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The majority of popular floor coverings are suitable for use with underfloor heating (UFH), meaning that you have a wide choice of flooring to suit the look and feel of your home.

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What is the best flooring for underfloor heating?

The best flooring for underfloor heating is one that efficiently transfers heat from the UFH to the surface of the floor. Hard surfaces like stone or ceramic tiles, or engineered wood, offer the best heat transfer as they are the most thermally conductive, but many other options work well.

Sensitive floor coverings can be protected by a floor sensor that limits the top temperature of the UFH, and even carpet can be a good match provided the combined tog value of the carpet and any underlay is less than 2.5.

Comparing flooring suitable for underfloor heating

We compare how easily different floor coverings transfer heat to the surface of the floor.

Floor covering Project type Floor level Heat transfer level
Ceramic and stone tiles New build and renovation All floor levels Very high
Polished screed and resin New build and renovation Ground floor Very high
Vinyl and linoleum New build and renovation All floor levels High
Solid and engineered wood New build and renovation All floor levels High
Carpets and rugs New build and renovation All floor levels Medium

The best floor coverings for underfloor heating

Solid & Engineered Wood

Engineered timber floor coverings have a good structural stability that allows them to perform well with UFH. Solid hardwoods and softwoods can also be used, but care should be taken when specifying board width and thickness.

  • Transfers heat well
  • Timeless finish
  • Adds aesthetic ‘warmth’ to a design scheme
  • Suitable for all floor levels
  • Wide range of colours, grains, patterns and finishes to choose from

Need to know: Timber floor finishes should be allowed to acclimatise in the property before fitting to avoid the risk of the timber expanding or contracting after installation.

Engineered wood with underfloor heating

Ceramic Tiles & Stone

The highest thermal conductivity and a stylish, easy-to-clean surface make ceramic, porcelain and stone tiles a popular choice in kitchens and bathrooms. UFH takes the chill off what can otherwise be a cold flooring underfoot.

  • Efficient and even heat transfer
  • Perfect for kitchens and bathrooms
  • High-end finish
  • Large range of styles, colours and patterns
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Can be installed on any floor level

Need to know: Use a decoupling membrane over the underfloor heating before you fit the tiles – this allows for any movement in the sub-floor, and protects the tiles from the risk of cracking.

Ceramic Tiles & Stone with underfloor heating

Vinyl & Linoleum

Vinyl floor tiles are a stylish and durable partner for UFH, creating a luxury finish to suit your interior design.

  • High quality look for traditional or contemporary homes
  • Hardwearing floor finish
  • Suitable for all floor levels
  • Ideal for well-insulated rooms with lower heat requirements

Need to know: Fit a floor sensor to limit the heat output of the UFH to protect sensitive floor coverings.

Vinyl and linoleum with underfloor heating

Carpet & Rugs

UFH can be used with most types of carpet, provided the overall Tog value of the carpet and any underlay doesn’t exceed 2.5.

  • Comfortable feel underfoot
  • Available in a vast range of colourways and designs
  • Perfect for traditional interior design schemes

Need to know: Avoid felt and polyurethane underlays as they can affect heat transfer, and always refer to the manufacturer’s technical guide for Tog ratings.

Underfloor heating with carpet

Polished Screed & Resin

Polished screeds and synthetic resins are tough, durable floor finishes that are becoming increasingly popular in domestic properties. Screed is very conductive and pairing it with UFH takes away the ‘cold touch’ of hard flooring.

  • Efficient and even heat transfer
  • Hard-wearing, clean and seamless finish
  • Modern, contemporary finish available in numerous colours
  • Screed acts as a thermal store, holding heat for longer
  • Suitable for new build and renovation projects

Need to know: Resin finishes are applied over the screed or self-levelling compound that covers the UFH. Specialist LoPro® retrofit UFH systems provide an unrivalled heat output for renovation projects.

Polished screed and resin with ufh

Laminate

Available in a multitude of colours and finishes, laminate flooring is easy to clean and simple to fit, making it a practical choice for pairing with UFH.

  • Cost-effective floor covering
  • Suitable for all floor levels
  • Wipe clean for high traffic areas
  • Can mimic wood and stone finishes

Need to know: Protect your laminate floor by checking the manufacturer’s guidelines on maximum underfloor heating temperatures.

Laminate flooring with underfloor heating

The best flooring for your underfloor heating type

Use our floor covering comparison table to see what floor finishes will work best with UFH in your property.

Project type UFH type Compatible floor coverings Unsuitable floor coverings
NEW BUILDS ClipTrack® screed UFH
  • Ceramic and stone tiles
  • Polished screed and resin
  • Vinyl and linoleum
  • Solid and engineered wood
  • Carpets and rugs
  • None
FastDeck® UFH
  • Ceramic and stone tiles
  • Polished screed and resin
  • Vinyl and linoleum
  • Solid and engineered wood
  • Carpets and rugs
  • None
Renovations LoPro®10
  • Ceramic and stone tiles
  • Vinyl and linoleum
  • Engineered wood
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Polished screed and resin
  • Solid wood
LoPro®Max
  • Ceramic and stone tiles
  • Polished screed and resin
  • Vinyl and linoleum
  • Engineered wood
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Solid wood
LoPro®Lite
  • Vinyl and linoleum
  • Engineered wood
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Ceramic and stone tiles
  • Polished screed and resin
  • Solid wood
Upper floors ClippaPlate®
  • Ceramic and stone tiles
  • Vinyl and linoleum
  • Solid and engineered wood
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Polished screed and resin
Single rooms LoPro®Max OneZone® warm water UFH kits
  • Ceramic and stone tiles
  • Polished screed and resin
  • Vinyl and linoleum
  • Engineered wood
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Solid wood
LoPro®Lite OneZone® warm water UFH kits
  • Vinyl and linoleum
  • Engineered wood
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Ceramic and stone tiles
  • Polished screed and resin
  • Solid wood
ElectroMat® electric UFH kits
  • Ceramic and stone tiles
  • Vinyl and linoleum
  • Polished screed and resin
  • Solid and engineered wood
  • Carpets and rugs

Common floor coverings Q&As

Now you know about the best flooring for underfloor heating, you might also like to read these common Q&As:

How soon after installing the UFH can the floor covering be laid?

This depends upon the type of the UFH. Floor coverings can be fitted immediately over completely dry UFH systems like FastDeck® and ClippaPlate®, whilst systems that include a screed or compound will need to dry and cure fully before floor coverings can be fitted. Please refer to the installation information for your chosen UFH system for details.

Is any preparation required before the floor covering can be laid over the UFH?

Most floor coverings require a completely flat surface, so some preparation may be needed to make sure this is the case. This is particularly important with carpets, as any undulations may be evident in the final finish, and tiles, where uneven surfaces can results in the tiles ‘rocking’ or cracking.

How long after laying the floor covering/s should I wait until turning the UFH on?

This will vary depending upon your chosen floor covering, but you should always heat up the floor gently to avoid shocking the floor finish with a sudden change in temperature. Check the flooring manufacturer’s guidelines and UFH installation document for details.