We have approximately 4k sq. feet of ceramic terracotta-look tile (late 1980s). We've been wanting, now needing, to update the house but this tile has kept us from doing it. We have a large great room, but can't change the configuration of the kitchen (get rid of old-look counters with bar stool height and put in an island, etc.) because of the tiles. I can't get an answer from contractors as to whether our radiant heat (in slab I think because it's a single-story house) will still provide sufficient heat if we lay something like an interlocking LVP over the tiles. Although tearing up all that tile will be expensive and dirty, we'd do it if need be, but contractors say it may damage the heat. What can we do? I'm afraid I won't be able to sell the home with this horrible tile (I'd keep it if it were "real," like saltillo/clay/brick, but you can tell it's cheap) and outdated kitchen configuration. Thank you!

  • 1
    interlocking LVP over the tiles will reduce the heat transfer
    – Traveler
    Mar 20, 2023 at 18:58
  • I would try to find a small hidden(maybe under something) section of the floor to see how hard the flooring is to remove. As @Ruskes said, adding more stuff on top will reduce the heat transfer, but depends on what you need.
    – crip659
    Mar 20, 2023 at 19:11
  • Don't advertise the house as having heated floors, and no one will be surprised if they don't work as advertised.
    – Huesmann
    Mar 21, 2023 at 12:48

2 Answers 2


If the question is what sells the home, is it how fast it heats up or how ugly the floors are then you know the answer.

Adding low thermal conductive material on top of tiles will slow down the heat transfer, but it will still heat up.

Using interlocking LVP is the winner here. No mess no need to remove the tiles and it will reduce the noise in the room.


If you've had contractors on site and they've expressed those concerns, I don't think we'll be able to give you a definite answer. Most LVP flooring needs an underlayment anywhere from 1/16" to 1/4" and then the LVP on top of that. The heating will most certainly be reduced. You could get a few samples of the flooring and experiment with the heating and make your own call. You should be able to remove ceramic tile without damaging the heating system if it's in the slab but you'd have to take your time chiseling it up.

  • Thank you both. I laid old tiles on top of the current floor and didn't get noticeable heat through. I'm going to get HVAC out to give their thoughts. Given how old the house is, I'm not sure how long the radiant heat will last anyway.
    – Cindy
    Mar 21, 2023 at 18:21
  • @Cindy Very smart thinking. They keep coming up with better ways to heat the houses.
    – JACK
    Mar 21, 2023 at 18:57

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