The Best Flooring to Reduce Your Heating Bill
Top Tips for a Warmer Winter
We all know that heat rises, so keeping it from escaping through your roof and walls is a must if you want to reduce your heating bill this winter. But don’t underestimate the importance of choosing the right flooring when it comes to improving your home’s energy efficiency. Research shows that your room can lose as much as 15% of its heat through the floor. And beyond the numbers, the right flooring can have a big impact on the feel and comfort of your home.
We’ve chatted to the Floor Factory experts to guide you through the basics of choosing the right flooring type to help you reduce your heating bill this winter.
R You Sitting Comfortably
To know which flooring is best to help you save money on your heating bill and keep your room warmer for longer, it helps to understand the R-value. The R-value of a material indicates how quickly it will lose heat. So, a higher R-value means the material will retain heat for longer, rather than it escaping out of your home. An R-value is important when you choose insulation for your walls and ceilings but will also help you choose the most efficient flooring type. For example, a 10cm concrete floor could typically have an R-value of 0.07, whereas a 1cm thick carpet can have an R-value that’s more than double, at 0.18. You don’t need to know the R-value of every material, but it’s a good starting point when considering what your floor is made of.
Underlay To Under Pay
Underlay not only acts as an insulator, but it also is designed to create an improved walking experience, better sound absorption, and can extend the lifespan of your floor. Underlay is a cushioning layer between your carpet, laminate, vinyl, or wood floor and the hard (often concrete) surface below. Made up of tiny fibres, underlay can be an excellent insulator and help reduce your heating bill.
The thermal insulation of your underlay is given a TOG rating (the same rating that you might see when choosing a duvet, and a similar concept to the R-value). Depending on the material the underlay is going under, the recommended TOG rating will change. For hardwood, engineered wood, and laminate flooring a 1.0 tog will be sufficient, for carpets you should be looking at 2.5 tog or perhaps more. It’s important to know that if you have underfloor heating, then you’ll want a lower tog rating (0.35 tog or less). This will allow the heat to transfer more efficiently from the underfloor heating to your flooring…and your feet.
Luxury Flooring That Helps Save Money
If you like the look of tile or stone, but want something that is warmer underfoot, then Luxury Vinyl Tiles are a great choice. Ceramic tiles and stone look great, but they are very poor insulators compared to LVT. Combine your LVT with an appropriate underlay for maximum efficiency.
We’ve also seen improved room comfort and heating efficiency with installations of engineered wood and laminate flooring. Engineered wood’s layered design makes it naturally efficient, while laminate combined with a quality underlay can be one of the most affordable and simple installations for a warmer floor.
Carpet is one of the best ways to improve your rooms insulation and stop heat
escaping. Research shows energy saving potential of 12% if you have a carpeted floor vs. a floor that’s a poor insulator. A thick pile carpet combined with an efficient underlay can have an immediate impact on the comfort of your room. Reduced heating use means cheaper energy bills and will help shrink your carbon footprint in the process, so it’s good news for the climate too.
While wall to wall carpeting is the most effective way to keep the room warm, a rug can help to warm up colder floors. Don’t expect a rug to make a massive difference to the R-value of your room, but they will improve the comfort factor.
Save More with Underfloor
While the other flooring options we’ve looked make use of their natural qualities to reduce heat loss, don’t forget that how you heat your room can have the most significant impact on your heating bill. While a radiator only warms up the area around it, underfloor heating warms the entire room evenly. Radiators typically need to be warmed to 65-75 degrees Celsius for them to heat the room, whereas underfloor heating starts to heat the space from 29 degrees Celsius or less. Talk to the Floor Factory team to see if underfloor heating is right for your home.