For many homeowners building or renovating a property, it is important to ensure a warm and efficiently heated house - and underfloor heating systems have become an increasingly popular way to do this. When it comes to the installation of floor tiles and underfloor heating, many have misunderstood and feared the idea. We’re here to put an end to any confusion and reservations, sharing our guide and insight as to why underfloor heating can be perfect to use with stone tiles.
Often customers approach us with an apprehensive view of underfloor heating but are also concerned over tiles feeling cold underfoot: underfloor heating eliminates this problem and offers the ideal solution, working very well with both natural stone and porcelain tiles. In this post, we’ll cover benefits of underfloor heating, as well as a few top tips as experts in stone flooring.
Energy Efficiency of Underfloor Heating
The energy efficiency of underfloor heating (UFH) is much higher than that of traditional heating systems such as radiators. For most open plan kitchens and ground floor areas, traditional radiators will often cause ‘dead’ spots where the heat does not reach parts of the room. With UFH, the heating is used effectively and efficiently to heat the entirety of a space, meaning less energy is required to reach that same comfortable ambient temperature.
Another benefit is of course the cosiness and warmth from the floor up. Say goodbye to cold feet first thing in the morning and last thing at night! A stone floor is naturally a high conductor of heat and great at retaining heat long after the heating has been turned off. Underfloor heating provides a comfortable and continuous temperature underfoot that really does make a big difference to life at home on colder days - whether it be working from home or slow days with the family.
Space Saving & Safer
Often when designing a kitchen or ground floor living area, wall space is a big consideration in the plans. Underfloor heating eradicates the need for traditional wall mounted radiators – freeing up more wall space for furniture and decor. Underfloor heating is also much safer for children. A heated floor also eliminates scolding, hot surfaces from radiators and heaters, giving you peace of mind for a safer family home.
The Best Tiles & Stone for Underfloor Heating
There is often a misconception that only a select few tiles are suitable for underfloor heating – this is not always the case! All of Quorn Stone’s natural stone and porcelain are entirely suitable for UFH with the correct installation and have been tried and tested as fit for the job!
Natural stone tiles tend to be thicker, which will take a little longer to heat up, but means it will retain the temperature for longer - thanks to its natural density and thermal conductivity.
A popular option for natural stone is Dijon tumbled limestone with a variety of tile sizes and thicknesses available and the durability of its tumbled floor finish.
The Farrow Grey tumbled and Clermont Gris aged-tumbled also offer wonderful large format grey flagstones working well with underfloor heating systems. They have a forgiving tumbled finish and are extremely hardwearing.
Porcelain is a manmade product that is fired at an extremely high temperature, resulting in a strong, robust tile. Porcelain is also a good thermal conductor, and tending to be thinner, will heat up faster yet still retain the heat for a long while after.
The Dorchester Aged White stone effect porcelain is a beautiful tile that is 10mm in thickness and often used throughout kitchens and entire ground floors with underfloor heating systems. The 10mm thickness and light nature of this porcelain means it is fast for heating up which is a big benefit.
FAQ when using underfloor heating with tiles
Will tiles crack with underfloor heating?
If the correct installation process is followed, there is no reason for tiles to crack – finding an experienced tiler who is competent with installing natural stone and porcelain is important. We strongly advise the use of anti-fracture matting, which is industry standard. This is a thin membrane that should be installed between the screed and your tiles. This membrane protects the tiles from lateral sheer movements, allowing the screed to fracture without damaging the tiles. We recommend speaking to the manufacturer of your heating system and screed for full specifications as they are liable to inform.
Can you use underfloor heating with natural stone and limestone tiles?
Yes! Underfloor heating is perfectly suited with natural stone and limestone tiles following the correct installation as touched on in the above question.
Does underfloor heating work well with stone tiles?
Underfloor heating is very efficient and effective, working well with stone tiles as natural stone and porcelain are naturally high conductors and retainers of heat. This means the floor will stay warm long after the heating has been turned off.
Do you need special tiles for underfloor heating?
Not specifically. All of Quorn Stone’s natural stone and porcelain are entirely suitable for UFH with the correct installation and have been tried and tested as fit for the job. There is no right or wrong as any of our floor tiles will work well with underfloor heating.
What other installation tips do I need to know for underfloor heating?
Commission your UFH: It is important to commission your UFH prior to installation. This includes a full heat up and cool down of the system which takes around 7 days. This process will allow any weaknesses in the screed to be identified.
Check which adhesive you require: In most cases we recommend using an S1 graded flexible white adhesive, however some overboard systems such as ‘Wunda’ do require an S2 grade adhesive
Gradually increase temperature: once you have your UFH installed and tiles down, the adhesive needs time to cure. Most new boilers have a screed drying program now to help with the curing process, which will prevent a sudden change of temperature and shock to the tiles.