Best Flooring for Underfloor Heating: A Buyer’s Guide

If you live in a cold climate, you’ll know the incredible benefits of underfloor heating. Not only does it work to keep your tootsies warm, but the entire room too.

While adding underfloor heating to your home may seem like an exorbitant expense, it really can help to create a home that’s comfortable and modern.

The addition of underfloor heating adds to the overall value of your home, bolstering its resale value.

But with all the options on the market today, what is the best flooring for underfloor heating in your home?

If you’re interested in learning more about the ideal types of flooring to use when installing underfloor heating we outline it all in this blog.

Choose the Best Flooring for Underfloor Heating in your Home

One of the largest considerations when it comes to installing flooring for underfloor heating is based on thermal conductivity.

In basic terms, this is the rate and efficiency of how heat is transferred through the floor surface.

Naturally, the best floor for underfloor heating is one with a high conductivity rate.

This means the floor will heat up quicker, give off more heat and be far more energy efficient for your home.

There are certain materials on the market today which are far more thermally conductive than others.

However, that’s not to say a compatible heating system cannot be found for your flooring of choice.

Underfloor heating works off two different systems- a wet and dry system:

The wet system utilizes pipes pumped with warm water laid underneath your floor. The dry system utilizes electric coils which radiate warmth to the surface above.

Let’s discover more about the best floor covering for underfloor heating in your home…

1. Tile Flooring

If you’re considering tiling for your floor covering, this is the most ideal thermal conductor of underfloor heating.

Tiled flooring is an excellent conductor of heat and is a great option to maximize the full benefits of underfloor heating.

Tiled flooring also poses no risk of expanding or contracting due to fluctuations in heat, so you don’t need to worry about floor warping or cracking.

Some of the best tiles include those made from stone, porcelain and ceramic. They are also easy to clean, low maintenance and long-lasting.

2. Wood Laminate Flooring

On today’s market, wood laminate flooring is one of the most popular options for flooring throughout most new homes.

Laminate flooring basically replicates the look of hardwood or tiles, at a fraction of the cost.

Laminate flooring is made of thin wood layers which are stacked in opposite directions. This creates a stable product which is not likely to expand or contract due to underfloor heating.

Other Wood Flooring

While laminate flooring is probably the best conductor of heat in terms of wood flooring options, there are other variations used for underfloor heating:

Engineered Timber

This is yet another great option if you’re looking to go the natural wood route for flooring in your home.

Engineered timber performs well when exposed to temperature fluctuations, does not expand or contract and can adapt to moisture fluctuations.

Solid Hardwood

Unfortunately, solid hardwood is not the most ideal material to use for flooring for underfloor heating.

It has a tendency to expand and contract, as any natural product would when exposed to temperature fluctuations. This results in gapping, cupping and crowning of the wood.

However, there are certain variations of solid hardwood which can be adapted to heat outputs. Always consult your manufacturer before installation.

Softwoods

A softwood carries similar qualities to hardwood when it comes to underfloor heating and temperature fluctuations.

This being said, softwoods are suitable in some cases for underfloor heating, however, the floorboard thickness must be very specific.

These floorboards must the right thickness in order for heat to transfer successfully and efficiently.

Bamboo

Bamboo is a great conductor of heat and is similar to engineered wood in its manufacturing.

This makes it another ideal wood flooring for underfloor heating in your home.

3. Natural Stone Flooring

Stone is one of the best natural conductors of heat – just take a sun-baked sidewalk for example!

Although you’re not looking to burn your feet, no doubt, stone floorings such as granite, travertine, sandstone, slate, screed, and flagstone are all ideal.

Although stone is a naturally cool material, when it is heated it builds up heat very quickly and retains heat very well.

To this end, stone is one of the best floor covering for underfloor heating because of its energy efficiency.

Stone floorings such as polished screed, slate, and flagstone are highly conductive, hard-wearing and great for high traffic areas in your home.

Stone floorings such as marble and granite can be on the pricey side, are slow to warm up and don’t hold heat as well as other stone variations.

4. Vinyl Flooring

Contrary to what you may think, vinyl is 100% safe to be used with underfloor heating. It’s a great material for this use as it heats up and cools down very quickly.

Despite this, vinyl floorings are closely restricted to a temperature reading of 27C. Anything above this could damage or warp the vinyl.

Due to this heat restriction, vinyl floorings are ideal for smaller areas which don’t require a large amount of heat output.

Steer clear of large surface areas such as conservatories, lounge areas, and kitchens if considering vinyl flooring and underfloor heating.

5. Rubber Flooring

As you may already know, rubber is highly conductive material to both heat and cold. Therefore this type of flooring is also ideal for underfloor heating.

Rubber floors are also highly economical because they tend to retain heat for longer and take little time to heat up.

However, just make sure to consult your rubber flooring manufacturer as to whether their flooring can withstand fluctuating temperatures.

6. Carpet Flooring

Carpeting and underfloor heating? What’s the point of that?

Well, it’s do-able as long as the thickness of your carpeting doesn’t act as an insulator, blocking the heat.

The thickness of your carpeting is measured by tog.

So, in order for underfloor heating to work efficiently, your carpet must not exceed 2.5 tog, including all under and overlays.

Find Your Ideal Contractor

Whether you’re looking for an expert who can advise on the best flooring for underfloor heating, a painter, an attorney or dentist, our website offers it all.

For a comprehensive selection of businesses and contractors across the country, our website is the ultimate portal of knowledge.

Browse our selection of providers here.