What is the Best Flooring for Underfloor Heating?
Contractors and developers tell us that liquid screed is the crucial component of underfloor heating because of its excellent thermal conductivity. Once it has enveloped the water pipes, flow screed allows the heat the spread rapidly across the floor, providing even heating in the rooms up above. In order to optimise your underfloor heating installation it‘s important to choose the right flooring finish.
Why is the Flooring Finish Important?
There’s a broad range of flooring finishes to choose from, and each one of them heats up at a different rate which has an impact on the time it takes for your room to arrive at its desired temperature. A poor heating conductor will hamper heat transfer, resulting in higher heating bills so choosing the best flooring for your underfloor heating matters if you are to get the best out of your heating installation.
A Range of Flooring for Underfloor Heating
Obviously, everyone will have personal preferences when it comes to their flooring finish, and the look and feel need to be balanced with thermal conductivity rates. The good news is that virtually any flooring can be used so long as care is taken when selecting specific materials. Here are our recommendations:
- Carpet Flooring – carpet can act as an insulator, stopping the heat from rising into the room above. If you plan to use carpet flooring we would recommend that you choose a total tog of no more than 2.5.
- Wood Flooring – wood flooring needs to be carefully selected to be sure to efficient thermal conductivity. If the wood is thin and dense it will transfer heat more quickly. Engineered timber is highly recommended as it adapts well to changes in floor temperature.
- Linoleum/Vinyl Flooring – both materials are excellent thermal conductors making them a great choice for underfloor heating. Vinyl will heat up and cool down very quickly. Because of this it cannot exceed a floor temperature of 27℃.
- Rubber Flooring – as with vinyl, rubber heats up quickly and transfers heat efficiently. It is also subject to the same floor temperature restriction of 27℃. Rubber is considered an excellent choice for underfloor heating.
- Stone Flooring – tile and stone floors are highly conductive making them the best flooring to use with underfloor heating. This is a durable heating option, which requires only light maintenance and is easy to clean.
How Do You Measure the Impact of Flooring on Underfloor Heating?
The heat output of your underfloor heating system is determined by considering what the heat loss factor is, compared with the heat output from the floor. The slower the output, the higher the temperature you will need to maintain the overall temperature. This could significantly affect your choice of flooring, especially if you need a heat output of 29℃ which would stop you using rubber or vinyl flooring.
Liquid Screed Direct works with specialist screed installers who will be able to offer advice and recommendations when it comes to choosing the right flooring for your underfloor heating system. Call us today on 0800 0599959 / 07926 235618 to talk to our experts about how we can support your flooring project.