Can vinyl flooring be installed over radiant heat?

Yes, Urban Surfaces' vinyl flooring can be installed over a hydronic radiant heat system.

Basically, a hydronic radiant heating system turns the floors into radiators. It warms living spaces. It does that without vents in the walls like conventional forced-air heating systems. In short, heated water is pumped from a boiler through a loop of flexible tubing embedded in the floor.

IMPORTANT: Before you install vinyl flooring over a hydronic radiant heat system, first you must:

  • Ensure job site conditions are stable
  • Ensure subfloor suitability
  • Ensure flooring meets proper acclimation period

Next, you should:

  • Confirm the heat system’s maker allows installation of vinyl floors
  • Read the manufacturer’s recommendations
  • Verify the heat system’s compatibility with a vinyl floor
  • Check the requirements for installation

Ask the provider of the heat system about proper subfloors, installation methods, and guidelines such as these:

Vinyl Flooring Guidelines:

  • In-floor radiant components must be a minimum of ½ an inch (13mm) below the flooring within the substrate.
  • Slab surface temperature must never exceed 85° F or 29° C.
  • Heat system should be operational for at least two weeks before installation to calibrate temperature settings.


  • Never lay vinyl floors over radiant heating mats
  • Lower temperature to 65° F or 18° C three days before installation

After installing vinyl flooring, slowly adjust the temperature. Do this each day by increments of 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Rapid swings in temperatures might damage the flooring.

Quick tip: To avoid overheating, use an in-floor temperature sensor.