What is the best flooring for underfloor heating?
Winter is on its way and we are all about to remember just how cold our homes can get when the temperature drops! Underfloor heating used to be thought of as something of a luxury in the UK, but more and more homes are taking the plunge and installing it to keep their rooms comfortable all year round. What is the best flooring to team with underfloor heating and is there any flooring it won’t work with? Here is a quick guide to how different floor coverings work alongside underfloor heating.
Tile and stone
These are technically the best types of flooring to lay over underfloor heating because they have high thermal conductivity and heat up quickly. They are particularly well suited to conservatories with underfloor heating. They can also hold on to heat for longer than most other types of flooring, meaning you will get more heat even after you have turned off the underfloor heating. These hard floor coverings are not ideal for all homes, however, as they can be very expensive, require specialist installation and repair, and don’t provide a soft surface to walk on.
Laminate flooring is an affordable option for many homes and is popular because it is hardwearing and attractive. The good news is that many laminates are perfectly suitable to be laid over heating systems. You will certainly be able to get the benefit of your underfloor heating, although the effects won’t be as dramatic as with stone or tile. Laminate is a great year-round flooring solution and will be suitable in most rooms; however, make sure the manufacturer explicitly says the flooring you choose is suitable for laying over underfloor heating, as some varieties might not be.
For the ultimate cosy comfort on cold mornings, carpet and underfloor heating is an unbeatable combination; however, one thing to bear in mind is that both the carpet and the underlay must be compatible with any underfloor heating system. You will need to check the tog rating of both the carpet and the underlay to ensure they won’t block the heat. Insulating underlay is great for keeping cold draughts out, but you don’t want to team it with your underfloor heating and keep the warmth you are paying for out as well!
Vinyl flooring is similar to laminate in that it is a great affordable choice and a good all-rounder for all weathers. It is especially well suited to bathrooms, which are one of the most popular rooms to install underfloor heating in. Again, check that your chosen variety is compatible before buying.