Deciding On The Flooring For A Radiant System

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flooring for a radiant system, Boston, MassachusettsInstalling radiant floor heating in your Massachusetts home will provide ultra-comfortable warmth throughout the long, cold winter season. Choosing the flooring for a radiant system is part of the process of selecting radiant heating, and will dictate how efficiently the unit can operate, and ultimately how comfortable your home will be.

Properly installed radiant systems work well with a variety of floor coverings. The covering you select will depend on your decorative style, your home’s construction, personal preferences, and type of radiant system you choose.

Possible flooring types for a radiant system include:

  • Carpet Carpeting is often a good choice; however, thick padding will reduce heat transfer.
  • Engineered wood — Made from multiple layers of wood, these products work well as flooring for a radiant system. Thin and dense, they transfer heat efficiently.
  • Laminates — These thin products are compressed, and are good heat conductors. However, some flooring products are not suitable for radiant systems.
  • Resilient flooring— These products are durable and flexible, and will perform well as flooring for a radiant system. Options include:
    • Cork: Heat transfer will be reduced with thick cork flooring. If you choose this option, work closely with your contractor to select the right thickness.
    • Linoleum: This flooring product tends to contract and/or expand with temperature changes. It must be installed under specific temperature parameters.
    • Rubber: This material can be used as flooring for a radiant system, but thicker products will reduce heat transfer.
    • Vinyl: This product generally conducts heat very well, and it’s an excellent choice. For optimal results, it should be installed to exact manufacturer specifications.
  • Tile and stone — These materials are thin, dense and very good heat conductors, making them an excellent choice.
  • Traditional hardwood — Many wood species are excellent for use with a radiant heat system; however, humidity in the wood and plank size are important considerations.

The experienced professionals at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning are happy to help you determine the best flooring for your radiant heat system. We’ve served customers in the Route 495 /128 area of Massachusetts for 80 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Solutions Guide.

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