Laminate Flooring and Underfloor Heating? Of Course!
KRONOTEX laminate floors are wonderfully compatible with underfloor heating. As long as you keep just a few things in mind, and nothing will prevent you from enjoying cosy warmth in your home.
Water or electric underfloor heating?
Water-based underfloor heating systems are excellently suited for laminate flooring. And these days, most electric systems can also be combined with laminate without problem. But it’s prudent to play it safe and ask the manufacturer whether their product is in fact compatible with laminate. State-of-the-art electric underfloor heating systems can be used without any concerns. Many older models, however, can only be turned on or off without permitting any intermediate settings. And if you’re planning to install laminate, the ability to adjust the temperature in steps is important. But talk to the manufacturer! Only they can guarantee the suitability of their system.
Checklist for laminate flooring and underfloor heating
- Follow the instructions of the heating system manufacturer!
- Mineral substrates must be warmed up gradually before installing the flooring, otherwise they might crack or moisture may be permanently trapped inside them.
- Ask a heating installer to test your underfloor and prepare a report on its heating response. This is essential for assessing the screed’s suitability for being covered and especially important for floor surfaces that are made of or derived from wood.
- Make sure to heat up the underfloor and allow it to cool off again according to the prescribed schedule before installing the laminate. Its surface should be at least 15°C when this is done.
- To prevent moisture from rising, lay a polyethylene membrane (0.2mm thick) on a mineral substrate beneath the laminate flooring and any acoustic underlays to serve as a vapour barrier.
- It is best to use acoustic underlays from our range.
- The first time the heating system is used after installing the laminate flooring, as well as at the start of each new heating period, gradually increase the temperature in steps of 5°C per day to the maximum infeed temperature (i.e. the highest temperature of the water or other heat transferring material).
- Don’t cover heated areas, as otherwise there is a risk of trapping heat and causing the temperature to rise excessively.
- Make sure that the underfloor heating can be adjusted in steps (i.e. not simply on/off). The surface temperature of the laminate flooring should not exceed 26°C.
- If you have electric underfloor heating, ask the manufacturer to confirm its suitability for laminate flooring.
Heat transfer rates depend on thickness
A material’s heat transfer coefficient, or u-value, is a measure of how fast heat is transmitted through it. This varies depending on the material’s thickness and thermal conductivity. A lower u-value means that more heat is transferred, while a higher one indicates greater resistance to heat flux. The assembly of vapour barrier, acoustic underlay and laminate must not have a value greater than 0.15 (m²*K)/W. A laminate floor’s suitability for use with underfloor heating is inversely proportional to its u-value.
KRONOTEX laminate flooring with a thickness of 8mm has a u-value of 0.06 (m²*K)/W. The SWISS KRONO Premium Sound acoustic underlay with integrated foil lamination adds another 0.01 (m²*K)/W, for a total of 0.07 (m²*K)/W. This is an excellent value, indicating that this combination is ideal for underfloor heating.