Can you put radiant heat under vinyl plank flooring?
We often get asked if radiant heat can be installed under vinyl plank flooring – in most cases the answer is yes. Radiant heating is a great choice for anyone looking to take their flooring project to the next level, especially with LVT (luxury vinyl tile) and LVP (luxury vinyl plank), which are water resistant, strong, and available in wide selection of designs. That said, it is extremely important to make sure that you select vinyl flooring that is compatible with radiant heating.
Choosing the right vinyl floor for underfloor heating.
Before installing radiant heat under vinyl flooring, it is important to check with the flooring manufacture to ensure that it will not void the manufactures’ warranty. Some vinyl flooring products may work with any type of radiant heating system, but this varies from manufacture to manufacture. It is critical to read the manufactures’ recommendations for your specific flooring to see if there are any heat restrictions. Many manufactures’ set a threshold of 85 degrees for radiant heating systems. Most cable radiant heating systems will exceed this temperature limit. Our STEP® HEAT radiant heating system will not exceed 82 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing it to meet many vinyl plank manufactures’ heat restriction requirements.
Installing a vinyl floor with radiant heating.
The finished appearance of any vinyl floor is largely determined by the subfloor over which it is installed. It is important that the underlayment panels are designed to for vinyl flooring and that the subfloor is level. APA is a grade of plywood that is designed for subfloor use. You can refer to the vinyl plank manufacture’s guidelines to see which grade is best suitable for radiant heating. Concrete also makes a great choice and radiant heating can be installed directly into the concrete.
It is also important to acclimate the vinyl flooring prior to installation. This involves leaving the vinyl flooring at room temperature for a set period of time. The amount of time and temperature required differs from manufacture to manufacture so check the needs of your specific vinyl floor product.
Keep in mind that certain radiant heating cables or radiant heating elements can not be in contact with adhesives. Check with your radiant heating manufacture to ensure that you have installed a proper barrier between the heating cables and adhesives. Check with your vinyl flooring manufacturer to see if their recommended flooring adhesives are suitable for use with underfloor heating.
With the manufactures’ approvals, you can safely install your radiant heating system (always refer to the manufactures’ installation guidelines). It is critical to test the radiant heating system prior to installing the vinyl flooring. Once the radiant heating system is operating properly, turn the system off. Now you can begin to install the vinyl flooring. If using adhesives, check the flooring manufactures’ guidelines to see how long the adhesives need to cure prior to restarting the radiant heating system. Once the vinyl flooring is installed, turn the radiant heating system back on and test the system again.
Not sure which vinyl plank works with radiant heating?
Let Green Wave Distribution assist you in choosing a vinyl plank floor to use with radiant heating. We have installed our underfloor heating systems beneath many vinyl plank flooring products. We can provide the manufacture with our radiant heating system specifications to ensure that your vinyl plank floor will be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. Interested in non-underfloor radiant heating options? Browse or selection radiant panel heaters below: