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Can You Lay a Rug Over Underfloor Heating?

So you’ve installed an underfloor heating system, or maybe you’re considering installing one. It’s a great way to make a room cosy, but what if you wanted to make a room even cosier or homely with a rug?

While it’s perfectly fine to have underfloor heating for carpeted flooring, with rugs it’s a little different. Most carpets allow for effective heat transfer between the pipes and the floor above, but some rugs can restrict heat transfer.  This can create a blanketing effect, making the rug very warm instead of the room.

Here’s how to pick a rug that will pair well with your underfloor heating for wooden flooring;

 

How to Choose a Rug That’s Safe for Heated Floors

Material

You want a rug fibre that is good at facilitating heat transfer. Natural fibre rugs made of cotton and silk are generally safe with an underfloor heating system. Synthetic fibres like nylon and polypropylene can transfer heat, but are at risk of melting when heated for long periods of time.

Wool rugs are more insulating, and therefore shouldn’t be too thick if you want a rug in this material. More on this in the next section. Be aware of the backing material too. Burlap and jute are good at transferring heat, but rubber, synthetic rubber, and felt are not.

With all that said, rug shrinkage or fibre damage are more likely to occur with electric underfloor heating for wooden flooring. Your boiler flow temperature will typically run around 40°C, but this temperature decreases as it passes through your house and transfers to the floor covering. Silk and wool can withstand up to 40°C, past that they start to shrink. Cotton meanwhile can withstand much higher temperatures.

 

Thickness

The thicker the rug, the more likely it is to insulate and affect heat transfer, and the more likely it is to warm to the point it starts to melt or shrink. A thickness less than 25mm is generally safe for underfloor heating. Thick woolly rugs or shag rugs are generally unsuitable when covering underfloor heating for wooden flooring.

 

Other Factors to Consider

Always check the rug’s tog rating, which indicates how effective it is at insulating heat. Anything higher than 2.5 is too insulating and could cause hotspots or reduce the effectiveness of your heating. You should also avoid very large rug, even if it’s of a suitable material or thickness, because these can reduce heating efficiency.

 

Are Antique Rugs Safe with Underfloor Heating?

You should not lay unique rugs on heated floors. The majority of these rugs are frail due to their age and should be placed away from sources of heat or sunlight.

 

Are Persian Rugs Safe with Underfloor Heating?

Persian rugs made of cotton, wool, or silk can be used with underfloor heating. Wool is the most common material used in authentic rugs, but it is usually woven quite thin. Remember to check the tog rating if you need clarification.

 

What About Braided or Hand Woven Rugs Without a Tog Rating?

As long as these rugs are thin and made with natural fibres, they should be safe to put over a heated floor. Handmade rug makers are likely to use synthetic yarns because of their low cost, and these can have lower heat resistance than mass-produced synthetic rugs. Don’t be afraid to ask about the materials and their care instructions from the artist.

 

Contact the Underfloor Heating Team 

Haven’t started on your underfloor heating journey? Over the years, EasyFlow’s teams across the UK have worked with many homeowners and construction companiesto bring underfloor heating and our full flooring solution to many different properties.

Get started today with a no-obligation quote!

 

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