PVC flooring on the floor heating - is this recommended?

In underfloor heating is already severely limited in the selection of floor coverings. Incorrectly selected floor coverings mean that the underfloor heating system can not perform at full capacity. Whether PVC is suitable as a floor covering on a floor heating, you can find out here.

Requirements for floor coverings on the floor heating

The number of actually suitable floor coverings for a floor heating is therefore so low because as much heat from the floor heating should go unhindered in the room.

The higher the thermal resistance of the floor covering, the lower the heat transfer into the room. Floor coverings with very high performance are required for such floor coverings - which in turn unnecessarily increases energy consumption.


The thermal resistance of a floor covering is the measure of all things if it is suitable for underfloor heating. On product packages and material labeling it is usually indicated with "R". The unit of measure is usually m²K / W.

In order to guarantee reasonably reasonable heat output, the selected floor covering must not exceed a value of 0.15 m²K / W.

For comparison, some values:

  • Natural stone coverings with a thickness of 30 millimeters usually only have 0.015 m²K / W
  • Tiles in 13 mm thickness (less than half as thick) still achieve about the same value (natural stone is still significantly better than tiles)
  • Cork floor, in contrast, already has a resistance of 0.13 m²K / W in the usual thickness
  • Parquet and solid wood are often even higher, depending on the thickness

With increasing thickness, the conductivity decreases significantly. The thicker the covering, the worse it conducts.

PVC values

A 2mm thick PVC floor without support still has comparatively favorable heat values. For most products, you can expect about 0.01 m²K / W, well below the required limits for underfloor heating. Thicker plastic coverings with a thickness of 3 mm and carrier material usually reach around 0.03 m²K / W.

This makes PVC and plastic basically suitable for use on underfloor heating systems.

laying way

Especially important on underfloor heating systems is the laying of the PVC floor. If there is underfloor heating under the floor covering, the PVC floor must imperatively be bonded over the whole area.

If the floor were merely laid with an air layer underneath, the air under the floor covering would act as a very effective insulation layer. The heat transfer values ​​given above do not apply, but contribute a multiple of the specified values!


Most plastic coverings contain so-called plasticizers. These substances are partly harmful to health. They can cause several symptoms:

  • a headache
  • difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness, insomnia
  • red eyes
  • fatigue

The dangerous products evaporate into the room air at room temperature. However, it can be assumed that heating the floor covering may lead to significantly higher evaporation levels.

This may possibly be an argument against a PVC floor above the floor heating to decide.

Tips & Tricks

There is currently no reliable scientific information about the notorious mutagenic effect of plasticizers. So far, they have only been found in animals on a case-by-case basis; in humans, the hazard is still unclear.

Video Board: How to Install DIY Radiant Floor Heating