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Can/Should You Put Vinyl Plank Flooring Over Radiant Heat

There are many things we may do to keep ourselves comfortable at home. We often think about things that are above floor level for comfort, but even the floor can be comfortable. This could include radiant heat flooring.

Vinyl plank flooring is an ideal option for installing over radiant heat. In most cases, radiant heat is installed in rooms such as the bathroom, where water may be a problem. The waterproof benefits of vinyl plank flooring make it possible to include it in the bathroom easily.

Man putting vinyl plank

There are a number of things to keep in mind when installing vinyl plank flooring. This is not only true as far as radiant heat is concerned, it is also something to consider for the installation itself.

Fortunately, you are choosing the right type of floor for use in the bathroom or kitchen. Laminate flooring may look similar, but if any water gets underneath it, it is going to ruin it.

Since vinyl plank flooring is waterproof through and through, you don’t need to be as careful when it comes to water. That doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t need to be cautious so installing the floor properly is the key.

When installing vinyl plank flooring over radiant heat, make sure that the floor is not installed from wall to wall. There will be spacers included for the installation that should be used in order to keep the floor from expanding and buckling.

Those spacers should also be used when the vinyl plank flooring is installed up to the bathtub. Obviously, you would not want to install the flooring under the bathtub because it is a permanent fixture. At the same time, a gap should be left to allow the floor to expand and contract.

There are a number of options available to help cover that gap and ensure that the floor can still expand. This includes a rubber trim piece that fits down into the gap and covers the edge, similar to the way that shoe molding would look.

It is also important to consider the exact type of vinyl plank that you are using. Generally speaking, vinyl plank flooring comes either in a floating floor option that interlocks from one piece to another or a glue-down floor.

The only option you have for using vinyl plank flooring over radiant heat is to use a floating floor. If you try to attach the floor using staples or glue, you are going to negate the possibility of using radiant heat.

In addition, you may need to put down some type of vapor barrier or underlayment that allows the vinyl plank flooring to float above the radiant heat. Otherwise, the wires and other features of radiant heat would easily show through the flooring.

One other suggestion before you begin choosing your floor is to select one that has been designed for radiant heat. Most vinyl plank flooring will stand up to the heat, but some are going to be designed specifically for that purpose.

Once you have the floor in place, you can begin to enjoy the benefit of radiant heat almost immediately. It is something that you and your family will appreciate for many years to come.

Can You Put Vinyl Plank Flooring Over Radiant Heat

Man putting vinyl plank

There are two things that should be considered when selecting a floor for use over radiant heat. In the selection of vinyl plank flooring, can it be installed and should it be installed?

Let’s consider if it can be installed first.

If you need to select a floor for installation over radiant floor heating, then vinyl plank flooring is going to be the perfect option. It provides a good solution for the heat to radiate through and offers waterproof benefits that make it an ideal solution for flooring in the bathroom or kitchen.

One of the primary things to consider when installing vinyl plank flooring over radiant heat is if the floor floats. Many flooring systems are floating and it is a popular option, but it is not the only option.

There are many components to the radiant heat system that will be covered by the flooring and if you use glue-down or staples, you could easily damage the heating system in the process.

On the other hand, a floating floor that is installed over an underlayment provides the perfect solution for radiant heat. Since the radiant heat system is relatively thin, it would easily hide inside of the underlayment and allow the floor to float above it without the wires or other components showing through.

There is something else you will need to keep in mind when installing vinyl plank over radiant heat. The heat will conduct through the floor easily but if it is set at higher than 80°, you may compromise the floor with the heat.

Make sure that you use the heat appropriately for the floor that is installed. Otherwise, you could ruin the floor and perhaps even damage the heating system.

Should You Put Vinyl Plank Flooring Over Radiant Heat

Man putting vinyl plank

People choose vinyl plank flooring for the cost and the lock. Should you also choose it for use over radiant heat?

Since vinyl plank flooring is waterproof, it is an economical choice for installation over radiant heat. It allows for comfort and beauty in areas of the home where vinyl plank flooring is desired, such as the bathroom and kitchen. Otherwise, you can choose tile or stone, as they have a higher thermal conductivity than vinyl.

In deciding whether you should use vinyl plank flooring, it is important to understand that it is an excellent choice for use in most homes. When you consider all of the benefits of vinyl, then you can see more clearly why it is a good choice for rooms where radiant heat is desired.

1. Waterproof – Unlike laminate floor, vinyl plank is waterproof from the top to the bottom. If water should happen to get underneath the floor, it is not going to ruin it.

2. Installation – Although tile and stone are better choices for radiant heat, they also are more difficult to install. Vinyl plank flooring can be installed quickly and easily by most homeowners.

3. Price – Most homeowners are concerned about the price of flooring and vinyl plank flooring is a good economic choice. It provides quality flooring at a price that most families can afford. It is similar in price to laminate.

4. Beauty – Vinyl plank flooring offers many different options when it comes to how the final product will look. It’s a great choice for any home and can mimic the look of everything from stone to hardwood.

How To Put Vinyl Plank Flooring Over Radiant Heat

Man putting vinyl plank

If you have made the decision to use vinyl plank flooring over radiant heat in your home, how can it be installed properly?

Generally speaking, you will choose a click-lock flooring option rather than one that is either glued to the subfloor or stapled down. It is only a floating vinyl floor that will work well over radiant heating. Otherwise, you may be compromising the heating system during the installation process.

It is important to acclimate the floor to the room prior to installing it. Typically, this would require the vinyl floor to be in the room for at least two days but some manufacturers may have different recommendations.

Vinyl plank flooring is easy to cut to size with a utility knife but you can also choose a laminate cutting tool if you’re going to be installing a larger room. Make sure that the cut pieces are on the edges of the room where they will be covered by baseboard.

One important factor to consider is the underlayment, especially if you are installing a vinyl plank floor over radiant heat. In this case, the underlayment can provide a moisture barrier or soundproof barrier but it also hides the components of the radiant floor heating system.

When installing vinyl plank flooring, make sure that you use the spacers on the edge of the room. These spacers provide a standard gap to allow for expansion and contraction of the floor as the conditions in the room change.

You can install vinyl plank flooring up to the edge of the vanity and tub. If desired, you can install the vinyl under the vanity and toilet but it should not be installed beneath the tub. Use a specialized piece of trim that will hide the edge and at the same time, make the transition to the tub seamless.

It is always best if you start on one edge of the room and work your way across the room to the other side. Carefully measure the width of the room to ensure you will not have a very thin piece of vinyl plank on either edge.

Vinyl plank flooring is one of the top choices for installation over radiant heat. It provides a waterproof solution where radiant heat is often used. As long as the heat is not turned up more than 80°F, you can enjoy the warm floor year-round.

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