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Underfloor heating: the effects of different floor coverings

rsz_1335747_75810288Underfloor heating is versatile and can be used with virtually any type of floor covering. Your choice of covering can, however, affect how the system is installed. It is advisable to decide the type you will have prior to going ahead with the installation, so the professionals you’ve hired can make any necessary adjustments.

If you have carpeted floors, the cables or pipes which are laid beneath will have to be increased as the heat output may be reduced, especially if the carpet is particularly thick. In an ideal situation, the carpet and underlay should not have a combined Tog rating of more than 1.5.

Underfloor heating will work well with a wooden or laminate floor. A 2-3mm layer of polythene foam on top of the creed will allow the wood to move, expanding and contracting according to the level of moisture. A layer of chipboard beneath laminate flooring is advised. As wood is a poor conductor of heat, the system may need to be adjusted to make allowances. A rug placed over a wooden floor will also have an effect on the heat from the underfloor heating system.

Marble, slate and flagstones are perfect matches for underfloor heating as they are good conductors of heat. Terracotta and ceramic tiles are also efficient, and are good choices for underfloor heating. If you advise the installer of your flooring choice, the installation will be adapted accordingly. While it is possible to install a system using your own DIY skills, it’s always advisable to speak to a reputable professional.