6,797 each 1 $6,797
Upgrade Moderate: additional to Basic, moderate winter climate; install 70,000 BTU/h boiler. $621 each 1 $621
Upgrade Deluxe: additional to Moderate, harsh winter climate; install 105,000 BTU/h boiler. $633 each 1 $633
Material Cost $8,051 each 1 $8,051
+ Labor Cost (Basic) $40 per hour 120 $4,800
+ Labor Cost (Moderate) $40 per hour 2 $80
+ Labor Cost (Deluxe) $40 per hour 2 $80
Total Cost $13,011 each 1 $13,011

Typical capacity unit conversions are:

1 Ton = 12,000 BTU/h = 3.5 kW = 4.6 BHP

Domestic heating and cooling capacity demand always depends upon regional climate zone conditions. In Phoenix (AZ) for example, 1 Ton of cooling capacity will cool about 500 square feet of living space (well insulated and sealed). In Minot (ND) it will cool about 650 square feet (or 30% more).

Heating capacity demand per square foot follows a similar but reversed regional pattern. In regions near the 49th parallel for example, each Ton of cooling capacity indicates the need for 3 to 4 Tons of heating capacity.

Other considerations and costs

  • Floor-installations cost will vary with floor conditions.
  • Energy efficient heating and cooling will save money, and in some cases rebates may be available.
  • During the initial inspection the contractor should inform the homeowner of any and all necessary modification or upgrade on electrical circuits or building structure.
  • Labor cost will rise with a “hidden” installation in a finished environment.
  • These prices are for service in the immediate area of the provider.
  • Taxes and permit fees are not included.

Check out our guide if you need a loan for your home improvement project.

DIY considerations

  • This product is usually supplied and installed by a specialist service and may not be suitable for DIY.
  • Sheet metal duct, refrigeration piping, system testing, and temperature/pressure balancing all require special tools and skills.


  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2015.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY Web sites.
How much does it cost to install hydronic radiant floor heating in your city?
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Cost by city

(Moderate Upgrade)
  • New York, NY$19,754
  • Bronx, NY$16,232
  • Brooklyn, NY$13,529
  • Philadelphia, PA$16,877
  • Washington, DC$14,645
  • Atlanta, GA$13,250
  • Miami, FL$12,051
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL$12,624
  • Minneapolis, MN$14,809
  • Chicago, IL$17,254
  • Houston, TX$17,797
  • San Antonio, TX$11,946
  • Austin, TX$13,527
  • Denver, CO$11,429
  • Phoenix, AZ$12,058
  • Las Vegas, NV$13,235
  • Los Angeles, CA$14,912
  • San Diego, CA$13,532
  • San Jose, CA$16,345
  • Seattle, WA$11,967

Local costs have been calculated by accounting for labor and material cost differences across different cities. To get accurate cost estimates, indicate yours: