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Rugs and Underfloor Heating: What You Need to Know

rugs-suitable-for-underfloor-heating

When deciding between carpet or hardwood in your home, comfort and warmth are major considerations. Typically, carpet is the winner for warmth; however, many are now choosing hardwood floors with underfloor heating. Underfloor heating is an increasingly popular home renovation choice with increasing demand of over 13% annually, because of the numerous benefits it offers. Underfloor heating, especially in large rooms or open-plan areas, provides an efficient way to heat your space evenly. Moreover, if you opt for underfloor heating, you don’t need to install a radiator; this frees up wall space for furniture and allows greater flexibility in designing your room’s layout. If you are wondering what rugs are suitable for underfloor heating, we will provide you with a solid understanding of when rugs and underfloor heating can and cannot go hand-in-hand.

Can I Use Rugs and Underfloor Heating?

If you are planning on installing underfloor heating, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sacrifice using rugs. Rugs are an excellent way to create atmosphere, add texture, showcase your personality, provide comfort and create a focal point in a large or open-plan living room. First, however, you need to ensure you have rugs suitable for underfloor heating.

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Rugs Suitable for Underfloor Heating

Certain types of rugs are more suited to underfloor heating than others. This is because rugs can act as a ‘blanket’ on top of flooring with underfloor heating. Essentially, they can restrict the heat from passing up from the floor into the room. This can make your underfloor heating less effective and cause problems with your flooring, such as the wood discolouring or swelling. So, it is important to choose a rug material that minimises this ‘blanket’ effect as much as possible. Choosing the most suitable thickness, material and size is crucial for ensuring your heating remains efficient.

What to Think About when Choosing an Underfloor Heating Rug

Thickness

  • Your rug’s tog rating should sit between 1 and 2, and should not exceed 2.5. The lower the tog rating, the lower the ‘blanket’ effect. Ideally, underfloor heating rugs should be no thicker than 25mm.
  • Your rug should have low thermal resistance; this means that the heat can more easily radiate into the rug and thus radiate more easily into the room.

Material

  • Your rug should be hessian-backed as opposed to felt-backed. Felt can create a thermal block and stop heat from transferring from the floor into the rug.
  • Rugs made with natural fibres are better rugs for underfloor heating than those made with synthetic materials. Some rugs made of synthetic materials can melt if exposed to high temperatures for an extended period.
  • Wool rugs are excellent rugs for underfloor heating, as they’re heat resistant.
  • Choose your rug underlay wisely, as materials such as polyurethane conduct heat poorly and therefore block heat.

Size

  • Avoid extra-large rugs if possible. Your rug shouldn’t be too large as this could reduce the overall effectiveness of underfloor heating. Although larger rugs offer excellent benefitsif you are opting for underfloor heating, you should consider small rugs or medium-sized rugs.
  • The placement of your rug is also important. Avoid placing your rug in direct sunlight, as a sunny spell in conjunction with underfloor heating is a recipe for ruined wood. If possible, place your rug away from direct light.

Will Rugs Damage my Underfloor Heating System?

If you have wood flooring or timber flooring with underfloor heating, it is not recommended that you place a rug on these surfaces.

Wood flooring and timber flooring have top temperature restrictions. For example, timber flooring has a top temperature restriction of approximately 27 degrees Celsius. If these temperatures are exceeded, serious problems can materialise.

When you place a rug on a timber or wooden floor with underfloor heating, the rug can trap the heat and push the temperature beyond the top temperature restrictions. ‘Hot spots’ form underneath the rug when the heat is trapped. As a result, the wood will heat up excessively and is likely to swell, ‘cup’ and twist. Swelling is even more likely if moisture or humidity is present. Moreover, if you have engineered wood flooring, the excessive heat will cause the layers to delaminate. We strongly recommend checking with your flooring supplier before buying rugs for underfloor heating.

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All in all, rugs are suitable for underfloor heating; you just need to be more considered before selecting one. They may reduce the effectiveness of your underfloor heating; however, with the right choices, this impact can be minimal, and you can enjoy the added benefits a stylish rug provides! If you have any questions about our underfloor heating rugs, or the compatibility of others, feel free to get in touch. Or, head back to our main page to browse our full collection of rugs.