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Electric Underfloor Heating
for Vinyl & Linoleum Floors

In the world of home improvement and interior design, underfloor heating has emerged as a popular and efficient method to provide warmth and comfort. This modern heating solution is not only energy-efficient but also offers an unobtrusive way to heat your home, eliminating the need for traditional radiators.

Among the various types of flooring compatible with underfloor heating, vinyl and linoleum floors stand out due to their versatility and durability. These types of floors are becoming increasingly popular in spaces like open-plan kitchens and dining rooms, thanks to their wide range of designs and easy maintenance.

Underfloor heating for vinyl and linoleum floors brings together the aesthetic appeal of these flooring types with the comfort and efficiency of modern heating. This combination results in a flooring solution that is not only pleasing to the eye but also warm and comfortable underfoot.

In this guide, we will delve into the world of underfloor heating for vinyl and linoleum floors. We will explore the different types of underfloor heating systems, their compatibility with vinyl and linoleum floors, and provide tips for installation. Whether you're considering a renovation project or building a new home, this guide will help you understand how to effectively incorporate underfloor heating into your vinyl or linoleum flooring.

While there are various types of underfloor heating systems available, our focus in this section will be solely on electric underfloor heating systems. Electric systems are often the preferred choice for both renovation projects and new builds due to their ease of installation and efficient operation.


UNDERSTANDING VINYL AND LINOLEUM FLOORING

Vinyl, or polyvinyl chloride flooring, is made from resin combined with plasticizers and stabilizers. It often comes in sheet form, where a thin layer of material is laid over foam to provide cushioning. On the other hand, linoleum, such as Marmoleum, is made using natural materials like linseed oil, limestone, tree rosin, wood flour, natural mineral pigments, and jute. These materials are combined with a hessian or canvas backing to provide additional strength.

Both vinyl and linoleum can provide a seamless, hardwearing floor finish and are suitable for use with all types of underfloor heating systems. Their unique properties make them an affordable and durable option, especially if you're looking for a floor covering that mimics the look of natural products like hardwood or tiles.

DURABILITY AND EASE OF MAINTENANCE

One of the main advantages of vinyl and linoleum flooring is their durability. These types of flooring are ideal for high-traffic areas such as kitchens and bathrooms due to their hardwearing nature.

They can withstand impact and can be replaced more easily and at a lower cost than other flooring types. Additionally, vinyl flooring is easy to clean, making it a practical choice for many households.

EFFICIENT HEAT TRANSFER

The thin nature of vinyl and lino flooring makes them ideal for underfloor heating as the heat can permeate the floor more easily to heat the room.

Most manufacturers state a maximum floor surface temperature of 27°C, which is more than adequate in most situations. For any sensitive floor coverings, or where a system with a high heat output is being installed, a floor temperature sensor should be fitted to limit the heat output from the floor.

AESTHETIC VERSATILITY

Vinyl and linoleum flooring offer a wide range of design options. Many manufacturers create high-quality, durable vinyl floor coverings that mimic natural products.

For example, you can choose vinyl flooring that looks like hardwood or even tiles. This versatility allows you to achieve the look you desire without sacrificing the benefits of underfloor heating.


EXPLORING VINYL FLOORING OPTIONS FOR UNDERFLOOR HEATING

When selecting the ideal vinyl flooring for your underfloor heating system, it's crucial to take into account the maximum floor surface temperature recommended by the manufacturer. A wide variety of vinyl flooring options are compatible with underfloor heating, as long as the maximum floor surface temperature is 27°C or higher. Let's delve into some of the top choices of vinyl flooring for underfloor heating.

AMTICO AND KARNDEAN

Amtico and Karndean are renowned types of vinyl flooring. Amtico stands out for its superior quality and its ability to mimic the aesthetics of various flooring materials, such as marble, stone, and wood. Its practicality and versatility make Amtico a preferred choice for many homeowners. However, to prevent any potential damage or discolouration, it's important to ensure that the floor temperature does not exceed 27°C, which can be easily managed with a floor sensor.

Karndean flooring is another popular option for homes with underfloor heating. Its design aims to provide a warmer and softer feel underfoot compared to stone or ceramic tiles, making a room more inviting and comfortable, particularly when paired with an underfloor heating system.

LINOLEUM

Unlike vinyl flooring, which is made from synthetic materials, linoleum flooring, also known as lino, is crafted from renewable, natural materials such as linseed oil, cork, and wood. This makes Lino a perfect flooring choice for those who prioritize eco-friendliness. Marmoleum, a well-known brand of linoleum flooring, is compatible with underfloor heating systems.

LUXURY VINYL TILES (LVT)

Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) offer a unique advantage over traditional sheet vinyl or lino flooring as they are available in tiles and planks. This allows for a custom flooring design that exudes realism. LVTs come in a variety of shades and finishes, emulating stone, wood, and ceramic tiles. Comprising multiple thin layers, luxury vinyl tiles are durable, require less maintenance than other flooring types, and are easy to clean. LVTs are an ideal choice for installation over your underfloor heating system.


INSTALLING VINYL FLOORING OVER UNDERFLOOR HEATING

Vinyl flooring, renowned for its durability and easy-to-clean nature, is an excellent partner for underfloor heating systems. When considering vinyl or linoleum flooring for underfloor heating, it's important to understand the nuances involved in the installation process. Let's delve into the specifics.

ACCLIMZATIZATION AND INSTALLATION

Before installing vinyl flooring, it's essential to acclimatize it to the environment where it will be installed.

This means unwrapping and laying it flat for a minimum of 24 hours prior to installation, with the room temperature maintained between 18–26˚C.

The underfloor heating should be tested and switched off for at least 48 hours before and after the installation of the vinyl flooring.

SUB-FLOOR CONSIDERATIONS

The type of screed used will determine whether subfloor preparations are required for vinyl or linoleum floor coverings.

Hand-mixed screeds may require an additional skim of the self-levelling compound to ensure a sufficiently flat surface before the floor covering can go down.

This is not needed with mechanically pumped liquid screeds, which have a denser consistency and will dry flat enough for the floor covering without additional preparation.

MOISTURE CONTENT

It's crucial to be aware of the moisture content of the subfloor before laying vinyl or linoleum flooring. If the moisture content is too high, your vinyl flooring may become water damaged.

This is most common with concrete and can cause the floor to rip at the seams, bubble up, become mouldy and more. Before installing vinyl over your UFH system, you need to make sure that the area is completely dry.

TURNING ON THE UNDERFLOOR HEATING

After you have fitted your vinyl or lino flooring, you should not turn your UFH system on for at least 48 hours. This allows the floor time to properly adhere, letting it acclimatise to the room temperature. UFH should also be turned off for 48 hours prior to the installation of vinyl and lino. When installing vinyl flooring, the adhesive used should be sufficient to sustain the working temperature of the underfloor heating, maximum 27˚C. If it cannot sustain this temperature then the floor may become unstuck, begin to bubble and the edges may begin to curl upwards.


WE RECOMMEND ELEKTRA FLOORTEC UNDERFLOOR HEATING MATS

KEY FEATURES

Elektra Under Vinyl Heating Mats 140W/m² is an efficient underfloor heating system specifically designed for use under vinyl flooring.

The system uses Elektra WoodTec mats in combination with the FLOORTEC DuoFloor Overlay System to provide even heat distribution, enhancing the comfort of your vinyl flooring.

The system uses Elektra WoodTec mats in combination with the FLOORTEC DuoFloor Overlay System to provide even heat distribution, enhancing the comfort of your vinyl flooring.

The Elektra WoodTec is manufactured in Europe complying with ISO 9001 using the highest quality raw materials, in accordance with IEC EN 60335-2-96. It has gained many approvals around the world, including the German VDE - probably the highest standard in Europe.

The system uses Elektra WoodTec mats in combination with the FLOORTEC DuoFloor Overlay System to provide even heat distribution, enhancing the comfort of your vinyl flooring.

Before making a decision, it's important to consider the size of the area you want to heat, the type of tile or stone floor you have, and your specific heating requirements. It's also recommended to consult with a professional to ensure the system is installed correctly and safely.