What Types of Floors Work With Radiant Heat?

One of the biggest benefits of radiant heat flooring is the versatility it offers when heating a whole home – whether new build or remodel. Like any home improvement, there are certain applications where it works better than others and that’s no more paramount than in the type of floor you choose to go over the heating system. Certain materials are better than others and choosing correctly will ensure that you get the most out of your radiant heat investment.

Ideal Flooring for Radiant Heat


Porcelain or Ceramic Tile

Since both of these tile options are mineral-based, they make for excellent heat conductors. As an additional plus, the synthetic nature of the material means that they likely won’t rot or degrade if the hydronic system ever leaks (which is highly unlikely). 

Laminate Flooring 

Most laminate is thin, meaning that heat will move directly through it and into your home. However, laminate has a temperature max of around 85 degrees Fahrenheit, so extremely hot environments may not be the best fit. However, the composite of laminate with foam underlay makes for a very comfortable foot feeling in the coldest rooms.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineers wood uses high-caliber plywood as the base below a much nicer looking hardwood veneer top layer. The plywood is purposeful in that it responds to temperature changes much better and can make up for wood’s poor heat conduction ability. 

Sheer or Tile Vinyl Flooring

These vinyls or luxury vinyl planks are also a suitable option. They typically have particular installation instructions and also can have temperature minimums and maximums for efficient and safe use. 


There are mixed opinions on using carpeting, as it’s typically a warm layer on its own. It could be a good option for those looking for even more warmth and don’t mind turning up the thermostat to compensate for any heat loss through the piling. 


Radiant heat flooring is a home warming option growing in popularity exponentially. The professionals at Radiant Heat Flooring can explain and detail the various options open to you as a homeowner and help you decide which option is best for decades of efficiency and low-stress use. Call (503) 788-7777 to learn more. 

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