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What type of floor can be used with Underfloor Heating?

One of the most frequent questions asked regarding Underfloor Heating is what type of flooring can I use with Underfloor Heating? It’s a good question to consider as you certainly don’t want to have any issues with the flooring later or imagine that you are restricted to a certain floor finish to accommodate the heating.

There are two keys points that relate to the flooring types:

  • Most floor finishes now days are suitable for use with Underfloor Heating
  • Different floor finishes have different levels of thermal conductivity. This means that some finishes will allow the heat to pass through better than others.

Let’s consider the key floor finishes:

  • Tile/Stone
  • Vinyl
  • Engineered timber
  • Solid wood
  • Carpet

We will now examine each of these floor finishes in more detail.

 

Tiles and Stone

Tiles are an extremely popular floor finish in all homes. They are the number one floor finish for bathrooms as well as being extremely common for other rooms such as hallways, living, kitchens and laundries. Tiles are a cold floor finish, so Underfloor Heating is ideal for these areas. The beauty of tiles is that they are the best floor finish for conducting heat and they will also retain heat well making them perfect for using with Underfloor Heating.

Vinyl

Vinyl is another floor finish that is suitable for use with Underfloor Heating, including vinyl planks. Whilst vinyl won’t be as high a conductor of heat as tiles, it will still allow enough heat to transfer through itself to allow it to effectively heat the room. If you are using vinyl planks with a rubber backing you may need to check with the manufacture to ensure that it is suitable for use with Underfloor Heating. The rubber back will be acting as an insulator and thus preventing the heat from
passing through the flooring.

Engineered Timber

Engineered timber floors are becoming increasingly popular and in most cases are suitable to be used with Underfloor Heating. The heat transfer through the timber still makes it an effective form of heating. Obviously, the floor never feels quite as cold as tiles so there is not the same wow factor of the warm floor however it will still be a comfortable warm room. It is recommended to check with the flooring manufacture regarding the heat up times and running temperatures of the Underfloor Heating.

 

Solid wood

Solid wood is another common floor finish and as a general rule, most flooring that is dense and thin is suitable for use with Underfloor Heating. With solid timber floors you will always need to check with the manufacture regarding the suitably for Underfloor Heating. As the floor has a certain moisture level you need to ensure that this isn’t affected in a way that causes the floor to dry out causing movement to the floor.

Carpet

Carpet is another suitable finish for Underfloor Heating although it has a lower thermal conductivity rating. Again, you will need to check with the manufacture to ensure your carpet is suitable for Underfloor Heating. This is mainly affected by the thickness of the carpet and its Thermal Overall Grade (TOG rating). Carpets with a TOG rating of greater than two are not suitable for use Underfloor Heating.

As you can see Underfloor Heating is suitable for almost all floor coverings, making it one of the most adaptable forms of heating as well as the most comfortable. We recommend to always check with the flooring manufacture to ensure your chosen finish is suitable and to see if there are any recommendations around the max running temperatures and heat up times.

Once you have confirmed your floor finish is suitable feel free to get in touch and we will help you to select the correct system for your application or view our online Heating System Selector Tool.