What type of flooring is best for underfloor heating?

underfloor heating flooring

Since the floor heating systems appeared, the idea that floor heating works best and is most effective with cold finishes, such as tiles, marble, slate, etc.

This preconceived idea is still transmitted, the basis of which is that the sandstone has a very low insulation coefficient compared to the parquet. Thus the flooring installed over the underfloor heating has a higher thermal resistance and significantly reduces the efficiency of the underfloor heating.


So what finish do we choose for the underfloor heating system, parquet or floor tiles?


The thermal resistance of a material is given by the thickness of the material and by the thermal insulation coefficient lambda of each material. Here we are talking about thicknesses of 10 – 14 mm, so the thermal resistance of the two materials in reality is very close, because their thickness is very small.

I do not want to go into more detail, about what efficiency would bring to our system using a tile finish for the underfloor heating system, compared to a parquet finish.

Genuine statements: it is more efficient with 10 -15% are not founded, because it is very complicated in reality to make this calculation, almost impossible.

There are specialized software, which can calculate with some different precision, but for this you must know from the design phase what kind of parquet or tile you will buy, you must know exactly the thickness and composition of the scrap, the type of adhesive and foil used, placement of pipes, insulation of the house, etc.

A single centimeter of extra screed over the underfloor heating system changes all calculations.

Basically, my recommendation is to choose the finish according to your preference. In any variant of parquet for underfloor heating, whether it is laminate parquet, laminate or solid parquet, you must take care of the humidity of the screed, you can see more details at What are the most common mistakes in underfloor heating?

In fact, small differences in temperature can be observed on the surface of the finish, between parquet and tiles of 0.5 – 1 degree. This means that the thermal resistors are very close and we should not worry about choosing the finish.

However, if I haven’t convinced you yet, you can always choose a parquet floor tiles for underfloor heating.

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