Which floorings work best with underfloor heating?

Date posted: 20/04/20

If you are thinking about installing underfloor heating for year-round comfort and warmth, here is a quick guide to how different types of flooring work with this type of heating system.

What types of flooring can I use?

While you can lay most types of floor covering over underfloor heating, some will work better than others. Hardwood, laminate flooring, carpet, stone, ceramic tiles, slate and vinyl can all be used in combination with underfloor heating, but some will be more effective than others at warming up your home. Stone and slate will retain heat for longer than vinyl, for example, so will keep your room warmer for longer after the heating has been turned off.

Can all carpets be used with underfloor heating?

While many carpets can be used in conjunction with underfloor heating to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere, you should avoid very thick or heavy carpets. This is because these are very good insulators – not only are they great for keeping out the cold but also for keeping out the warmth from your underfloor heating! Stick to carpets with a tog rating of 2.5 or less and don’t forget to include the underlay in your calculation.

Is underfloor heating effective under laminate flooring?

Yes, you can install many types of laminate flooring over underfloor heating and enjoy a warm, well-heated home. Both electric and water underfloor heating systems are compatible with laminate flooring. One thing to bear in mind is that denser laminate works better with underfloor heating because it ensures better thermal conductivity. The best type of laminate for this purpose is one that is very dense and also thin, which will enable you to heat up your room more quickly when using your underfloor heating.

How well does vinyl work with underfloor heating?

It works surprisingly well. Vinyl flooring is soft underfoot and rarely gets too cold anyway, so it is very comfortable to walk on with bare feet when used in conjunction with underfloor heating. While vinyl won’t retain heat for as long as slate or stone, for example, it is a great option in busy family homes where you want softer flooring that also happens to be more affordable than most options. Check that the vinyl you like is suitable for use with underfloor flooring before you buy, as you might find there is a temperature limit; however, this should not pose a problem in most cases.