What Floor Coverings Can I Use With Underfloor Heating?
The types of floor coverings that can be used over your underfloor heating system will ultimately depend on the temperature that your system needs to achieve to operate correctly. You can check these temperatures in the quotation provided for your project. In a modern building, you should be able to use most floor coverings with no real issue, because the floors will remain at a relatively low temperature due to the buildings high levels of insulation.
Carpets can be used very successfully in many applications. Please note that the carpet underlay is traditionally used to insulate from the cold floor below, but in the case of underfloor heating you actually want to let the heat through. You need to make sure that the TOG rating of your underlay is around 1.1 – 1.5 TOG. The combined TOG rating of your carpet and underlay should not exceed 2.5 TOG.
Timber floor coverings can be used effectively in the right situation. Please ensure the following guidelines are followed to ensure that the Timber floor covering works well for you:
- Use a well dried timber, ideally with an 8 – 10% moisture content.
- The boards should be no wider than 150mm to prevent unsightly expansion gaps forming between the boards.
- A maximum floor surface temperature of 27c or 70w/m2 should not be exceeded.
- Large temperature fluctuations should also be avoided, and a steady temperature should be maintained.
- Avoid excessively thick timbers, 20 -22mm structural boards are ideal.
You must refer to your supplier’s recommendations for installation, but avoid well insulated underlay between the underfloor heating and timber.
Tiles are possibly one of the best floor coverings to use over the top of underfloor heating. Their properties are very similar to screed and concrete and distribute heat very well, making them well suited to solid floor construction. Please check with your tile supplier for their recommendations regarding tiles and fixing materials for use with underfloor heating. When using tiles with underfloor heating in suspended, batten and floating floors, avoid excessive construction thickness as it can impede the effectiveness of the underfloor heating.
Vinyl floor coverings can be used with underfloor heating. They are normally treated the same as timber floors when it comes to temperature limitations. For example, the maximum floor temperature should not exceed 27c or 70w/m2, we recommend you check with the manufacturer of the vinyl to ensure that their product is suitble for use with Underfloor Heating.