Rugs and underfloor heating: which are the best?

DesignHome Apr 08.2021

Rugs and underfloor heating: which are the best?The decision to install underfloor heating in your home is a well-established trend. Why? First of all, underfloor heating provides uniform heat and is more energy efficient than alternative systems. Secondly, underfloor heating gives the room a pleasant feeling of warmth and cosiness. But how does it go with carpets, especially when the carpets are valuable?

Rugs and underfloor heating: can it be done?

In underfloor heating systems, coils are installed under the surface of the floor. These elements have the task of radiating heat to all rooms in the house. This system has two main advantages. Firstly, it guarantees an even distribution of heat, and secondly, it avoids the installation of radiators. Underfloor heating is also more efficient, since it can heat rooms in less time. Specifically, you can decide for an electric or a hydraulic system. While the former only provides heating, the latter can also be used in the warmer months, this time to cool the house.

In larger homes, the advantages of this solution can be best appreciated. Being able to heat a loft or a large living room evenly, without having temperature differences between the areas close to the heater and the areas further away, allows you to enjoy your living spaces to the full and with maximum comfort.

The floor therefore becomes not only a decorative element of the house, but also takes on the important function of allowing heat to pass through, to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for everyone present. You might think that covering heated floors with carpets is a gamble, but this is not the case.

In fact, not only can rugs be used with underfloor heating, but the combination of the two gives the home an even more cosy and welcoming atmosphere. Choosing a high-quality luxury carpet has no downside, as the materials used and the structure of the carpet ensure strength and durability.

Which carpets to choose for homes with underfloor heating

What is the most common objection to carpets in homes with underfloor heating? It’s simple: it’s about the possibility that the carpet might obstruct the distribution of heat in some way. If you choose carpets with low thermal resistance, this will not be a problem. The heat will flow through the carpet, and within seconds the fibres and the room will be perfectly heated.

A second objection is related to fears that prolonged exposure to heat and continuous contact with a heated surface will damage the carpet. Here again: choosing a quality carpet does not pose any risk.

The most important consideration is therefore the material of the carpet. Conventional wool carpets can withstand high temperatures and temperature fluctuations very well, so there is no need to worry. As a general rule, however, it is advisable to avoid particularly delicate carpets or carpets that have been tafted. In contrast, there are no contraindications for the use of hand-knotted carpets made of natural fibres. In tafted carpets, the tufts of wool are attached to the fabric using latex or glue. Prolonged contact of these materials with the hot surface of the floor could damage them.

In the process of choosing a carpet, the thickness of the artefacts must also be considered. Naturally, heat will take less time to pass through a thin carpet than through a thicker carpet. This is quite obvious. As a general rule, if the carpet is to be placed in a room with underfloor heating, the thickness of the artefact should not exceed 1.5 cm.

In extreme cases, even the floor may be damaged. Some materials have a limited resistance to high temperatures, and when the heating is on, the presence of the carpet may exceed this limit. The risk is limited to some types of laminate flooring, but there is no risk if you choose ceramic, stone or solid wood flooring. These materials have excellent levels of thermal conductivity, allow rooms to be heated in a short time and retain heat for a long time.

To promote heat conduction and minimise the risk of the floor overheating, it is therefore advisable to choose carpets made of natural fibres, which are thin and preferably small in size. In a large living room or loft, instead of having one large carpet, you may decide to include several smaller models in the design to define and decorate different areas of the room.

In conclusion, luxury carpets can certainly coexist with underfloor heating. You just need to follow a few precautions. The ones we have mentioned are undoubtedly the most important.

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