Polyplumb Underfloor Heating Floor Coverings Guide

Guide to Floor Coverings for Polyplumb Underfloor Heating Systems

Under floor heating systemswill work efficiently with any floor covering, as long as it is well insulated underneath. However, each covering has different thermal conduction properties, and harder surfaces offer better conductivity and, therefore, better heatoutput rates. The following notes provide some guidance on each type of covering.

Carpet and underlay

Image of carpet

Suitable for all Polypipe under floor heating systems: The nature and thickness of the carpet underlay is fundamental in determining good heat transfer. The most popular underlay type is sponge with a waffle pattern moulded into the underside. These allow good heat transference. Felt and rubber crumb underlay should be avoided. These products can seriously reduce the effectiveness of an under floor heating system, as they insulate the floor surface and prevent heat transfer. The TOG value of carpet and underlay should be available from the respective manufacturer. For optimal system performance choose an underlay with a maximum TOG value of approximately 0.5.The maximum TOG value of carpet should be approximately 1.0 to 1.5.

Stone and ceramic tiles, marble or flagstones

Image of ceramic tiles

Suitable for all Polypipe under floor heating systems:These types of floor finishes are usually cold underfoot. However, with floor heating they are transformed into warm comfortable surfaces. Each of these finishes is essentially brittle and it is imperative that the design of the supporting floor structure is stable and rigid to prevent cracking. It is recommended that flexible adhesives and grout be used.


Image of vinyl flooring

Suitable for all Polypipe under floor heating systems:Sheet vinyl is sensitive to long term exposure to heat. There are two categories of vinyl; one is limited to constant temperatures of around 26°C and the other to 30°C. Check the floor surface temperature indicated by your vinyl supplier for compatibility with under floor heating. If unsure contact the Polypipe hotline or the vinyl floor manufacturer.


Image of laminate flooring

Suitable for all Polypipe under floor heating systems:Laminate flooring should be laid on roll type floor leveller, rather than the rigid panel type. Movement that occurs must be accommodated by an expansion gap around the floor deck.


Image of timber flooring

Suitable for Polypipe solid floor and suspended floor systems:Concerns regarding the effect of heat on a timber floor are misplaced. The more important issue is the floor moisture content. Timber floors should be laid atamoisture content of 10-11%, which when heated will reduce to 8-9%, and cause only a very small amount of shrinkage. The floor will re-absorb some moisture when the heating is not operating and the moisture content will increase to 12-13%