Which floor coverings are suitable for use with underfloor heating?
If you are contemplating installing underfloor heating in your home, you may be surprised to learn just how many types of floor covering are compatible with this heating method. Many homeowners use tiles in combination with underfloor heating, as solid materials tend to have the best heat conducting properties and provide the most warmth and comfort; however, there are many more options if you would like more variety throughout your home.
Materials such as terracotta, slate, stone and ceramic are excellent thermal conductors and are popular choices for use in conjunction with underfloor heating. One disadvantage of this type of flooring, however, is that it can feel extremely cold when the underfloor heating is not switched on. It is unlikely that you will use underfloor heating all year round, so bear in mind that solid floors will feel cold to the touch during periods when the weather is not cool enough to necessitate heating but is not warm enough to heat your floor to a comfortable temperature.
Some solid wood flooring can be suitable for use with underfloor heating, so always check with the manufacturer. Wood tends to be one of the warmer floor coverings anyway and has poor heat conductivity; therefore, it is not necessarily the most effective choice for use with underfloor heating, even if it is labelled as suitable by the manufacturer.
Some laminates are suitable for use with underfloor heating, but again always check with the manufacturer. Laminate is generally more affordable than wood flooring, some brands are manufactured with underfloor heating in mind, and laminate will have better conductivity than solid wood. This is worth bearing in mind if you like the look of wood but want to feel the full benefit of your underfloor heating.
Carpet is not perhaps the most obvious choice for rooms with underfloor heating, but it is generally suitable for this purpose. Always check with the manufacturer, but most carpets can be used in conjunction with underfloor heating. Carpet does not conduct heat as well as solid floor coverings, but it does have the advantage of still being warm and comfortable when the heating is not in use.
Most homes will only have underfloor heating installed in certain rooms; however, if you like the idea of extending it to the majority of your property, you may decide to use different floor coverings in different rooms for practical reasons. With this in mind, it is good to know there are so many options compatible with underfloor heating.