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The best flooring for underfloor heating

The best flooring for underfloor heating

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Imagine getting out of bed and feeling a lovely warm sensation under your feet - having cosy feet on a cold winter’s morning is just one of the incredible benefits you can get from underfloor heating! It may seem like one of these incredible inventions from the future, but the concept of underfloor heating has been around for 2,000 years!

Keep reading to find out more about underfloor heating, why it’s such a great way to keep your home snug, and which flooring it works best under, as well as some answers to the most common FAQs we get about underfloor heating. 

What is underfloor heating?

Underfloor heating is the use of heated pipes or wires directly underneath the top layer of your flooring, which allows heat to radiate through the flooring and warm up your home. Early signs of underfloor heating come from as far back as the time of the Romans. They created spaces underneath their flooring using pillars and moved hot air through the passage to warm up the stone flooring in their villas.

Luckily, we don’t need to create cavernous gaps underneath our homes to achieve this anymore, thanks to modern technology, but the concept has remained to this day an efficient and cost-effective method of warming up homes.

Today, there are two different methods of underfloor heating that are used – electric and water:

  • Electric underfloor heating – Electric underfloor heating uses thin heating wires that are placed under the floor surface to warm an area. Whenever you switch on the wires, they heat up, radiating heat upwards through your flooring. These are best used in smaller areas and can be more expensive to run than wet underfloor heating.
  • Wet underfloor heating - A wet underfloor heating system consists of pipes that are filled with warm water and powered by a boiler or heat pump. The pipes are concealed within the floor, so if you are planning a whole-house heating system or are building from scratch, this is the best type of underfloor heating. It’s generally cheaper to run than electric heating and is best for large areas and rooms.
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What is the best flooring for underfloor heating?

The answer is that underfloor heating goes well under most flooring, the only exception being high-tog carpets. Laminatevinyl and solid wood are all great conductors of heat and therefore suitable for underfloor heating installation. Tile is the best conductor of heat, which makes it the best type of flooring for underfloor heating. Using tile with underfloor heating in areas like conservatories, which can lose heat the quickest, makes them cost-effective.

If you have a carpet and underlay combination with a tog rating higher than 2.5, then it will only serve to block the heat from getting in, because it’s such a good insulator. It’s also best to check with your flooring manufacturer that you are safe to use underfloor heating with any material you use just in case it damages the material.

Engineered wood flooring is another good conductor of heat for underfloor heating - if you want to keep the communal spaces in your home cosy, then opting for kitchen engineered wood flooring or engineered wood in your living room is a great route to go down. 

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FAQs

There are plenty of questions that we tend to get asked about underfloor heating, so here are our answers to some of the most common frequently asked questions:

CAN YOU HAVE CARPET WITH UNDERFLOOR HEATING?

Yes. Carpet works well with underfloor heating, as carpet naturally holds in heat, so you wouldn’t have to use as much electricity or hot water in a room with carpet as it will hold the heat for much longer.

However, it’s worth noting that a combination of underlay and carpet over 2.5 togs will not allow the heat to pass through because they act as such a good insulator that the heat can’t even pass through. It’s also good to check that your underlay is not too high a tog too, as this will also prevent heat from passing through and make your underfloor heating ineffective.

WHAT IS THE BEST FLOORING FOR UNDERFLOOR HEATING?

The best flooring for underfloor heating is tile because it heats the quickest and is the best conductor of heat, meaning it allows heat to pass it through it easily. So, in areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and conservatories where you most commonly find stone or tile, you’ll find that these areas warm up the quickest. 


CAN UNDERFLOOR HEATING GO UNDER LAMINATE?

Yes – it’s worth double-checking with your flooring provider or manufacturer. You can speak to one of our Tapi flooring experts at your local store if you want to find out more about which of our laminate floors work best with underfloor heating

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Published: 22-08-2022