Floor Covering Advice

Underfloor heating can be used with a wide variety of floor coverings but care must be taken when selecting a covering to ensure it is suitable for use with underfloor heating.

The choice of covering also has an affect on the system performance. Ceramic tiles are ideal for use with underfloor heating as they have little to no resistance to the passage of heat, whereas thick deep-pile carpets and hardwood floors are quite good insulators and restrict the rate at which heat from the floor can heat the room.

These thicker floor coverings are fine for a typical system setup, effectively only resulting in a slightly longer heat up times over those of a tiled floor. However, careful consideration must be given to projects with large areas of glass and a low temperature heat source such as a heat pump, where the use of a timber floor may prevent the system from achieving room temperatures in the winter without increasing the water temperature of the heat pump (at the expense of running costs).

Typical thermal specifications of various floor coverings

The table below lists various types of floor covering by their thermal performance:

Thermal Resistance Covering Examples
0.00m²K/W / 0.0 Tog Ceramic, Stone, Vinyl and Slate Tiles, Polished Screed
0.05m²K/W / 0.5 Tog Parquet Blocks, 25mm Marble Tiles, Cushioned Linoleum
0.10m²K/W / 1.0 Tog Carpets, Heavy Parquet Blocks, 9mm Carpet Tile, 13mm Hardwood, Engineered Timber
0.15m²K/W / 1.5 Tog Deep Pile Carpet, Solid Wood Floorboards, 22mm Laminates

Notes regarding wooden floors

There are a number of different types of wooden floor on the market, each with its own specific requirements which should be checked with the manufacturer prior to purchase; however, wooden floors can be usually be used with underfloor heating provided that they are not greater than 22mm thick and are fully dried and seasoned prior to laying. For projects where temperture limiting is critical, we can use floor probes our underfloor heating systems in order to guarantee the temperature of the floor covering does not exceed that stated in the manufacturer's guidelines (typically 27°C).