Underfloor heating is becoming an increasingly popular option. Not only is it energy-efficient, but it also offers a comfortable heat source – and as a result, it’s often used in new homes, particularly in the self-build and commercial development sector.
Can carpet underlay be used with underfloor heating?
Aside from the feeling of soft, warm carpet under bare feet, the primary role of carpet is to ensure – during the winter months – cold coming through the floor is insulated. It also helps to keep the property cool during the summer months. It’s a form of insulation – which is why it’s easy to understand people’s concerns about using carpet (and underlay) with an underfloor heating system.
If you have underfloor heating, fitted with carpet and underlay, it will take slightly longer for the floor to get warm – but it will remain warm for longer.
Research into carpet underlay and underfloor heating
Research conducted by BSRIA (Building Services Research and Information Association), a test and research organisation that provides specialist services in the construction and building industry, in conjunction with the UHMA (Underfloor Heating Manufacturers Association) and the Carpet Manufacturers Association, has shown that carpet can be used with underfloor heating – and has no impairment on the performance of the system.
BSRIA’s work produced an accurate method of measurement of tog ratings for carpet and underlay. The carpet and underlay combination was tested in a test room built to the requirements of BS EN 442-2:1997. An underfloor heating system, topped with 22mm floating chipboard deck, was constructed in the room – with room sensors and measuring devices configured to effectively create ‘single plate’ test conditions.
This system was used to test the thermal conductivity of 19 combinations of carpet and underlay at flow temperatures of 40, 50 and 60ºC. Air temperature in the test enclosure was controlled to maintain 20ºC at the central inner room reference point 0.75m above the floor.
The results showed that combinations of carpet and underlay functioned as if they had a resistance of 1.0 TOG less than their combined published Tog value. (two plate method BS 4745). The test was carried out in a test chamber which represented a room completely bare of furniture. In a real room, the weight of furniture would press together the sections of the floor construction, also increasing the actual output and subsequently reduce the effective tog.
The nature of their construction may determine their ‘real life’ resistance over a heated floor. Some carpets and underlay have air layers and cells in their structure and this may increase the thermal resistance because air is a poor conductor. Radiant heat can pass easily through these air spaces and this could explain the difference between the ‘real life’ and published thermal resistance results.
Practical experience also suggests that as a carpet wears in age, with its fibres being compacted by foot traffic and as manufacturing fluff is vacuumed out, the resistance decreases even further. These factors combined with the improved connectivity achieved by using double-sided tape or spray adhesives to fix the carpet, make possible even greater reductions in “real life” Tog ratings.
Choosing the best carpet underlay for an underfloor heating system
In order to maximise the performance of your underfloor heating system, it’s important to choose your carpet and carpet underlay and its TOG value very carefully.
Here at Carpet Underlay Shop, we stock a range of underlays that are specifically designed for use with underfloor heating – both with carpets and hard floorings such as laminates and wood.
The Best For Carpets
For use with carpet, we recommend ThermalStream underlay. This is the best underlay for underfloor heating, providing excellent levels of comfort underfoot at 10mm thick which punched air holes for enhanced heat transfer. Alternatively, thanks to their low TOG ratings, Duralay HeatFlow and Radiance are also both a good options for carpeted rooms with underfloor heating.
The Best For Wood, Laminate or Vinyl Click
For use with wood and laminate flooring, we recommend Thermo Pro X underlay which features the latest technology to date. This can also be used in conjunction with vinyl flooring.
The combined tog rating for the carpet and underlay generally shouldn't exceed 2.5 TOG, but don't worry if it goes slightly over, it just means your carpet will take a little longer to warm up.
Get in touch for more information
Here at Carpet Underlay Shop, our knowledge of suitable underlay for underfloor heating is second-to-none. We have a wide range of underfloor heating underlay that can be used with carpets, laminates and wooden floors – perfect for optimising the system’s performance, creating extra underfoot comfort, and ensuring maximum heat transfer into the surrounding environment.
So why not get in touch today? If you would like to find out more about our carpet underlay and which products are best suited to your needs, please feel free to get in touch. Either call our sales team on 0203 887 0994 or send an email to email@example.com.