Many homeowners in Australia are opting for underfloor heating systems in their homes. Unlike conventional systems based on convection heating, underfloor heating uses heat radiation to create a warm and cosy space.
However, before installing an underfloor heating system, it’s important to ensure that the right flooring is in place since different materials and finishes can produce variable results depending on their thermal conductivity.
Stone and ceramic tiles are the ideal choice due to their excellent thermal conductivity. These materials retain heat well and for a long time, making them highly energy efficient options for home heating applications. Under-tile heating is recommended both for comfort and efficiency.
Polished concrete is another increasingly popular choice that combines beautiful aesthetics with high efficiency in underfloor heating. Concrete’s thermal mass can maintain warmth at low temperature. Concrete is most effective when the underfloor heating system is laid directly in-slab, helping keep the energy costs comparatively low.
Wood floors are of many types and the effect of underfloor heating may vary depending on their thermal conductivity. There are many timber floors that can be good thermal conductors – the most ideal type is one that is dense and thin.
Engineered wood floors are an attractive option for underfloor heating. Sometimes the problem with wood floor heating is that the heat changes the moisture levels, leading to movement or colour changes. Since engineered floorboards are layered by design, they do not react to temperature changes.
A laminate board is made up of layers of wood that run in opposite directions. Wooden laminates are structured to absorb temperature changes; however, only a thorough evaluation can ascertain the suitability of any particular laminate for an underfloor heating application.
Vinyl is a safe material for underfloor heating systems. Unlike other options, it will heat up and cool down quite quickly. Ensure a professional installation since it’s important to lay vinyl on an even surface.
A carpeted floor can be considered for underfloor heating, provided the right materials are used along with professional expertise. Certain types of carpet and carpet underlay can counterproductively block the heat released by an under carpet heating system. It is best to check with the manufacturer for the right underlay and the most suitable carpet thickness.
Getting your flooring right for underfloor heating
Choosing the flooring is an important part of the home building process, more so if it has to be compatible with an underfloor heating system. Speak to the manufacturer of the flooring product or consult with the experts from Comfort Heat Australia.