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Can I put laminate flooring on top of a radiant heated floor?

If you’ve installed radiant heating in your home, you may wonder what type of floor can be installed over it. Laminate flooring on top of a radiant heated floor is the perfect solution. As long as proper precautions are taken, it is perfectly fine to install laminate over a radiant heated floor.

Proper Installation

In order to make this installation successful you need to:

  • Run the floor’s heating system for at least 4 days at 64-72 degrees
  • Acclimate flooring in the room it will be installed in for at least 48 hours
  • Once installation is finished, do not change radiant heat for at least another 48 hours
  • Never raise the flooring surface temperature above 82 degrees

Acclimate your flooring by cross stacking the boxes

Keep in mind that minor gaping between planks during the heating season is a normal occurrence with laminate over a radiant heated sub-floor. Proper humidity controls will help to minimize this type of natural reaction to seasonally changing climate controls.

Use the Proper Underlayment

When installing the radiant heating, find out what kind of underlayment to use. Some radiant heating comes in the form of a soft underlayment-type covering, while other types of radiant heating require a specific underlayment before you install any flooring. Also, get familiar with the manufacturers warranty regarding laminate flooring on top of a radiant heated floor. Some manufacturers have particular guides to the installation process. Some may even recommend against it.

Be mindful of which underlyament you install.

Next time someone asks what type of floor that can install over radiant heat flooring, show them this article and tell them laminate flooring! Hopefully it will help with a proper installation and successful home renovation project.

Have any more questions about radiant heated floors and laminate flooring? Write them in the comments below!

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  1. What thickness of laminate do you suggest be placed over radiant floor for maximum efficiency?

    • Hi Brad, thanks for reaching out. There is no minimum or maximum thickness requirement for radiant heated flooring. It is possible that a thinner floor will take slightly less time to heat up, however the difference will likely not be very noticeable. We hope this helps!

  2. I have wood sub floor and I would like to install electric radiant floor heat on top of that and then laminate on top of that. It is a mesh style floor pad. Is it better to lay that out then put a pad / vapor barrier on top of that? or should i put the pad / vapor barrier below and the laminate directly on top of the radiant floor

    • Hi Jason, thanks for reaching out. You can go ahead and install the radiant heating directly on your wood subfloor, followed by underlayment on top. Please be sure to check that the radiant heating you have purchased is intended for use with laminate flooring. Hope this helps!

  3. I’m going to install laminate flooring on concrete. I have in floor heating built into the concrete. I’ll be putting a vapor barrier down. Question I have is: Does the concrete need to be sealed first?

    • Hi Dan, thanks for reaching out. Your concrete flooring does not need to be sealed prior to installation. You can go ahead and install underlayment and your laminate flooring directly on the concrete subfloor.

  4. We have Laminate throughout our basement except for a few bedrooms. We are getting around to placing it in the bedrooms but I’m curious if we could put some radiant heating solutions underneath the flooring in the bedrooms. Will it raise the flooring noticeably between the rooms?

    • Hi Ben, thanks for reaching out. What kind of radiant heating solution are you considering? If you are going to put the radiant heating on top of your cement subfloor, you will have a slight height difference between the other rooms that are already installed. You can use a transition piece between the two rooms, and the difference should not be very noticeable. If you have any further questions, give us a call at 800-520-0961.

  5. I am a unit owner who has laminate floors installed with underlay on top of concrete. I don’t have heated floors.

    A few months ago, an unit owner, in the suite below me, installed an A/C unit into the kitchen hood ventilation system.

    It’s been heating my floors and in particular in the area where the vent runs. Through the kitchen, onto bathroom and along the wall in the bedroom to the vent outside. A thermal temperature check was done and the temperature is about 35 degrees Celsius on the vent area inside the unit and the outside vent temperature is 40 degrees Celsius. It’s been running like this since April. Will this effect my floor underlay? Will it effect the laminate floor?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Parm, interesting situation! Laminate and underlayment can be used with heated floor systems, however, it’s a rule to keep it at 29 degrees celsius or less. It seems like that is running much higher than the recommended heat. The biggest concern would be if you’re experiencing dryness. If the temperature becomes very dry due to the heat, you could experience gaps in your planks from the flooring shrinking or even squeaky/cracking sounds from it becoming too dry. Keep an eye on any movement and sound with your planks. This will be a good indication that it is affecting the floor.

  6. We have hot water radiant heat installed in our concrete floor, we are looking at wood laminate flooring to install, do we have to use a plastic barrier between the flooring and concrete? if not what type of padding can be used between the laminate and concrete that will not affect the efficiency of radiant heating into the room and/or area?

    • Hi Patrick – Yes, you must use a vapor barrier when installing on concrete flooring. Concrete flooring is porous and moisture can seep through the concrete and damage your laminate flooring. We would recommend Visqueen Vapor Block, which is compatible with Radiant Heat flooring. You can then install a laminate flooring that has pad pre-attached or the desired underlayment of your choice. If you need help purchasing, or have additional questions, please call us at 1-800-520-0961 or email us at and we will be happy to help you!

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