Best tiles for underfloor heating

Porcelain tile is an ideal flooring material if you want to install an underfloor heating system. It's one of the questions we get asked the most. So, what are the best tiles for underfloor heating? In fact, any porcelain tile is great with underfloor heating.

Underfloor heating can offer substantially lower running costs compared to traditional central heating systems

Water and electric systems

Underfloor heating can offer substantially lower running costs compared to traditional heating systems. There are electric underfloor heating systems and wet (piped water) underfloor heating systems available so it is worth checking with an underfloor heating specialist which is the most suitable for your project.

Electric underfloor heating mats are a really great choice for regular shaped rooms, existing rooms and smaller spaces where you want a quick and easy to install underfloor heating solution. So ideal for spaces where installing new hot water heating pipes just isn't possible.

If you are starting a brand new build project or extension, then consider installing a water underfloor heating system.

Whichever you choose, it's important that the system and tiles are installed correctly and with the correct adhesive products so always get some advice.

Why is porcelain suitable?

Underfloor heating definitely makes for a cosier room! There's nothing nicer than stepping onto a tiled floor in the morning and it feels lovely and warm underfoot. The make up of a porcelain tile makes it the perfect material for use with underfloor heating because it has a high level of thermal conductivity. That means tiles heat up faster and retain the heat for longer.

Porcelain consists of a mix of clay along with other minerals such as quartz, feldspar and sand and this along with baking at high temperatures is what also gives porcelain it's strength.

Porcelain tiles tend to be thinner than natural stone, for example, and the thinner the tile the quicker your floor will heat. Generally a porcelain tile around 8-12mm thick whereas natural stone is 10-20mm thick.

Porcelain tiles also won't crack due to temperature changes. With correct installation and by using the correct adhesives and grout, temperature changes should not affect the tile. It is important that your installer allows for some movement joints or a decoupling membrane particularly for larger floor areas and flexible adhesives and grout must be used. Speak with us for more information on correct installation.

It is also critical that the heating system is off during installation of the tiles and make sure that the adhesives and grout have fully cured before switching the system on. Check with your tiler and adhesive supplier for more information.

What about bathrooms?

Bathrooms are a particularly popular room in which to install porcelain tiles and underfloor heating. To be called porcelain, the tile must have a water absorption rate of less than 0.5%. That makes it pretty much impervious to water it is the perfect material for bathrooms.

To gain that rating, the tile is weighed and then submerged in water for 24 hours before being weighed again. If the tile weighs less than 0.5% more than it did before it entered the water it can be considered porcelain.

And of course, another great benefit of porcelain is you can use a wood effect porcelain in the bathroom. Unlike real timber, porcelain won't warp when wet so it makes the ideal material both for a wood effect bathroom and for use with underfloor heating. It doesn't get much cosier than this!

Open plan living

So, if you are thinking of porcelain for your project but worried it may feel a little cold underfoot, think again. Porcelain is cool in summer and is easy to warm up in winter making it the perfect all year round flooring material.

Want to know more about the best tiles for underfloor heating? Get in touch! We'd be delighted to help with your project.

The TilePortfolio specialise in Italian and Spanish Porcelain and Ceramic tiles, in particular large format Porcelains and Porcelain tiles for inside and outside. Our carefully curated, stunning tile portfolios are beautifully presented online and supported by our fuss-free ‘go-the -extra-tile’ service and tile consultancy service. Visit our website for unmissable interiors inspiration. The TilePortfolio team are always available to chat, we’d be delighted to help with your project so please do get in touch.

Please note: We strongly recommend using a professional tiler for your project. Installation requirements may vary depending on the tiles you choose, the fixing products used and the specific conditions. Always check with your tiler regards the suitability of the tiles. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions.

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