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Can I use carpet with underfloor heating?

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

Small Child standing on a fluffy high pile carpet

With the cooler months of autumn already upon us and the bracing temperatures of winter not far around the corner, it’s a great time to be out and about exploring Cornwall. Gone are the lush greens of summer, and with them the flat-calm, opalescent seas. Instead, the Duchy has donned a new cloak. Auburns and russets are now dominating the palette of the landscape, and the titanic winter swells rolling in from the Atlantic are churning up the fringes of the coastline –a breathtaking sight to behold as you witness the full force of the waters that draw so many here every year.

The wonders of underfloor heating

So, it’s a great time lace up your boots and fill your lungs with sea air, but after a day spent wrapped up and embracing the cold, what could be better than arriving back to a well-warmed home – shedding all of those layers, relaxing in your comfiest pyjamas and enjoying the perfect ambient temperature. But how do you heat your home? The cost-of-living crisis is affecting most of us in one way or another, which is leading many to re-evaluate the way in which we power and heat our abodes. One solution to help improve efficiency, is underfloor heating; according to the experts at Warmup, traditional radiators need to be heated to a high temperature (between 65 and 75 degrees) in order to heat a room effectively, whereas underfloor heating need only run at 29 degrees or less, in order to warm the room, consuming less energy and helping to keep your energy bills lower. And if you’re thinking ‘that’s great, but I want to have carpet on my floor, and that won’t work with underfloor heating’, think again! Often, home improvers think that underfloor heating equals hard, laminate or vinyl flooring, but these days, that simply isn’t the case. That said, you do have to bear a few things in mind before you go ahead and purchase your carpet to lay over your new underfloor heating.

Things to keep in mind

The first, is that carpeted flooring initially takes slightly longer to heat up, however once it’s warm, it stays warm for longer. Another is tog rating; most carpet manufacturers these days put what’s called a ‘tog rating’ on the back of the ranges, in order to help customers with their purchase. This rating is effectively one that indicates the effectiveness of a material’s insulation. What we always recommend when it comes to carpets over underfloor heating, is to choose a carpet with a rating no higher than 2.5, which will ensure your heating works efficiently. It's also important to note that this maximum of 2.5 is the total tog-rating of both your carpet and underlay. This means that a carpet with a rating of 2.5 will actually be too heavy when added to the underlay. To be 100% sure of your choice, it’s recommended that you consult with the heating manufacturer to clarify whether the combined rating of both the carpet and underlay is suitable for the heating system you’ve chosen to install.

Baby and dog on fluffy carpet

Finally, your choice of underlay and installation method is critical in order to achieve the best performance from your heating system. With this in mind, always ask your retailer for the necessary information if it isn’t readily available. Just the same as with carpets, good underlay will improve the thermal conductivity of your flooring and therefore maximise the performance of your heating.

Choice of Carpet

What about the material itself? What kind of carpets should you be looking at? One of our favoured manufacturers of carpets to be used in conjunction with underfloor heating, is Cormar. Their wool, wool-blend and polypropylene carpets all meet the requirements for underfloor heating, with tog values well within the recommended tolerances. In fact, we recently took an in-depth look at the Malabar Two-Fold range. Naturally textured and resilient to the rigours of a life spent exploring the coast and countryside, Malabar Two Fold uses a quality, 100% wool, two-fold yarn. It has a tog rating of 1.2 which, when used alongside the special 0.8 tog underlay that we use for underfloor heating, provides the optimum combined tog rating to allow your underfloor heating to work efficiently.

To find out more about underfloor heating and how it could be just the solution this winter, why not get in touch with us here or via the form below!

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