The Best Flooring For Underfloor Heating
Unflooring, Floor Heating & Driveway Heating
At Heavenly Heat, we pride ourselves on the fact that we understand underfloor heating in its many guises, from radiant floor heating installed in your home, to our incredible driveway heating, a perfect way to remove snow during winter.
We also can help guide those of you either building your houses from scratch or renovating rooms. We often get questions about which flooring material is best in conjunction with underfloor heating. One of the most important characteristics in this regard is the thermal conductivity of each material. This is basically the speed at which heat is transferred from the system, through the flooring and to the surface. Let’s take a closer look.
Concrete, Tiles And Stone
Most would agree, tile and stone are perhaps the best flooring to use with underfloor heating. These both have an excellent level of thermal conductivity, transferring heat extremely quickly to the floors surface. Not only that but both of these have the ability to retain heat as well, further lowering energy costs. These are an excellent option to use in areas in your home that lose heat very quickly. When deciding on thickness, try to keep it at around ¾ inch thick. Anything thicker will take longer to heat up.
- Ceramic and Stone Tiles
- Relatively thin therefore heat up quickly
- Transfer heat well
- Clean easily
- Polished Concrete, Slate, and Flagstone
- Very conductive and will heat up quickly
- Works equally well with water or electric underfloor heating
- Heats up far slower due to its thickness
- Offers excellent thermal conductivity
When it comes to wood, thermal properties vary depending on the type. Dense, thinner floorboards conduct heat the best of all, but other kinds are also viable. As there are numerous temperature changes from underfloor heating, using an engineered timber is perhaps the best option over more natural finishes. Bear in mind, even with engineered wood, never exceed temperatures of around 80°F.
Remember to take into account the moisture content of the wood you have chosen as heating will affect this significantly. If you are unsure if the wood flooring you have chosen is compatible with driveway heating & underfloor heating, be sure to ask an expert or check with the manufacturer.
- Engineered Timber
- Very adaptable to changing moisture content
- Performs best in changing floor temperatures
- Prone to changes in both temperature and humidity which could damage the wood
- Check maximum suitable temperatures with the manufacturer
- Pay particular attention to the thickness of the flooring as this can affect heat output.
Other Flooring Options
There are a range of other flooring options that can be used with underfloor heating as well.
- Laminate: Most are suitable for underfloor heating systems but just to be sure, always check with the manufacturer.
- Vinyl or Rubber: Because vinyl heats up quickly, it is a cost-effective alternative to stone or wooden flooring. Never heat above 80°F, however.
- Carpet: Although carpet is effective, make sure that the underlay provided with it does not in fact act as a heat insulator, stopping the heat from rising through the carpet. To be sure, do not use a carpet with 2.5 or more tog rating