UFH heating test collaboration expands LVT potential

IN what is claimed to be an industry first, IDS has partnered with one of underfloor heating’s players, Uponor, to joint test its Malmo Rigid Click luxury vinyl flooring with a water-piped underfloor heating (UFH) system, reportedly paving the way for new industry testing practices and increasing opportunities for Malmo Rigid’s use in domestic and commercial projects.

Malmo Rigid has apparently already been successfully tested by independent body, Exova BM TRADA over a water-based system and is said to have performed very well within the expected tolerances. The additional tests by IDS and Uponor aim to confirm how the Malmo Rigid Tile and Plank formats perform with Uponor’s Minitec system; a low-profile water-based UFH system with a 15mm build height encapsulated in screed.

Tony Locke, technical services manager at IDS, says, ‘Currently there is no industry certification scheme for the testing of luxury vinyl tile flooring and underfloor heating but they are both fast growing areas of the industry. We wanted to put our Malmo ranges through some rigorous and credible performance testing to demonstrate that they can be used with confidence over water-based UFH.

‘Having our own in-house test facility gives us the flexibility to conduct varying heating regimes with hard floorcoverings such as Malmo™ to see how the product performs when used over modern hydronic UFH systems.’

Testing to date shows Malmo Rigid click LVT to be a very stable flooring product suitable for use over water piped UFH systems when common industry protocols are followed. Preliminary testing to measure the movement values of the Malmo Rigid Tile format has been completed successfully and plans to carry out testing on the Plank format are in preparation.

Following the completion of the in-house testing, expected by June 2019, Malmo Rigid flooring will reportedly become the first manufactured LVT flooring to be recommended by Uponor to its distributors, installers and contractors – something it has previously been unable to do due to a lack of formal industry standards or product test data specific to use of LVT floorcoverings over its systems.

David Playfoot, application manager IC & LHD at Uponor, explains, ‘We have found over the years that the relationship between floor finish manufacturers and underfloor heating manufacturers is non-existent. That’s why when IDS reached out to us, we jumped at the opportunity to work to improve the industry and provide a heating system and finish floor product suitable for the end user.

‘From my experience within the industry, we have never seen a facility like this that can provide customers with reassurance over a products compatibility with underfloor heating and also supply performance metrics based on real-time environment testing.’

With the UK’s underfloor heating market seeing a 7% growth, IDS is keen to continue its collaboration with Uponor to ensure the ongoing high performance of its flooring ranges.

Tony says, ‘Testing will be on going during 2019 and we intend to work closely with Uponor to jointly improve the awareness of performance testing of floor coverings used over UFH systems.’

David agrees, ‘I’m hopeful our recent work will demonstrate what the industry should be doing to show a quality tested product. The conclusion we hope to draw is that the performance of LVT with underfloor heating is strong and that it will become a clear choice of floorcovering for customers who want a high output with an enhanced comfort level.’

Malmo Rigid flooring features advanced Välinge 5G installation system, reportedly making it fast and easy to fit, and has a built-in 1mm underlay. It comes with 17 fashionable tile and woodgrain designs and has a warranty of up to 15 years for residential applications and seven years for commercial applications. Malmo Rigid is available in 24-48 hour delivery from all IDS branches nationwide.
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