dcsimg
Visit our

Carpet Over Heated Floors

The advantages of energy efficiency combined with a distinctly comfortable heat source have made heated floors increasingly popular in many parts of the country. Often referred to as hydronic or "radiant-heated" floors, these floor systems have been popular in Europe for many years. Most systems utilize low-temperature water of about 80° F to 125° F flowing through flexible tubing installed beneath the floors. These systems can be embedded in concrete slabs, lightweight overpours or in joist cavities.

Floor Covering Considerations

With a floor heating system, the entire floor works as a giant radiator. The comfort benefits are immediately obvious under tile, marble, vinyl and wood flooring; however, radiant floor heating works equally well under carpeting. With installations involving carpet and cushion, consideration must be given to the thermal resistance rating (R-value) of the carpet and padding.

Manufacturers of heated floor systems state that less thermally conductive floors, such as those covered with thick carpets, particularly with heavy cushions beneath, may require the use of hotter water. This may preclude the use of water-to-water geothermal heat pumps, some solar systems, and some waste heat recovery systems. Regardless, most homeowners accept some efficiency reduction so that the additional benefits offered by carpet will be enjoyed. A not-so-obvious benefit which should be recognized is that carpet tends to shorten the heating season by providing a "foot warm" floor rather than a "foot cold" floor as with hard surface floorings.

Did you know?

Buying carpet is the third most expensive consumer purchase. The Buying Carpeting section of the Carpet Buyers Handbook addresses a number of consumer questions, when shopping for carpet. Carpet benefits, carpet myths, how to budget for carpeting, carpet cushion selection, where to buy carpet, questions to ask when buying carpeting, carpet warranty issues, and carpet color selection are each discussed in detail. For questions related to Carpet R-value, acoustics, and safety issue visit our carpet benefits tab. For carpet myths, such as Kawasaki Syndrome, carpet allergies, and carpet chemical emissions visit our Carpet Myths section. For carpet measuring for installation, visit budgeting for carpet.

THIS ARTICLE IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' WITH NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. THE AUTHOR, THE SITE OWNER AND ITS AFFILIATES ASSUME NO LIABILITY FOR ERRORS OR OMISSIONS CONTAINED THEREIN OR FOR ANY USE OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT. The article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice.