Underfloor heating is a luxurious feature and one that brings you extra comfort at home, especially in the colder seasons. If you’re considering bringing some extra warmth to your flooring, there are a few things you need to consider.
Firstly, there are three main types of underfloor heating to choose between. These include Hydronic (or wet) underfloor heating. This uses a series of pipes, which are laid under the floor. Hot water is then pumped through them to create heat.
There is also Forced Air underfloor heating. As its name suggests, this uses heated air, which is passed through a series of ducts that are laid under your flooring.
Finally, there is Electric (or dry) underfloor heating. This uses a conductive cable, which is laid under your flooring. This is then heated by passing a current through a wire: exactly like a heated blanket. The heating element is usually laid in a pattern onto your subfloor and we do not recommend you use an underlay with Electric (or dry) types of underfloor heating systems.
If you opt for Hydronic or Forced Air underfloor heating though, there are a two main considerations when it comes to selecting your underlay. The first thing you will need to think about is the tog of the underlay. This must be below 1.0 in order to ensure that enough heat gets through to your room. After all, if you can’t feel the comforting heat on your bare feet, there isn’t much point in investing in underfloor heating in the first place.
Although a tog of less than 1.0 is normally sufficient, the lower the tog value of the underlay, the better. If you are looking for an underlay that has been designed for underfloor heating in combination with a carpet, this is quite a specialist requirement. We would suggest a target tog should be 0.8 or less. If you are wanting an underlay for hard flooring, then a tog of less than 0.4 is ideal.
The second consideration is the ability of the underlay to withstand the direct heat from the underfloor heating system. Some can end up drying out or crumbling when exposed to heat, which will ultimately cost you more time, money and hassle in the long run. It is therefore crucial that you choose the right underlay the first time.
For carpet underlays, our Heatflow Carpet is ideal for use with underfloor heating, with King and Defender also being excellent choices. If you have hard floors, we recommend using Heatflow Wood & Laminate.