What type of area rug is best on radiant-heated concrete floors?

Asked by June
East Chatham, NY

Is olefin/polypropylene OK? I need rugs that are very fade resistant as there is lots of direct sunlight in the room.


Raymond Pruban

Answered by Raymond Pruban

Woodbury, MN

Amaris Custom Homes

November 14, 2010

I don't know about olefin/polypropylene specifically, but here is what I do know about radiant heat and flooring materials.

  • Water running through the in-floor heating system is typically going to run about 20 degrees warmer than you want the air temperature.
  • The actual temperature at the floor will typically be less than 90 degrees.
  • This means most rugs and carpets will not be affected by the temperature of the in-floor heating.

When the in-floor system is initially designed, the spacing of the tubing is supposed to take into account the floor covering (carpet, wood, tile, etc.), which has its own specific R-value. When you start to cover a floor that was not designed to be covered, you might find the room will be a bit cooler than other rooms heated by the same system on the same thermostat. (If they are on separate thermostats/zones, not a problem.)

In general, select carpets and rugs with the lowest R-value. Wool, for example, would not be a good choice due to its high R-value.

For more information:

Read Lily Livingston's Q&A "We are considering radiant heat. Will manufactured bamboo flooring stand up to the challenge?"

Also, read Polly Osborne's Q&A "Has anybody installed radiant heating for the kitchen or bathroom floor?"

Tagged In: home air quality, radiant heat, concrete floors

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