Almost all floor coverings can be used with underfloor heating. The main difference between the floor covering is the materials thermal conductivity which means how quickly and efficiently heat transfers to the floor surface.
Tile, Stone & Polished Concrete
The best type of floor covering to use with underfloor heating is tile, stone and polished concrete/screed. All 3 surfaces have high thermal conductivity meaning that the heat from the underfloor heating transfers to the floor covering quickly. These floor finishes also retain heat well making the system efficient. The thickness of the covering has little impact on the heat output, but it does increase the heat-up times.
It is required to use a quality flexible cement-based adhesive when installing underfloor heating under tile and stone as well as our uncoated insulated econoboard. This will allow the underfloor heating to run efficiently on a concrete slab.
Underfloor heating can also be used with different wood covering types.
Engineered timber is also one of the best flooring finishes to use with underfloor heating as it performs well with changing floor temperature and adapts to the changing moisture content. Always check with the manufacturer about suitability for use with underfloor heating.
Solid hardwood is prone to humidity and temperature changes which could result in gapping, cupping or crowning. Always check with the manufacturer about suitability for use with underfloor heating.
Softwoods are suitable for use with underfloor heating, but attention must be paid to the thickness of floorboards (it is recommended no thicker than 20mm) to ensure high enough heat output. Always check with the manufacturer about suitability for use with underfloor heating.
Bamboo and Hybrid
Bamboo and hybrid flooring are similar to engineered wood as it is a good conductor of heat; it is well suited for use with underfloor heating. Always check with the manufacturer about suitability for use with underfloor heating.
When laying the floor finish directly over the heating a good quality flexible cement-based flooring adhesive must be used. It is important to make sure there is a full surface coverage over the underfloor heating and substrate. Alternatively, a self-levelling layer can be laid over the heating with the floor finish laid on top of this. For floating the timber covering we recommend our econoboard be used as insulation to make the underfloor heating run more efficiently.