What’s The Best Flooring For Underfloor Heating?

Man's shoes stood on a wooden floor

Underfloor heating is becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeowners due to its cost effectiveness and energy efficiency. With this in mind, one of the questions we get asked regularly at Pipelife Eco is “what’s the best flooring for underfloor heating?”. 

When it comes to choosing the best flooring for underfloor heating, the materials that are most suitable are those that have a good thermal conductivity. This means that the floor heats up quickly but also creates a more efficient heat output. With this in mind, what are the best choices?

Tile and stone

Due to their excellent thermal properties, tile and stone can provide some of the best flooring for underfloor heating. Tile and stone have a high thermal conductivity meaning they transfer heat quickly from the pipes to the floor surface, however they also retain heat very efficiently. If you’re looking to increase the amount of time that the floor surface takes to heat up then it’s best to stick to materials that have a maximum thickness of 20mm. Ceramic, polished concrete and slate are particularly good choices due to their ability to transfer heat quickly. Marble tiles also have good thermal qualities, however can be slightly slower to heat up. When using tile or stone with your underfloor heating system always be sure to use a suitable adhesive. 


When it comes to discussing the best flooring for underfloor heating, we couldn’t not mention timber. Wooden flooring is one of the most popular choices of flooring for the home and is suitable for use with underfloor heating systems. Different types of wood have their own thermal properties, making some more suitable than others. As a general rule, the denser and thinner the floorboards are, the better they conduct heat.  Heating changes the moisture content of wood which is why you should always use timber that has been kiln dried to approximately 8% and so can adapt to the changing heat conditions without changing the appearance of the floor. This makes engineered timber an excellent choice as it responds well to these temperature changes.

Soft wood, parquet and bamboo flooring are also good choices, although you should always take note of the thickness and check with the manufacturer to ensure it’s suitable. Solid hardwood can often be used, however some hardwoods can be susceptible to humidity and temperature changes that can result in gapping, cupping or crowning. As with any material, when searching for the best flooring for underfloor heating you should always double check with the supplier that it is suitable. 


Carpet is definitely a comfy choice, and when chosen correctly is another suitable option for use with your heating system. You should always choose a good quality, thin carpet where the tog does not exceed 2.5. It’s also important to choose a high quality underlay as this will help ensure that the system can provide an efficient heat output. 

Laminate & vinyl 

Easy to lay, cost-effective and good at conducting heat, many laminates are also a good option. Vinyl is also a good thermal conductor as it heats up quickly and cools down just as quickly. However, it is worth noting that vinyl floors are usually subject to a temperature restriction of 27 °C.

What about screed? 

If you’ve never heard of screed before, it’s a thin layer of concrete that covers the heating pipes under the floor. Screed provides a smooth foundation for top layer flooring to be applied and due to its thinness, encourages good heat flow. Screeds are commonly used with a range of different flooring options and it’s always a good idea to liaise with your manufacturer about helping you find the best floor screed for underfloor heating.

As you can see, if you’re considering installing underfloor heating in your home, there are plenty of different flooring options you can use to suit your home design. When it comes to finding the best flooring for underfloor heating, it all comes down to thermal conductivity, and you should always check with the manufacturer to ensure your choice of flooring is suitable for your heating system. 

To learn more about the underfloor heating services we offer at Pipelife Eco, or to request and quote, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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