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What is Skirting Board Heating?

Chances are your home has skirting boards. Conventionally, they serve the purpose of hiding the joint where the wall meets the floor, but now they can do much more than help the aesthetics of a home, they can heat it too.

The inventor behind skirting board heating is Martin Wadsworth of Discrete Heat, who pitched his idea on Dragons’ Den, but they clearly love their radiators as he walked away without any investment. However, since then, skirting board heating has become a hot investment.

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What is Skirting Board Heating?

Skirting boards that heat the home aren’t too dissimilar to traditional skirting boards in terms of their appearance and size, but within them is a revolutionary heating system.

There are two different types of heating system available: a ‘wet’ system that works using water and a ‘dry’ system which uses electricity. Here’s how they both provide heating:

‘Dry’ System ‘Wet’ System
Cables run through the casing, feeding to an electric thermostat that can be used to control the temperature of the room. Fitted with feed and return pipes that travel from the wet heating system around the room, transporting hot water which heats up the space.

Both systems are able to heat up very quickly but they have low operating temperatures, much like underfloor heating. The heat then rises from the bottom of the room to heat the space.

Skirting Board Heating: The Benefits

Skirting boards already occupy a small amount of space in many homes, so imagine being able to remove your radiators and not have to commit any more valuable space to a heating system. That’s just one of the many benefits of skirting board heating:

  • Even distribution of heat around the room
  • Your energy bills could be reduced
  • Can be easily fitted and retrofitted

In addition to all of this, your home will become a cleaner and healthier place to live as, unlike radiators, they can be easily cleaned and won’t distribute dust into the air. This has been recognised by the NHS who are currently trialling the ThermaSkirt with the idea of it being used in hospitals.

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Skirting Board Heating: Considerations

There’s no doubt that skirting board heaters have a number of benefits but as with anything, it’s worth taking a look at the potential downsides before investing.

By operating at a low flow temperature, skirting board heating is highly efficient and while this is a positive, it does mean that they might not be able to heat an entire room depending on its size. If you live in an older property, the benefits of skirting board heating could be negated by draughts around the edges of a room, which would make radiators the better option in some cases.


Thermaskirt is the Discrete Heat model that was met with a cold response on Dragons’ Den but has since gone from strength to strength and their product can now be found in 20 countries around the world.

They have 2 models, the ThermaSkirt h20 (water-based) and the ThermaSkirt-e (electricity-based) which are both compatible with gas or oil boilers, wood pellet, biomass and renewable energy sources such as air source heat pumps and solar.

There are many benefits that come with a ThermaSkirt:

  • Could reduce energy bills
  • Free up some valuable space
  • Can be fitted or retrofitted with ease
  • Even distribution of heat around the room
  • Choose one of many colours and styles to suit your home
  • The KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden carried out some research which found that the ThermaSkirt h20, which runs on water, has a 50% greater heat output per unit area than conventional radiators.

    ThermaSkirts are also multi-functional as there’s space within them to run any loose wires from a phone or TV instead of them being spread all over the floor.

    Skirting Board Heating: How Much Will it Cost?

    Skirting board is a more affordable solution than the heating system that most compares to it, underfloor heating. Underfloor heating can cost upwards of £40 per linear metre and has to cover the majority of the floor, whereas skirting board heating only has to cover the border of a room.

    A fully qualified engineer should carry out the installation for water systems, while a qualified electrician needs to install electric systems. Rather than go with the first quote you receive, it’s highly recommended that you get at least 3 quotes to give you the greatest chance of finding the best deal.

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    What Do Customers Think of Skirting Board Heating?

    After being so used to radiators heating our homes for so many years, it can be hard to make the change to a more modern heating system such as underfloor or skirting board heating. The majority of customers who have installed skirting board heating however couldn’t be happier that they made the change.

    Customer reviews frequently highlight how well the appliance compliments their home, the increased space they’ve benefitted from and, most importantly, the high efficiency which has reduced their energy bills.

    Is Skirting Board Heating Right for your Home?

    Having been through the pros and cons of skirting board heating, it’s clear to see that the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Simply removing radiators in favour of this new technology can make a world of difference to your home as heating bills can be reduced, rooms will have more space and the air quality will improve.

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