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I've seen that many underfloor heating mats (the electric ones) specify the need for tile or stone floor and I'm wondering if it will work as efficiently under a solid oak floor? (or any wood floor for that matter)

Also what will be the difference between 100, 150, and 200 w/m2 in the heating mat? What is usually used in alounge?

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We have a water based underfloor heating system fitted under wood (old pine I think, not oak) floorboards which works fine.

It will be less efficient than a tile or stone floor as wood has lower thermal conductivity than stone or tile. You would have to fit a more powerful heat source to gain the same temperature gain in your room. It might even be the case that you can't get mats that are powerful enough - the water pipes we have are too hot to touch with bare hands - if you had enough current to produce that amount of heat you might be in danger of melting the wires.

  • Good answer. Adding to that: the less the flooring transmits heat, the more insulation you need below (else most of the heat "goes down" rather than up like you'd want). – Bryce Oct 26 '13 at 2:39
  • Are you using metal spreaders to spread the heat between the joists, and did you insulate underneath the piping? – Graham Chiu Jul 15 '14 at 5:17
  • Yes we used metal spreaders and insulated underneath the piping – ChrisF Jul 6 '15 at 19:50
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Yes, it is possible. The power per square meter has to be lower than for tile or stone, so you can either buy specialized lower-power products (Millicable/Milliclick is one such product), or just install heating cable less densely.

My guess is that you would use 100 W/m² for a timber floor (compared to 140 W/m² for a concrete floor), but follow the directions for the product you choose.

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