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Underfloor Heating Ranked From Worst to Best

Does your home seem too cold and draughty? Are you looking for energy-efficient ways to keep your place warm and cosy? If so, you may want to consider underfloor heating and getting rid of your radiators. Not only will your home feel warmer, but you’ll have more space by getting rid of those antiquated radiators!

However, it’s first necessary to determine if underfloor heating is appropriate for your home’s flooring. We’ve gathered information to help you learn more about underfloor heating and what flooring is not appropriate for this form of heating. We’ll also share the flooring that does well with an underfloor heating system!

 

What is an Underfloor Heating System? 

Underfloor heating is a central heating system that works to keep your home warm. The system may use water or electrical heating elements installed in the floor. The heating may be a primary or secondary source of heat for an entire building or localised heating in specific rooms.

These systems can be cheaper to run than radiators, as underfloor systems heat more evenly from the floor up and don’t overheat the space. The system also reaches the desired temperature faster than a radiator system. It can heat the space to a specific temperature within 20 minutes.

 

Which Flooring Doesn’t Work with an Underfloor Heating System? 

Certain flooring doesn’t work well with underfloor heating systems, including:

 

Cork Flooring

Underfloor heating systems are not recommended to install under cork flooring. The reason is that exposing the cork to heat can cause it to dry out and shrink. In other words, your flooring will become damaged.

 

Solid Wood Flooring

It’s also not recommended to install an underfloor heating system under a solid wood floor. The problem is that the planks are not stable and are not able to cope with temperature changes. An underfloor heating system could cause the planks to warp, expand, and move.

 

The Best Flooring for Underfloor Heating Systems

Here are the floorings that do great with an underfloor heating system:

 

Carpet

Underfloor heating systems do well under carpets. However, the TOG value of the underlay and carpet should not go over 2.5. It’s true that carpet is a great insulator; however, it’s not a very good thermal conductor. That means that carpet will keep heat from circulating.

 

Tile & Stone Floors

Tile and stone floors are also great candidates for underfloor heating systems. This is a better choice than carpet, as tile and stone are better at thermal conductivity. They allow the heat from the system to rise unhindered into the room. The heat can better circulate in the entire room more easily.

One of the downsides of tile and stone floors is that they’re not very comfortable to walk on. In the winter, these floors can be quite chilly!

 

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is an excellent way to add more character and beauty to a space. The flooring is practical, easy to maintain, and works great with underfloor heating systems. Laminate is a great choice for bathrooms and kitchens, too.

 

LVT

Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) also works well with underfloor heating. The heat expands across the floor quickly. This is one of the best choices on the market.

 

SPC Vinyl Flooring

SPC vinyl flooring is waterproof and is a great option for almost any room, including those that can become wet, such as the bathroom or kitchen. It also works well with underfloor heating systems.

 

Engineered Wood

Engineered wood floors are beautiful, versatile, and easy to care for. They’re also a great alternative to solid wood floors. It’s also available in a wide range of styles, finishes, and colours. You can choose unfinished oak, smoked walnut, and more!

This flooring is constructed in layers made from recycled wood, such as MDF and plywood. It is a great choice for underfloor heating systems. The flooring allows the heat to spread evenly throughout the room or the entire home.

 

How is a Floor Prepared for Underfloor Heating? 

Preparing your floor for an underfloor heating system is essential. Improper preparation not only damages your floors but can also cause problems to the heating system over time.

Here are the steps needed to prepare flooring for an underfloor heating system.

  1. Clean the room to ensure the space is completely free of dirt and dust.
  2. Install the insulation boards carefully and ensure all joints and gaps are taped.
  3. Fill the space under the boards with sand, especially the walkways.
  4. If you use liquid screed, it’s necessary to get a 500 to 1000-gauge membrane and pull the plastic skirt out and tape it to the wall.
  5. Ensure the membrane is free of creases and create a slight lap on the wall, about 10 cm.
  6. Apply perimeter insulation around the walls.
  7. Create holes of the correct size in case the pipes pass through the walls.
  8. Fill any spacings between pipes and holes with expanding foam.

 

How Long After Laying the Flooring Can I Turn on the Underfloor Heating? 

A general rule is to wait for at least a week before turning the system on. However, it is possible to activate the system for several minutes after it’s been installed. That way, you can test the system to make sure it’s working properly.

It’s also best to start with a cold temperature and increase it by a few degrees each day. It’s possible to use a floor temperature sensor to track the temperature.

 

Summing It Up

When you’re considering the installation of an underflooring heating system, there’s a lot to consider. One of the main issues is choosing the right flooring. Some of the best options for flooring include tile & stone, laminate, LVT, and engineered wood.

If you’d like to install underfloor heating, but you’re not sure which flooring to choose, be sure to reach out to a professional floor installer. These professionals can offer advice and guidance on the right flooring for your home and one that’s effective to use with an underfloor heating system.

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