Rugs and Underfloor heating

Can I use rugs with underfloor heating?

Yes, and No. I will come back to this later on.

Other things to consider, added a rug on top of your wooden floor will restrict the heat that passes into the room, therefore making your system less efficient and costing more to heat the same space.

More importantly is choosing the correct type of rug, different types can cause damage to your floor and void your warranty.

Why do rugs cause damage?

Wooden floors have a maximum temperature limit, this is measured as the temperature below the board (or the top of the subfloor) – for wooden floors this is 27℃. Adding a rug can dramatically increase the temperate of the flooring. We recommend installing probes below the flooring to ensure this does not happen as a rule, the issue with rugs is it is unlikely the probe will be below the rug so you can overheat that section of flooring whilst the probe is still reading an acceptable temperature. The other issue with a heavy rug is you can cause hot spots beneath the rug, which could crack, or start to delaminate. High heat can cause the wood to lose its moisture and once it dries out it can crack and twist, once this happens the flooring could need replacing. Increasing the moisture can help to close any cracks.

So, back to the original question, can you use a rug with underfloor heating? The answer is still Yes and No. The risks as identified above are using a heavy rug that will overheat the flooring and cause significant damage. So is this case, if you wanted to use a heavy rug the answer would be no.

Rug manufacturers have recognised this issue and there are some things you can look out for in a rug that would be suitable for use with underfloor heating.

Thickness – The thinner the rug the better, you need to choose a rug with a very low tog rating, 0 ideally so maximise the heat transfer into the room and so no heat is trapped beneath the rug.

Materials used – Natural products are best for using with underfloor heating, as synthetic rugs could potentially melt.

Backing – This is a very important part of the make up of the rug and if they will be suitable for use with under floor heating, ideally you would want a hessian backed rug so allow heat transfer, products such as polyurethane can block heat and cause hot spots.

If you would like to use a rug, you need to look at the 3 above areas and ensure that you use a hessian backed rug with natural materials with a very low of 0 tog rating. Even doing this you would still need to check the area to ensure you are not getting any hot spots. It would also be worth lifting the rug when the heating is on for a prolonger time to release any heat that has built up.

The design of floor will not impact the above information, the risks of overheating are the same for any style from parquet designs like herringbone and chevrons to planks.

For more information on UFH and wooden floors please visit our technical section.

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