Baby wears white disposable diaper sits on the wooden floor.

Heated flooring systems can be a smart choice if you want to make your home warmer and more energy-efficient. There are two fundamental types of floor radiant heating systems, electric and hydronic, and choosing one over the other relies on different variables. In this article, we discuss the types of flooring that could be installed n top of these systems.


radiant heating system
tile floor installation

Most flooring contractors, including Simple Flooring, DO NOT install heated floors. This is something that requires specific knowledge and skill in electrical and/or plumbing systems and in most cases, there are separate professionals that specialize in installing radiant heated systems. From our personal experience, all the companies that install radiant heated systems do not install the actual flooring.

The choice of a reliable business to install your radiant heating system is the first step in this procedure. This team will be in charge of making sure that your heating system is installed correctly and runs effectively. They will collaborate with you to choose the ideal heating system for your house, and they’ll make sure the installation goes smoothly.

In order to cover the radiant heating system with the flooring of your choice after it has been installed, you will need to work with a flooring contractor. This contractor will consult with you to choose the right floor covering for your home and will make sure the installation is done flawlessly. 

Your home will be warm, cozy, and energy-efficient for many years to come if you choose reliable providers to install your radiant heating system and the best flooring contractor in your area.


marble large tile in the bathroom
Hardwood Flooring

Not every kind of flooring covering can or should be used with heated floors. The main reason for this is how different materials react and transfer heat. Let’s look at the types of flooring products that are recommended to be used with traditional (hydronic) heated floors:

  1. Ceramic & Porcelain Tiles are excellent materials to use with heated floors. They are strong, waterproof, and resistant to any warping or cracking at high temperatures. They are also great at conducting heat, making them the most efficient option for heated floors. 
  2. Natural Stone: Another fantastic material for heated floors is a natural stone, such as marble, granite, and limestone. Moreover, it is resilient and temperature-resistant.
  3. Laminate: Another common option for heated floors is laminate flooring. It is affordable, and thanks to its core structure it handles temperature well. Laminate flooring can overdry, so maintaining humidity levels between 35-50% is recommended.
  4. Engineered hardwood is another recommended material to use with heated floors. It is more stable and less prone to warping or shrinking since it is constructed from layers of wood that are glued together. Not all engineered woods are made equally so consulting with a specialist is critical.
  5. Carpet: While this is not an ideal choice, some carpet products can be installed with radiant heating systems, however, it is indeed one of the less efficient flooring options.
  6. Vinyl: Most vinyl manufacturers will NOT warranty their product installed on top of heated floors, however, some recent products are built more stable and can handle the heat. Vinyl is a combination of stone and plastic or wood and plastic and exposed to excess heat is likely to warp. 

Most experts agree that to ensure that any moisture in the concrete has been eliminated before installing flooring, the hydronic heating system should be turned on and left running for at least 3-6 days after installation. If you are utilizing any form of wood or laminate flooring, and especially if the slab is newer than 60 days, you should let it run for an additional 30 to 60 days to dry.

Concluding, it is essential that you consider the type of material and its capacity to endure temperature variations when selecting flooring for use with heated floors. For usage with heated floors, excellent options include ceramic and porcelain tile, natural stone, laminate, and engineered hardwood. Carpet, Luxury Vinyl, and hardwood should be avoided.


engineered wood flooring in natural color

When installing a new floor over radiant heating systems, it’s important to fully understand the warranty and any limitations there might be. Despite the fact that many flooring manufacturers provide warranties that cover installation on top of heated flooring systems, it’s necessary to understand the exact circumstances as those are not always straightforward.

The highest temperature that your flooring can sustain is among the most essential components to take into account. Temperature limitations for various types of flooring vary, and going above them may result in damage that will not be covered by the warranty. This is one of the reasons why it is essential to hire the right flooring contractor that will help you choose the right flooring type for your specific heating system. Some warranties won’t cover flooring installed over radiant heating systems at all, while others might cover only the hydronic types.

The way your flooring is installed is another major factor. When installing certain types of flooring like engineered wood or laminate with a heated floor system, there are precise installation procedures that must be followed, and failing to do so will certainly void a manufacturer’s warranty. 


In conclusion, heated flooring systems can greatly improve the warmth of your home. However, choosing the right type of radiant heating system, whether electric or hydronic, requires careful consideration of various factors. It is crucial to find a reliable and experienced installation team that can guide you through selecting the right heating system for your house and ensure that the installation process goes smoothly.

When it comes to choosing the right flooring material to use with heated floors, not all materials perform equally. Ceramic, porcelain tiles, & natural stone are the best choices due to their waterproof properties, and excellent heat conduction abilities. Laminate and engineered wood are a good second option, while carpet, luxury vinyl, and hardwood should be avoided.

It’s essential to pay attention to the temperature limitations of your chosen flooring material and follow the exact installation procedures to avoid voiding the manufacturer’s warranty. When working with flooring contractors, it’s important to understand any warranty limitations and ensure that they have the expertise to install flooring over radiant heating systems.

By selecting the appropriate heating system and flooring material and working with reliable and experienced professionals, you can enjoy a warm, cozy, and energy-efficient home for many years to come.

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