Floor Coverings

Just like the floor type you choose, your floor covering will affect the performance of your underfloor heating system. There are several different options to consider, as explained below. If you’d like more information or advice, please get in touch.

Hardwood flooring and wood laminates

These are ideal floor coverings as they let heat transfer through easily. This gives an even surface temperature that won’t damage the floor.

Engineered floorings tend to be the best choice, but you can choose natural hardwood if you prefer. However, you’ll need to limit surface temperatures to around 27oC to avoid damaging the wood when your heating is on. You can do this by fitting a heat sensor.

Before fitting your flooring, it’s good practice to lay the planks out loose for at least 10 days. This lets them acclimatise to the room where they’ll be laid.

However, don’t start the acclimatisation process until all moisture has been removed from the building. Processes such as construction work, plastering and screeding will introduce lots of water into the walls and floors of the building.

You’ll need to let these dry out naturally, so the internal humidity of the building goes back to normal. A concrete screed dries out at a rate of around 1mm of thickness a day. You’ll need to make sure it’s completely dry or your beautiful new wood floor will absorb the moisture, causing it to warp and be permanently damaged.

The way you lay your hardwood floor will depend on its type, but please make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If your floor requires nails fixing, you’ll need to fit battens into the screed, or fix them directly into the joists, to enable this.

Most hardwoods are either glued directly to the dried screed with flexible mastic adhesive or floated over it. If you have a floating floor, the wood is clipped or glued together and laid over a proprietary hardwood underlay. This lets the entire floor expand and move, as all natural materials do.

Carpet

Our underfloor heating systems can be used with most types of carpet, although natural fibres will give better performance than manmade ones. It’s important to note that any carpets will act as an insulator, so the heat output from the floor will be slightly lower than with other floor types.

To make sure your underfloor heating can work efficiently, your carpet and underlay should have a maximum combined tog rating of 1.5 (a resistance of 0.15m2 K/W). Most reputable carpet manufacturers have approved carpets and underlays for underfloor heating, so take time to research the market.

Stone or tiled floors

Hard stone or ceramic tiles offer the best performance of any floor covering with an underfloor heating system. This is because the thermal resistance of hard materials like
concrete, stone, clay, rock or ceramic is extremely low, so heat passes through with virtually no loss.

This type of floor is especially suitable for use with a low temperature heat source such as a ground or air source heat pump.