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Can Radiant Heat Be Installed Under Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)?

What is luxury vinyl tile (LVT)? 

Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is a composite based material with a printed surface made to simulate natural flooring materials such as tile, stone or even hardwoods. Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is light weight, low maintenance, easy to install and even easier to maintain.  Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) products come in a variety of different shapes and styles making it one of the most versatile flooring products. You can install luxury vinyl tile (LVT) in nearly any space in your home and with a wide range of different products aesthetic doesn’t have to be sacrificed. 

Can radiant heat be installed under luxury vinyl tile (LVT)? 

With the wide variety of different products and manufacturers of luxury vinyl tile (LVT) you must follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when it comes to installation and using radiant heat under the tiles. Many luxury vinyl tile (LVT) products can be used in conjunction with radiant heat. Picking the right radiant heat to place under the luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is another process that may require some due diligence. There are many deciding factors when picking the right radiant heat system including height profiles, installation procedures, heat output, manufacturer’s recommendations, and cost. Some radiant heat products such as hydronic tubes require subfloor build ups to bury the pipes, which could cause issues trying to aligning flooring heights throughout the home. Products like radiant heat films cannot be used if the installation process involves nails to tack the flooring in place. Electric cables can reach temperatures of up to 120 degrees which may nullify the manufacturer’s warranty. Geothermal radiant heat requires extensive groundwork outside which could add significant cost to a radiant heat system under luxury vinyl tile (LVT). The STEP HEAT low voltage radiant heat system provides a solution to many of the potential issues of installing radiant heat under a luxury vinyl tile (LVT).

STEP® HEAT Radiant Heating

Installing STEP HEAT under luxury vinyl tile (LVT)

First you must contact the Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) manufacturer to make sure that radiant heat is approved for the tile you have selected. You must make sure that the luxury vinyl tile (LVT) allows heat to transfer through all layers of the product. Some luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) have a rubber backing which is an insulator and doesn’t allow heat to transfer through properly. Once the appropriate luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is selected the installation process can begin. 

Begin with a clean subfloor – this means that there shouldn’t be any nails, debris, or any other obstructions on the floor. Some luxury vinyl tile (LVT) requires acclimation, which is a process of allowing the tiles to become unified in the temperature and humidity that is identical to the conditions found in the room in which they will be installed. Once the luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is acclimated, the tiles will be uniformly conditioned, and the locking system will not be compromised. This process should be done before starting the STEP HEAT heating system. Next, STEP HEAT’s ultra-thin (3/64th of an inch) heating element can be stapled or taped (with our approved double-sided tape) directly to the subfloor. Some subfloor routing may be required when connecting the low voltage cables to the heating element. If your luxury vinyl tile (LVT) requires an adhesive, the STEP HEAT heating elements must be covered with a self-leveling cement, lauan or another approved product preventing the glue from contacting the heating element. The STEP HEAT system must be tested before it is covered by any surface to ensure the system is operating as designed. After this you can install the luxury vinyl tile (LVT) to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Once the finished floor is installed, test the STEP HEAT system again to ensure the system is operating properly and to validate the manufacturer’s warranty. 

Once you have properly installed the luxury vinyl tile (LVT) over your STEP HEAT heating system, you can enjoy the advantages of radiant heat for many years to come. 

Have Questions?

Have More Questions About Radiant Heat? Call Green Wave Distribution

Floor heating technology is relatively new, so we are often asked questions about installation and system selection. For additional information about floor heating, contact Green Wave Distribution today. We’re happy to answer any questions that you have about radiant heat, heated floors vs radiators, and heating flooring installation.

Or, explore some of our other radiant heaters, like our radiant panels below: