With so many underfloor heating systems in the market, the days of traditional radiators are fast behind us. If you’re planning to make the switch, you must use a proper floor finish.
Although all types of tiles can be used with underfloor heating, some are more suitable than others. Quartz and honed travertine are pretty much the only types of tiles you’d have issues using with this device.
In this article, we’d be taking a look at why certain floor finishes should not be used with underfloor heating and what flooring options are suitable for this heating system.
Are Quartz Tiles Heat Resistant?
When compared to an alternative like granite, quart tiles are fairly resistant to heat. These floor finishes will begin to discolor or stain, and in some cases crack, when direct contact is made with hot objects.
The synthetic pigments and polyester resin found in quartz tiles also react negatively to UV rays or direct sunlight, making them terrible for outdoor use.
How Much Heat Can Quartz Handle?
Generally, quartz tiles can withstand about 150 degrees of heat or temperature, however, some manufacturers have developed these composite products to withstand higher heat levels.
Quartz tiles are cured at a considerably high temperature, this process enables them to resist wear and tear, stains, heat, and abrasions.
You can get quartz tiles that can withstand temperatures as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit from any reputable online or physical outlet.
Make sure you go through the product description for how much heat the tiles can handle or reach out to the supplier or producer if the information wasn’t made available.
Avoid placing hot objects on cold quartz tiles, this can cause a thermal shock. Thermal shocks can cause your quartz tiles to crack or discolor unduly.
Additionally, proper care can help maintain your quartz’s ability to withstand heat. So, ensure you clean them regularly with non-abrasive or mild cleaning agents.
What Type of Tiles is Best for Underfloor Heating?
The best tiles for underfloor heating consist of products that are durable and can conduct heat well. Porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles, slate tiles, and the list goes on, are ideal floor finishes for underfloor heating.
Here’s a quick rundown of the best tiles for underfloor heating and their unique features or qualities.
- Ceramic Tiles
This type of tile can be used seamlessly with underfloor heating. It’s affordable, a good heat conductor, and easy to install.
The porous nature of ceramic tiles can be concerning when considering using them with underfloor heating, but this feature takes nothing away from their suitability and effectiveness.
Whether your underheating system is electrical or water, ceramic tiles are one of the best floor finishes you can use on overheating installations.
- Limestone Tiles
There are several types of natural floor finishes out there that can be used with underfloor heating, limestone tiles are one of them.
Limestone tiles transfer heat quite well and are long-lasting. This type of flooring requires regular maintenance, it is chemically sensitive and kind of soft.
When used with underfloor heating, limestone tiles will not only conduct heat efficiently but retain heat internally.
- Porcelain Tiles
Porcelain tiles are hard, water-resistant flooring products that can conduct heat effectively. This type of floor finish can be used with underfloor heating and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
Wet rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens require a floor finish that does not absorb moisture or water easily, like porcelain.
Tiles of this type can be quite expensive, but they possess desirable features that make them worth the buy.
- Wood Effect Tiles
Engineered wood flooring or wood effect tiles are also great floor finishes that can be used with underfloor heating.
They’d provide a natural and outdoorsy feel to your living area and retain adequate warmth. These flooring finishes come in various designs and aren’t difficult to install.
Another feature that makes wood effect tiles a great flooring option for your home is that they are reasonably priced.
- Terracotta Tiles
Terracotta tiles are natural stone tiles, they make fantastic heat conductors due to their extremely porous nature and provide a lot of aesthetics to a living space.
These flooring options are super popular and can be used with underfloor heating systems, but they require regular maintenance to last a long time.
Extreme weather conditions have little to no effect on these types of tiles, their insulating properties make them unyielding.
- Slate Tiles
Another natural stone tile worthy of mentioning is a slate tile. Like the other types of tiles that are suitable for use with underfloor heating, slate tiles are good heat conductors.
One thing you should keep in mind when selecting a flooring option to use over an underfloor heating system is the thickness of the product.
If the product is too thick it’d conduct and retain heat quite slowly. Floor finishes that are 10mm thick are perfect for underfloor heating systems.
Will Tiles Crack with Underfloor Heating?
Not all tiles will crack with underfloor heating, the only types of tiles that aren’t so compatible with this heating system are honed and filled travertine tiles and quartz tiles.
You will find below a detailed explanation of why these tiles should not be used with underfloor heating.
- Honed & Filled Travertine Tiles:
This type of floor finish consists of ground down and treated tiles, it has detailed and alluring patterns that’d bring life to any living space.
When used with underfloor heating, the resin used to treat the tile can rise or pop out, making your floors uneven and displeasing to walk on.
Although honed and filled travertine tiles undergoing a chemical reaction as a result of heat exposure can be evened out with travertine repair kits or flexible grout, it is best to use a floor finish that can withstand heat.
- Quartz Tiles:
Quartz products make valuable additions to any home, they’re super durable, scratch-proof, and easy to clean.
Tiles that are made of this engineered stone shouldn’t be used with underfloor heating because they contain resin and color pigments that do not respond well to heat.
Many people report that they have used quartz tiles with underfloor heating in their homes and it hasn’t undergone any undesirable changes.
A reasonable explanation for this is that the ratio of crushed quartz is above the optimum level. High-quality quartz tiles possess a ratio of about 93% quartz and 7% resin.
Resin is a key ingredient in the production of quartz tiles, and it shouldn’t be exposed to heat.
So, if you use this type of tile with underfloor heating, it is bound to deteriorate sooner or later.
The importance of choosing or having a suitable floor finish when installing an underfloor heating system cannot be stressed enough.
With the information provided in this article, you can make the right choice and save yourself from unnecessary future expenses on repairs or replacements.
We hope this article answered whatever questions you may have on floor finishes and underfloor heating and wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors to improve your home.