What Is The Best Type Of Flooring For Heated Floor System?

Heated Floor System

When you decide to have floor heating installed in your home, you may be unsure of whether or not you also need to change your flooring type. Most people have either wood, carpet, or tile in their home and these are all fine to have with floor heating, but some work better than the others when it comes to heat distribution.

Below, we will evaluate the different types of flooring and how well they perform with floor heating options.

Can Tile And Concrete Be Installed Over Floor Heating System?

Among the best flooring materials with underfloor heating are tile and stone. These two flooring materials are highly conductive which means that once the heat is released from the heating pipes or wires, it transfers to the surface quickly. Additionally, both tile and stone floors retain heat well which helps to enhance the efficiency of your underfloor heating system.

We recommend using underfloor heating systems on tile and stone flooring in areas with high heat loss such as sunrooms.

Benefits of underfloor heating on tile and stone floors include:

  1. They have excellent heat transfer properties
  2. Tile and stone are easy to keep clean
  3. They are highly conductive which increases heat uptime
  4. Tile and stone are ideal with both electric and water-based underfloor heating systems

To get the maximum benefits when installing underfloor heating with tile and stone, proper insulation must be applied.

Can Carpet Be Installed Over Floor Heating System?

Carpet is an ideal choice in homes, and it does work well with floor heating. If you still want to enjoy the comfort of carpeting under your feet with the warmth and efficiency of an underfloor heating system, you can choose to go ahead with the installation. However, it is important to understand that underfloor heating on carpeting comes with its own unique limitations. Carpets act as an insulator and may hinder the underfloor heating system from adequately transferring heat and warming the room.

If you choose to have underfloor heating installed over carpeting, take the following steps to enjoy the efficiency and warmth of your system.

  1. Pay attention to the thickness of the underlayment, as it can soak up a lot of the heat and cause poor heat output in your home. The underfloor heating system you choose should produce adequate heat to warm your home.
  2. Ensure that the carpet’s combined TOG value (a rating that indicates the effectiveness of a material’s heat insulation) and underlay does not exceed 2tog.

Can Hardwood Be Installed Over Floor Heating System?

Wood flooring has different thermal properties depending on the type of wood used. For underfloor heating, we recommend using dense and thinner wood floorboards as they conduct heat better than thicker boards. The thickness of the wood floorboards is extremely important as it helps to ensure that they don’t act as an insulator that blocks the heat. If you’re looking to install wood flooring with underfloor heating, consider the different wood types and how they adapt to the changes in floor temperatures without changing the appearance of the floor. We recommend the following options:

  • Engineered timber: Engineered timber is perfectly designed for underfloor heating as it responds well to changes in floor temperature and adapts to varying levels of moisture in the wood.
  • Solid hardwood: This type of wood may not be the most suitable for use with underfloor heating because it’s prone to gapping and cupping with humidity and temperature fluctuations. However, there are some manufacturers that have designed solid hardwood that’s suitable for use with underfloor heating.
  • Softwood: Softwood can be used with underfloor heating so long as the floorboards are thick enough to sustain a high heat output.
  • Bamboo: This is an ideal option with underfloor heating due to its high conductivity properties.

When installing underfloor heating with wood flooring, check the moisture content of the wood during installation and ensure you install the correct heating cycle to get the best results.

Can Laminate Be Installed Over Floor Heating System?

Laminate is a synthetic flooring material that’s known for its stain and scratch resistance properties. Laminate floors are not only cost-effective but also easy to install and suitable for underfloor heating. Before installing an underfloor heating system on a laminate floor, check with your flooring manufacturer.

Flooring Material And Maximum Heat Output

Flooring finishes have different temperature restrictions which will limit the maximum heat output of your underfloor heating system. Other factors such as the floor area or room size and the air temperature will also affect the heat output. Since you can’t really change the room size or comfort air temperature to maximize the heat output, the best approach would be to choose a different floor finish. Some flooring can only be heated up to 27°C hence you’ll need to go with a different finish to achieve a higher value of heat output.

How To Choose The Right Flooring For Radiant Heat System

Since floor heating works wonderfully for all types of flooring, you can have any flooring type that you want. The easiest way to pick the right flooring for your home is to focus on the needs of your home and evaluate your options. For example, if you have young kids in your home, a carpet may be the right choice for you.

We’ll go over some key steps that can help you select the perfect flooring type for radiant heating systems:

  • Understand your needs: Where are you planning to install underfloor heating? Is it in complete rooms or small sections of different rooms like the bathroom vanity? This will help you determine the best flooring to match your needs.
  • Research on the pros and cons of all flooring types: If you’re building a new home or planning a renovation, learn about the flooring options available and how well they work with underfloor heating systems.
  • Understand the costs involved: This will include the cost of installation as well as the system maintenance fees if any. If the flooring material will require additional maintenance after installing the radiant heating system, you’re likely to spend more money in the long run.
  • Consider the overall style: At the end of the day, your flooring materials should complement the rest of your home’s architecture. You’ll need to strike a balance between functionality and style when making this choice.
  • Ask a professional for help: If you find that you need help choosing the right floor heating for your home, the team at Heavenly Heat Inc. can help you. Give us a call today.