In general, underfloor heating works very well with many different types of tile, including terrazzo, porcelain and ceramic.
Terrazzo has higher conductivity than a natural stone like marble and granite as they are denser materials – all of these are still suitable for underfloor heating, however.
Any stone floor is a better choice than traditional floor coverings such as carpet or engineered wood as these add an insulative layer which prevents underfloor heating working as efficiently.
Cement or resin terrazzo?
Either! The composition of terrazzo with its mix of chippings in either a resin or cement base makes it a good conductor of heat. However, the thickness of the tile will have an impact on the efficiency of the UFH. Generally, thinner tiles are better for UFH because they have better thermal conductivity and can transfer heat more efficiently, so the warm-up times are faster. Thicker tiles can act as insulators, reducing the efficiency of the heating system and increasing warm-up times, but are still more than suitable.
Does the heat affect the tiles?
The tiles will expand and contract due to temperature changes. While terrazzo tiles are typically durable and stable, it’s important to leave expansion gaps and the heating cables or pipes must be laid out in a consistent and even manner to avoid hotspots that can cause cracking or other damage to the terrazzo.
When an underfloor heating system is installed correctly, it will include appropriate insulation, screed depth, and pipe spacing to achieve the desired heat output and prevent any damage to the tiles.
Which UFH system?
Some types of underfloor heating, such as electric mat systems, may be better suited to thinner terrazzo floors, while water-based systems may work better with thicker, more heavily reinforced terrazzo floors.
What about the adhesive?
The choice of adhesive to fix the tiles to the substrate must be suitable for use with underfloor heating, and it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations.
Can I opt for a poured terrazzo floor rather than tiles?
Many underfloor heating installers like to specify a poured floor too. As well as tiles, a poured terrazzo floor is also suitable for use with UFH.
What if it’s an older property?
There are different considerations in a new build and a retrofit installation.
- In a new build the installation is less complicated as the system requirements including the substrate can be factored in from the start.
- You are likely to need a lower profile underfloor heating system in a retrofit due to the existing floor profile.
What’s the best way to start?
A professional underfloor heating installer will advise you on the best type of system and which terrazzo tiles will work best to suit your specific flooring and heating needs.
With proper installation, underfloor heating and terrazzo tiles will provide a comfortable and efficient heating solution for your home or building.