Rugs and Underfloor Heating - The Fact and Fiction
One of the very important questions on a lot of people's minds at present is... will placing a rug on my underfloor heating affect anything? Or more to the point... Will the fact I have underfloor heating damage my rug? This is a completely valid question, and a concern that a lot of our customers raise to us before purchasing. In this blog post, we will go through some of the facts of placing rugs on floors that feature underfloor heating, and if it is at all possible to place a rug on a floor that features it.
First Off - What is Underfloor Heating?
One of the most popular ways to heat your home, especially in modern times, is to use an underfloor heating system. It has a wide number of benefits, from being more energy efficient than many traditional heating methods, to meaning you no longer need to use radiators to heat your home in rooms where underfloor heating is featured. One of the main reasons people choose to heat their home using an underfloor heating system is because it creates an even distribution of heat. We are all taught in our school science lessons that heat rises, so naturally, placing your heating system under your floor is going to create an even layout of heat. This works really well, especially during the winter months.
In terms of how it works, it features a 'subfloor' which is traditionally created using wood or concrete. An insulation board is placed on top of the subfloor to protect it from heat damage, and a foil heating mat is placed on top of this board. This is what radiates the heat for your home. On top of the heating pad, traditionally, a wood floor is used. Interested to find out a little more about how underfloor heating works? Check out this handy image from Heatingpoint:
Of course, there are always going to be some situations where underfloor heating is perhaps not an option for you. Cost for example. But these systems are getting more and more cost-efficient every single day, and we are at the point now where the benefits of using underfloor heating in your home far outweigh the negatives.
Can I Place a Rug on Underfloor Heating?
Here we are getting into the "nitty gritty" of the article. There is some good news here. The majority of rugs on sale today, including our range, are suitable to use with warm water underfloor heating. However, there are still things you need to consider before you place a rug. When you place a rug on underfloor heating, you are essentially making the system have to work harder to heat the room you are in, after all, there will be an additional layer for the heat to pass through before it reaches the open space in the room.
Because of all of this, it is best to choose a rug with little to no pile. There is a rule we can use here, the thinner the rug that is being placed on a floor with an integrated heating system is the thinner the better. A thinner rug will allow heat to pass through it with less effort, meaning your underfloor heating system does not need to work as hard to work properly, and all of this means you can enjoy a great rug in a warm room!
Will Rugs Damage my Underfloor Heating system?
The really short answer here is, it depends. Let's dive into this in a little more detail.
Some types of floor coverings on underfloor heating system, such as engineered wood, will have a limit on the maximum temperature they can withstand before damage to the floor occurs. Now, the actual limit this is will depend on the type of floor and who manufactures it, so it is always best to check the manual for this information. Adding a rug to a heated wooden floor will risk moving above this maximum temperature limit, which will eventually cause damage to the floor itself.
Want a way to work around this problem? This problem is more commonly associated with electric underfloor heating systems. Warm water systems will be able to withstand higher temperatures, meaning a higher temperature limit.
Essentially, placing a rug with a high thermal resistance on top of a wooden floor has the potential to cause some issues, namely, heat spots. The wood used for your floor covering may become warped, and your floorboards may lift, if the fact you have placed a rug down causes the temperature to warm up past the maximum limit. Engineered wood, as we spoke about before, can actually be more expensive than laminate or vinyl floor tiles. This will add to the headache of having to replace it if you do accidentally damage it.
Luckily, all of this information (such as the maximum temperature limit) will be listed in the installation instructions, so ensure you check these.
What is the Best Material for my Rug when used with Underfloor Heating?
Despite some of the risks associated with using a rug on top of underfloor heating, many people would still prefer the look and feel of a rug on top of their hard flooring. This is perfectly acceptable. Everyone has their own preference when it comes to their interior design, and we work with all our customers to make sure they are satisfied with the rugs they receive. If you are one of the many people that want to enjoy a high-quality rug in a room with an underfloor heating system, the best type of rug to choose is a rug that will not block the radiant heat from the system. Here is a short list of things to really consider when you are purchasing your rug:
Thickness of the Rug
Thick rugs will trap heat more easily, making your underfloor heating system have to work harder to warm your entire room. On top of this, as we have mentioned above, you risk potentially exceeding the maximum temperature limit your floor covering allows for. Because of all of this, a thinner rug is best. There are rugs available that have been tested to ensure they are suitable for use on underfloor heating systems. These rugs are great options!
Material of the Rug
When it comes to the material for your rug being placed on underfloor heating, our professional advice will be to stay away from rugs that are made from synthetic materials such as polyester, polypropylene and nylon. Whilst these rugs will look amazing, they do not be designed to hold or transfer heat. They could even be damaged or melt completely if exposed to too much heat for a long period of time. When rugs are being placed on underfloor heating, we suggest choosing a material such as wool, jute or bamboo. Natural fibre rugs are able to allow heat to pass through them more easily, meaning there is a greatly reduced risk of damage to your rug or your floor.
Rugs Suitable for Underfloor Heating
So there you have it, a handy guide on placing rugs on your underfloor heated floors. If you have any questions at all about our large selection of rugs, and whether they are suitable to be placed on floors which are heated in this way, please feel free to give us a call on 01332 294 787. Our team of experts will be happy to help.
- Posted On: 17 March 2021