A commonly asked question by property owners when considering underfloor heating (UFH) is ‘What floor covering can I put on top?’. The short answer is that most finishes can be used with UFH, but need to be taken into account at design stage in order to ensure that the resistance value of the chosen floor covering does not adversely affect the output of the UFH system.
In general terms, harder surfaces such as stone and ceramic are best due for use with UFH as they have the lowest thermal resistance, providing the best heat output – in contrast to coverings like deep-pile carpets and rugs which have the opposite effect. All floor coverings have a ‘tog’ rating, a measure of resistance – which should not ideally exceed 2.5 tog (including any underlays) when used in conjunction with UFH.
Below we have summarised some of the common floor coverings and the implications of using these with UFH:
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