Underlayments provide many benefits for flooring. You don’t have to trade the benefits of having underlayment when you are installing heating under your floor. This article gives our top three picks of underlayment that not only works well with radiant heating, but perform how high quality underlayments should.
R-value is an important consideration when looking for underlayment and becomes even more important when looking for a radiant heat compatible underlayment. R-value is how well a two-dimensional barrier, like underlayment, resists the conductive flow of heat. You need an underlayment with high enough R-value to make sure that your radiant heating system is not losing heat given off to the sub-floor.
QuietWalk underlayment takes the number one spot because of its wide range of properties that work well with floor heating. QuietWalk is made of fiber/felt material. This helps give QuietWalk its R Value of 0.58. Since its R Value is high, it will push the heat up into the floor and create a thermal break between your heating system and the subfloor. The heat that does sink into the pad will disperse slowly keeping your floors warmer for longer after you have the system turned off. QuietWalk has the best price out of the three underlayments.
There is also a floor heating system called QuietWarmth that is designed to work seamlessly with QuietWalk. QuietWarmth uses conductive ink strips that disperse heat more evenly and efficiently than wire mesh mats.
Eco Cork sits at the number two because of its cork-blend material. This material gives it a good R Value of 0.47. Eco Cork also has a 6 mil vapor barrier pre-installed making it ideal for concrete subfloor applications. What prevents Eco Cork from reaching number one is its lower R Value and it’s price which is the highest on this list.
FloorMuffler Premium Underlayment has the very good sound control ratings on the list placing it at number three. It is made of a foam material which leads to a lower R-value. It is priced in between QuietWalk and Eco Cork Foam.