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Best Flooring to Install Over a Radiant Heating System
By: Danny Lipford
Under floor radiant heating systems work by running hot water through pipes, or electricity through resistance wires, which are installed under the finished floor. This gently warms the floor under your feet. Hot water based (hydronic) radiant systems are much more energy efficient than those that use electricity.
Radiant heating systems can be installed under most types of floors, though it’s not recommended under vinyl flooring. Also, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s flooring warranty to make sure installing radiant heating under it doesn’t void the warranty.
Tile and hardwood flooring work best when installed over a radiant heating system, since these types of flooring feel cold in winter. Installing radiant heating under carpeting, on the other hand, is not as effective.
Watch this video to find out more.
- Advantages of Radiant Floor Heating for Your Home (video)
- How to Install Radiant Floor Heating in Your Home (video)
- Uponor Quick Trak Radiant Heating Flooring System (video)
- Installing Radiant Floor Heating on an Existing Concrete Slab (article)
Danny Lipford: Greg wants to know, “ Can I install radiant heat under any type of flooring?”
Yes, you can install just about any type of flooring over a radiant heat system, but I would not recommend any type of vinyl flooring. And also, you want to check with the manufacturer, because installing some floor over a radiant heat system will void the warranty.
But think about it with good common sense. What kind of flooring is the coldest on those bare feet? Well, generally it would be a ceramic or a porcelain type floor, so this is perfect to install over a radiant heat system. Now carpeting pad, not so much, just won’t be as effective.
Hardwood floor is also a great one to have over a radiant heat system. But another thing you have to decide is what type of system—whether you go with electric or hydronic. Hydronic has proved to be a lot more energy efficient.