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The do’s and don'ts of dealing with underfloor heating

Hessle high school, Altro-XpresslayOur European Technical Services Manager, Roger Moore, is here again, this time with some guidance on installing vinyl flooring over underfloor heating.

In both new-builds and refurbs, we’re seeing more and more underfloor heating systems. Installing vinyl flooring in these areas is straight-forward but there are some simple steps that need to be taken to avoid issues – after all, we’re talking about a heat source! As you read, you’ll see that some of the steps take time. We understand you can be put under pressure to get the job done quickly - hopefully this guidance will give you additional confidence to stand your ground and stick to your schedule, avoiding problems later.

Before doing anything else, check that the screed containing the heating system is dry and even, ready to receive the flooring. The heating should be turned off 48 hours before the flooring is installed and it should remain off for 48 hours after the installation is complete. As this is the heat source for the room you’re installing in, it’s likely you will need heaters to keep the room temperature between 18-27°C. As you’ll know, installing vinyl flooring in low temperatures isn’t recommended – not much fun for you either!

Rhyl School, Altro XpressLayOnce the second 48 hours have passed, the heating should be turned on and very slowly increased to its operating temperature – and by this, I mean no more than five degrees each day. The temperature at the adhesive line should never exceed the industry-agreed maximum of 27°C. If the temperature is cranked up quickly, it can cause de-bonding, join damage, and I’ve actually seen discolouration caused by the heating being turned up, not only quickly but higher than it would ever need to function. It was essentially a scorch mark – totally avoidable. The temperature level should then be maintained for at least two days, before turning it down to room temperature – ensuring that this doesn’t mean less than 15°C.

So that you don’t have to worry about the heating causing problems with the floor adhesive curing, check carefully that you’re using an appropriate one – for example, AltroFix 19 can be used in temperatures of -30°C to 100°C, so nothing to worry about there. If you’re not sure, check with your supplier.

If you’re installing an adhesive-free floor such as Altro wood adhesive-free, Altro Cantata or Altro XpressLay, the good news is that the guidance for installing over underfloor heating is exactly same.


Our guidance supports that from the UK Resilient Flooring Manufacturers Association (UKRFA).

As usual, if you have any queries on this, or any other technical issue, please get in touch on 01462 489 516 or use the online chat box that’s bottom right of your screen.

Pigglefairy Puppies, Altro Cantata
Posted: 25/02/2020 08:00:00 by Saloni Robinson | with 0 comments