Investigations into the efficiency of using underfloor heating (UFH) with carpet has found that UFH is safe and effective with carpets and underlays up to 2.5 Tog – as opposed to the 1.5 Tog maximum recommended by industry standard BS EN 1264.

In a bid to disprove the myth that UFH and carpet cannot be used together, Wavin Plastics in conjunction with the Underfloor Heating Manufactures Association (UHMA), carried out research with the Building Services Research & Information Association (BSRIA) and the Carpet Foundation.

“BS EN 1264 advises a maximum thermal resistance of just 1.5 Tog for any floor covering laid on a heated floor,” comments Chris Simmons, Spokesperson for Wavin. “However, experienced UFH specialists know it is possible to achieve full comfort conditions – and good response times – with higher Tog levels as contained in some carpet and underlay combinations.

“Carpet industry tests have traditionally focused on how carpets work with radiators and air heating systems, completely ignoring UFH. We wanted to show that carpet does, in fact, offer high levels of comfort with UFH.”

OSMA Underfloor Heating from Wavin Plastics – the UK’s leading provider of water management solutions – offers high levels of comfort due to the production of radiant heat compared to heating by convection through radiators. Whereas radiators result in a higher temperature at ceiling level, UFH distributes it evenly throughout the room without floor draughts. With systems for both screeded and timber floors, OSMA UFH offers genius solutions to give high comfort, energy efficient heating for any type of room.

The research was carried out in a test room built to BS EN 4422:1997 requirements. An UFH system topped with a 22mm floating chipboard deck was constructed in the room complete with sensors and measuring devices to effectively create ‘single-plate’ test conditions. Nineteen carpet and underlay combinations at flow temperatures of 40, 50 and 60°C were tested in total. Air temperature within the test enclosure was controlled at 20°C at the central inner room reference point which was 0.75m from the floor.

“However, it must not be assumed that the tests validate all carpet and underlay combinations,” comments Chris. “As industry experts, we know that wear and tear for example, can affect the carpet as fibres are trodden down by heavy foot traffic. These factors must also be taken into consideration.”