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After installing a radiant heating system in your home, you’ll also need the best thermostat for underfloor heating for controlling the system. Unfortunately, some thermostats that are used for regular HVAC systems aren’t suitable for regulating UFH. While some models are compatible with both Underfloor heating and HVAC systems, you can easily end up with the wrong thermostat if you’re not cautious.
Why take that risk when brands like SunTouch, Honeywell, and NuHeat have thermostat models that are specifically designed for floor heating systems? Nonetheless, you still have to find the best option for your radiant floor heating system. Well, that’s what we’ll be focusing on in this review and buying guide. I’ve analyzed some of the best thermostats in the market today, both for wet and electric underfloor heating systems.
So, let’s dive right in!
Different types of underfloor heating Thermostats
As you know, there are 2 main types of radiant floor heating systems-hydronic and electric. Similarly, underfloor heating thermostats can be classified into 2 different categories. That is; hydronic thermostats and electric thermostats. This is because thermostats designed for water-based/ hydronic UFH systems are not suitable for electric floor heating systems and vice versa.
For that reason, we’ll review the best thermostats for underfloor heating in 2 separate groups to avoid confusion.
Best Electric Underfloor Heating Thermostats
An electric UFH system features a well-insulated electric mat installed underneath that uses electricity to heat the floor. More importantly, the system usually runs on line voltage- 110 or 240V. Therefore, the best thermostat for electric radiant floor heating must be a basic line voltage thermostat. Moreover, you should always check the thermostat’s recommended maximum voltage to avoid overload.
With that in mind, here are some of the best electric UFH thermostat models available;
Considered the best thermostat for electric UFH systems, SUNTOUCH Command is a 7-day programmable thermostat. This means that you only need to program it once, and it will handle the rest of the job automatically. For that, it’s a great option if you want an advanced, but easy-to-use heated floor thermostat since you’ll not experience the complications of smart features.
Another stand-out feature about this device is that it’s equipped with a 3.5” large Touch Screen rectangular display. Better yet, the display is bright, attractive, easy to read, and comes with multiple color display options. That way, you can easily change the color of the screen to match your interior decor.
In addition, this thermostat supports both air and floor sensing modes as it even comes with a floor sensor and a 14 ft 10K sensor wire. These features allow the device to adjust the temperature of your UFH system according to your scheduled time.
As for power requirements, this thermostat model works with 120V or 240V electric UFH systems. Even better, you can use it with up to 3 UFH electric mats, as long as the combined load is within specifications (that is; less than 15A).
In terms of safety, the device has an inbuilt GFCI for safety. Moreover, it uses SmartStart technology to ensure that the floor has reached the intended temperature at the scheduled time. Best of all, it’s quite simple to install if you are only using it for heated floors. However, you can also use it to replace any radiant heating thermostats with a 10K sensor wire.
- Intuitive 7-day schedule
- Easy-to-read 3.5” touchscreen display
- Comes with a 3-year warranty
- Has both air and floor sensing modes
- Automatic temperature adjustments
- Dual Voltage
- Lacks smart features
NuHeat Home is another great thermostat for controlling the heat output of your electric radiant floor heating system. And unlike other models, it comes with an ‘Energy Usage Monitor’, allowing you to monitor the weekly or monthly energy consumption of your floor heating system.
Still, on energy consumption, this device is a 7-day programmable. This will allow you to set the temperature settings according to your schedule, thus cutting down your energy costs.
In terms of appearance, this model is equipped with a large, easy-to-read 3.5” color touchscreen display. Better yet, the screen shows temperature readings in both deg F and deg C, while the clock setting is available in 12 h or 24 h mode. On top of that, this device has many other customizations including language support for Spanish/ French and English Customizations.
Moreover, it has a physically on/ off switch, dual voltage compatibility (120/ 240V), and inbuilt Class A GFCI protection. This Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter helps to protect it against electrocution that may result from current leakage.
Another benefit of choosing this programmable thermostat is that it’s suitable for all types of electric UFH systems. In addition, it comes with 2 temperature sensors (an air temperature sensor and a floor sensor) and it’s ideal for stone-based and tiled floorings. However, it has a temperature limiting feature for engineered wood and laminate floors.
- Easy-to-use set up
- Suitable for all electric radiant floor heating systems
- 2 temperature sensing modes
- Bright 3.5” touchscreen display
- Includes an energy consumption monitor
- Limiting temperature feature for engineered wood & laminate floors
Seeing that NuHeat is one the most trusted thermostat brands in the market, it should not come as a surprise that this is their 2nd product on our list. However, unlike the previous model, NuHeat Signature is a premium, Wi-Fi-enabled brand option.
This Wi-fi connectivity feature makes it easy to access remotely over a Wi-fi connection and smartphone app. As a result, you can control and monitor your electric underfloor heating system from anywhere. Also, this will allow you to change the temperature settings anytime depending on your changing schedule by accessing it via NuHeat Android/ iOs app or web portal.
Even better, NuHeat Signature is compatible with various smart home systems like Google Home or Amazon Alexa and even supports IFTTT protocols. That way, if you’ve got a Google Nest home thermostat, this device can utilize its occupancy sensor to save energy when you’re not at home.
That aside, this thermostat has a very stylish design that features a digital color LCD. In addition, its high-end design features a high gloss borderless acrylic frame and comes with a 3-year warranty.
For enhanced flexibility, this device has a 7-day programmable system that allows you to schedule its temperature settings for 7 days. Moreover, it can work with both 120 and 240 V line voltage and even comes with an inbuilt GFCI protection.
- Smartphone app support
- Dual voltage (120 & 240V) compatibility
- Compatible with Nest thermostats
- Small & compact design
- Easy to install and operate
- Slightly costly
Best Water-based/ Hydronic Underfloor Heating Thermostats
This type of thermostat is used to control water-based floor heating systems, which can be further classified into 2 categories. That is; surface mounted systems and buried systems. Surface-mounted systems feature 1.2 cm pipes that are laid over the existing floor, while buried systems consist of 1.6 cm pipes that are buried deep under the floor. Interestingly, hydronic thermostats are compatible with all types of water-based floor heating systems, regardless of whether they’re surface mounted or buried.
With that out of the way, let’s look at some of the best thermostats for hydronic underfloor heating systems;
Similar to other Google Nest thermostat models, the E programmable thermostat is compatible with various heating systems including hydronic underfloor units. According to the manufacturer, this device is compatible with about 85% of 24V heating & cooling systems out there.
And as you would expect, it’s compatible with the Google Home app, allowing you to control it wirelessly with your smartphone. In addition, this mobile app has a Savings Finder feature that allows you to reduce the energy costs of your heating system.
Surprisingly, this thermostat is also compatible with Amazon Alexa. Therefore, you can either change its temperature setting using Alexa or Google Assistant. However, it doesn’t work with the Apple Homekit.
Moving on, the Nest thermostat E model has an attractive design that features a frosted dial/ screen. More importantly, it learns your preferred temperature settings and programs itself to keep your home comfortable and save energy. Besides, it comes with a floor sensor that detects the temperature of the room it’s placed in. The thermostat then uses that reading to adjust your underfloor heating system to your preferred temperature.
Alternatively, you can set up this thermostat to automatically use Eco temperature settings when you’re not at home. A green leaf will appear on the thermostat and in the app, showing you that your UFH system is working at optimum efficiency.
- Easy installation
- Nice design
- Comes with a Nest sensor
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa & Google Home
- Works with most heating & cooling systems
- Only ideal for controlling a single heat source
- Not compatible with Apple Homekit
At first glance, Honeywell Aube TH140-28-01 programmable thermostat doesn’t come with smart features like the Nest model. However, this lack of wireless functionalities and smart features puts it at a fairly reasonable price point. In addition, it’s compatible with both central heating systems and hydronic underfloor heating units. Even better, it works with most electric heating systems, but you’ll need a relay.
The first feature that makes this device ideal for water-based heating systems is that it can control systems ranging from millivolt to 240 V. Not to forget that it has advanced temperature control that reduces temperature swing to ensure total comfort. Moreover, it activates the hot water heating pump for 1 minute every 24 hours to prevent pump seizures.
Another interesting aspect of this thermostat is that it’s equipped with a precise LCD screen. This display shows room temperature in increments of 0.1 deg F/ 0.1 deg C. At the same time, it features a low battery indicator that gives a 60-day alert to replace the batteries.
Lastly, this thermostat comes with instructions inside its front panel to ensure quick, easy programming. Besides, you only need to remove the faceplate from the base for convenient programming.
- Precise LCD screen
- Convenient programming
- Low battery indicator
- Advanced temperature control
- Ideal for central heating and hydronic underfloor heating systems
- 7-day programmable thermostat
- No smart features
Buying Guide (Factors to consider when buying the best Underfloor heating thermostat)
Although there is a wide range of underfloor heating thermostats, the best option for your home will depend on your preference for features and capabilities. However, there are some important aspects you should consider before you settle on any particular model. Those factors include;
Type of Underfloor heating system
The first thing you need to note when buying a floor heating thermostat is to check the type of underfloor heating system in your home. There are 2 main types of underfloor heating systems; hydronic and electric floor heating.
Hydronic radiant floor heat systems usually generate heat by warming the water in its pipework to the desired temperature. The warm water is then distributed through the system’s tubes through its framework, distributing radiant heat to the floor and connected surfaces. On the other hand, electric heating draws power from your home’s electricity to generate heat.
While some of these floor heating thermostats can work for both types of underfloor heating, it’s good to look for a model that’s specifically designed for the type of system in your home.
Secondly, you need to ensure that the type of room thermostat you choose is compatible with your electric or hydronic floor heating system. To accomplish that, look at the manufacturer’s specifications on the thermostat’s suitability for your existing or new heating system.
If you travel a lot, a smart thermostat is the best option for controlling your underfloor heating system. That way, you can connect it to the thermostat smartphone app or online portal and control it from anywhere. Also, this will allow you to monitor and manage your thermostat’s energy usage and heating settings remotely.
Overall, the best thermostat for a radiant system will often depend on the kind of underfloor heating system in your home. However, you should also check the manufacturer’s specifications, follow instructions and take your time to compare the different options available. Doing so will increase your chances of finding the best underfloor heating thermostats for you and your family!