Can I Use Vinyl Plank Flooring on Top of Radiant Heating?

With technology advancing as it is today, one of the best inventions as of late is radiant heating! For those who don’t know what it is, radiant heating is a special type of heating that is placed underneath the flooring. The heat radiates through the flooring, making it warm on your feet. Many people love these floors in bathrooms and for good reason! No one likes stepping out of a shower onto a cold floor. And since you’ve kept up with our blog, you know that vinyl plank flooring is one of the best choices for bathrooms. But can you use vinyl plank flooring on top of radiant heating?

Yes, You Can!

Vinyl plank flooring is a great option for on top of radiant heating, especially if you need a flooring that is waterproof! Be sure to keep the radiant flooring heat under 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You don’t want the heat too high, as you could compromise the integrity of the flooring. Be sure to check with the manufacturer for specific heat restrictions, as not all floors are created equal.

Warning: Be sure to always check your warranty to make sure installing your vinyl plank flooring will not void your warranty! Most vinyl flooring should be alright over radiant heat, but be sure to follow all manufacturer’s recommendations for your flooring!

Be Sure To Use A Floating Vinyl Flooring

Using a floating (or click-lock) vinyl plank flooring is your best choice over radiant heating. This floor does not glue down or staple into the subfloor, giving it the space your radiant flooring wires need. You may need to lay down a vapor barrier or thin underlayment underneath the flooring to help allow it to float evenly over the radiant heat flooring. Be sure to check with the manufacturer of your flooring and the manufacturer of the radiant heat to choose an underlayment that is suitable for both!

Have any tips you would like to share? Questions? Please feel free to contact us using the comment section below!

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34 comments

  1. Avatar

    HI,

    We have just moved home and the conservatory has underfloor heating and has terracotta concrete tiles on top. I hate them!
    I was thinking of painting them then I saw you can get stick on floor tiles, will this be ok with the underfloor heating?

    Thanks

  2. Avatar

    We have routered out channels in our wood sub floor and installed 1/2 hydroponic pipe in those channels. The top of the pipe is flush with the top of the sub floor. I would like to overlay VLP perpendicular to the pipe. They will span a slight gap. Do you think this will be an issue.

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Ralf, I don’t think this should be an issue, but I am not extremely familiar with radiant heat. I would check with the manufacturer of the radiant heat system to see what they recommend for other materials over the install.

  3. Avatar

    Hello,
    I just finished building a tiled shower stall and need to finish the rest of the bathroom floor outside of my shower. It sounds like vinyl plank flooring would be a lot quicker and easier to install in the remainder of my bathroom. (Plus I’m sick of tiling) Do I need to put thinset over the radiant heat coils or can I put the vinyl flooring right on top of the heat coils and keep under 80 degrees? Thanks.

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Tom, thanks for the question. I would recommend cross referencing both the radiant heat and flooring manufacturer guidelines. I believe you will need a layer of either leveling compound or plywood between the coils. Vinyl flooring is susceptible to damage with heat, so I’m thinking there needs to be a barrier of some sort.

  4. Avatar

    We are building a new home and are almost to the flooring phase. We have a hydronic radiant heating system that we installed in our slab (aka pipes of hot water running through the concrete). I don’t care for tile flooring and would prefer to use a floating luxury vinyl. If we decide to use LV do we need to put some kind of moisture barrier down before installing the LV or will the included pad be sufficient if the floor should sweat? We did put a moisture barrier down under the slab before we laid the pex and poured the concrete so the only moisture would be from the actual radiant heating system itself. Also, is there a thickness range of the flooring itself that we should try to stay in? Which is better for heated flooring, thicker or thinner? Is there a specific brand or type of material that would be better for radiant heating?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Meagan, thanks for the question. I would check with the flooring manufacturer if they recommend any specifics for radiant heat. Usually, you will be good with the standard procedures and not need to add anything else. I do not believe radiant flooring is supposed to sweat or have condensation. If it did, it would cause issues with most floors. As for thickness, this is a personal choice. I would recommend a 4mm-8mm either LVT or WPC vinyl.

  5. Avatar

    We have in radiant floor heating in concrete, which
    Is a better conductor of the heat vinyl tiles or porcelain
    Tiles?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Amber, thanks for the question. I believe Porcelain Tiles will be the best with conducing heat, however, vinyl is still a great option. The vinyl will naturally feel warmer than a tile all year round.

    • Avatar

      We are installing a vinyl plank flooring over a radiant heated floor. One room is concrete, we removed carpeting. The other rooms have vinyl stick tiles that are coming up in several places.

      Question 1 – Do we need to remove the vinyl tiles or can we go over?

      Question 2 – Do we need an underlayment if we remove all tiles so all is concrete?

      Question 3 – If we can leave the surfaces as is, do we install an underlayment on the concrete floor?

      Question 4 – Some flooring says that it has the underlayment attached to the flooring, is that sufficient?

      We are concerned with so many layers that the heat will not conduct adequately through the floor. Thank you in advance for your response.

      • Alana Kane

        Hi Cindy, thanks for the questions.
        1. I would recommend taking up the tiles if they are not in good shape. You will need to start with a flat, level subfloor, so that means removing any adhesive that may be stuck to the floor.
        2. For vinyl flooring, you can install directly on top of the concrete. If you want added thermal properties or cushion, you can add an underlayment.
        3. You can install on top of vinyl tiles, but again, you need to make sure the subfloor is level and flat.
        4. Attached underlayment is a great option and saves you an installation step.

        Your radiant heating should still work with a vinyl on top of the concrete. Be sure to check with the flooring manufacturer about radiant heating specifications when you decide on a plank.

  6. Avatar

    Im gonna install TermaCore over concrete subfloor , but customer wants electric radiant heat .They want comfort underlayment on concrete, then heat pad and TermaCore vinyl .Can be TermaCore install on top of electric pad?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Mark, thanks for your question. I am not familiar with TermaCore, so I would recommend reaching out to the manufacturer for specifics on this product.

  7. Avatar

    We have radiant heat inside our concrete floor. It is cooper tubing in which hot water flows from a boiler. Our first question is about toxic off gazing. Are the chemicals used in the manufacture of vinyl plank flooring a health hazard? Second, we’ve heard that the temperature of the radiant floor heat should not exceed 80 degrees F. How long can vinyl plank flooring endure a higher temperature and what will occur if that happens? These are questions we’ve asked of countless retailers and contractors but the only answer we ever get is “I don’t know”. Could you please help us?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Jodie, thanks for the question. Vinyl flooring is regulated and is certified healthy for homes by FloorScore ratings. Be sure to look for the floors rating before you buy to ensure it has been cleared. For vinyl, it can shift shape when heated, which is why it is important not to allow it to get too warm. It can weaken the joints and become more pliable when heated to higher temperatures. It will also depend on which type of vinyl you are using. Feel free to give us a call at 800-520-0961 if you have more questions

  8. Avatar

    I have radiant heat in my concrete flooring. Does the thickness of the plank flooring make a difference. A couple of sites recommended product thickness of 12mm but wouldn’t that cut down on the amount of heat in the room?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Fabian, thanks for the question. Your radiant heat will still be effective, however, it may take longer to heat with a thicker floor and/or thicker core, such as WPC or SPC that is more dense.

  9. Avatar

    We have a walkout basement with an exterior door in the center of a wall, and as we finish the basement (with carpet in most of the room), we’d like to put a vinyl/tile “landing” inside the door. Approximately 4′ x 8′, with a wall only on one side. The carpet would be on the other three sides.) And we’d like to have electric radiant heat (under the landing only–not under the carpet).

    Is this practical to do with vinyl? Most instructions I’ve seen (including this article) suggest using floating tile (not anchored down), which concerns me seeing that it’s not wall-bounded. Also, I’ve seen some vinyl manufacturer’s instructions say to use their product only at least 1/2″ above radiant heat sources–which is too much of a height transition for this location.

    Is there a way to make it work? Or am I stuck going with ceramic or porcelain?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Bill, thanks for your question! Since you will not have walls, you should go with a glue-down vinyl in this situation, but you should always follow the manufacturer instructions. So if the height difference they recommend is too much, then you should stick with porcelain or ceramic tile.

  10. Avatar

    Hey Steve. How do I install a carpet reducer on a heated concrete floor. I believe I wouldn’t want to drill into the concrete, right?

  11. Avatar

    Can I lay lvp
    straight on top of the heat mat

  12. Avatar

    I have the same question as Kristina but not sure I understand the answer based on my flooring situation. I also have radiant floor heat but it’s in a basement floor with poured concrete (i.e. the tubes are in the concrete). The heating/plumbing expert that installed said he runs the water at 100 degrees, which I would assume, would be the “temperature in the pipes”. But would not think this represents the temperature on the floor surface itself. My confusion on Alana’s answer is when you refer to “the radiant heat”. In my situation, would that be the temperature of the floor surface?

    To be sure, can I just try and take the temperature of the floor surface, as long as it’s 80 degrees or less (or whatever manufacturer recommends), I should be good?

    hope that make sense. appreciate your help

    • Avatar

      Steve, you would be correct in that sense. As far as I’ve seen this would be okay. To be 100% sure I would recommend contacting the manufacturer of the flooring to double check with them too that this is okay.

  13. Avatar

    If using a heat film such as Quiet Warmth that requires a 3/16″ underlayment, how thick does the vinyl plank need to be?

  14. Avatar

    we are looking at options for our florida room. One option is vinyl flooring but it has to be over 50 degrees or it will shrink the floor. So we thought of putting heated floors in that room. What are your suggestions?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Scott, thanks for the question! Vinyl can move with temperature changes, but it is at a much smaller scale than a laminate. You could go with a COREtec or SPC vinyl, which have the least possible expansion with temperature changes. You could put radiant heating in, however, the flooring will still be reacting to room temperature and humidity changes.

  15. Avatar

    I’m thinking about installing vinyl plank flooring over in floor radiant heat. Everything I read says not to turn the heat about 80 degrees F. Does that mean the water temp in the tubes or the thermostat on the wall?

    • Alana Kane

      Hi Kristina, great question! The radiant heat should not exceed that, so in your case, the water in the pipes. Your room temperature can vary in temperature, as long as you keep a proper humidity level in the home. Dry temperatures will cause the laminate to shrink, which could cause gaps. Hope this helps!

      • Avatar

        Hi Kristina,
        We have a basement with a concrete floor with radiant heat.. we are getting some mixed reviews. Souls we be using a floating vinyl floor or do we use a product that is glued down? We are not getting straight answers on this.

        Thanks

        • Alana Kane

          Hi Michele, great question. As far as we know, the best option is a floating vinyl. This lets the heat and airflow run under the flooring without anything blocking it, such as glue. It is important to check with both the floor and radiant heat system with what the requirements are. Most floating vinyls are compatible with radiant heat systems. Hope this helps! Let us know if we can help you find a floor.

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