Karndean, Amtico & vinyl with electric underfloor heating

08 Mar 2016

This article highlights important considerations for choosing and installing electric underfloor heating systems under Karndean, Amtico, lino and vinyl flooring. 

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Why Karndean, Amtico and Vinyl are ideal to install above electric underfloor heating mats.
  • Karndean, Amtico and vinyl are all very thin and allow the heat from the electric heating mats to pass through easily. This gives the system a fast warm up time and high output making it an ideal floor covering.
  • The fact that floor covering is thin also means that when retrofitting the floor build up is minimal. This can prevent problems with door heights skirting boards or allows you to add more insulation.

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Things to look out for
  • It is more time consuming and expensive to install vinyl floors with underfloor heating when compared to a wooden laminate or engineered wooden floor.
  • Maximum temperature – Karndean, Amtico and vinyl should not be heated to over 27C. It is important to have a floor sensor provided as part of the thermostat to make sure that the underfloor heating never damages the flooring.
  • Always check with the manufacture of the flooring for suitability with use with underfloor heating and the proposed floor build up.
  • Special Adhesive – The manufacturers often specify that the floor covering be stuck down using a high temperature version of their adhesive. The high temperature version normally have a model number beginning with HT to denote its ability to withstand higher temperatures.
  • Level floors – It is important that all the floor covering as fixed onto completely flat and stable subfloor floors. We would always recommend the use of flexible self leveling compound above the heating mats. If installing on a suspended wooden floor, plywood needs to fixed to the floor boards similar to good practice to when you tile.

 General installation guide

How to install underfloor heating under vinyl flooring

(1)  Preparing subfloor: Make sure that the subfloor is level and clean. If you are installing on a suspended floor with traditional floor boards then a layer of marine grade plywood may be needed fixed on top before laying the insulation.

(2)  Insulation: The type of insulation differs depending on the exact flooring, traffic over the area and subfloor construction. Please contact us (01932 784848) for details specific for your property. The insulation is stuck down with a flexible tile adhesive applied using a trowel.

(3)  Test mat

(4)  Fixing the mats down: The mats have to be fixed down very securely otherwise they will float up when the self levelling compound is poured on top. To ensure this happens the floor has to be kept completely clean so that the adhesive of the mat has maximum contact with the insulation.

(5) Test mats

(Self Levelling Compound6)  The self leveling compound: Refer to the self leveling compound  manufacturers instructions for depth required.

(7)  Fixing the flooring on top: Follow the flooring manufacturers guideline for laying the flooring. Many of them have their own high temperature adhesives which they recommend you using.

(8)  Turning the system on: The underfloor heating must be switched off 48 hours before, during, and 48 hours after the installation, then temperature gradually increased  to desired warmth.

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This is only a guideline. Always read and follow the instructions of the self levelling compound and flooring manufacturer.