Thermal conductivity of pyrolytic carbon and silicon carbide coatings on spherical particles has been mapped using time-domain thermoreflectance. The thermal conductivities measured for pyrolytic carbon ranged between 3.4 and 13.5 W/m K. The effect of porosity, pore-size distribution, anisotropy, in-plane disorder and domain sizes is discussed. A thermal conductivity of 168 W/m K was obtained for SiC. Mapping of the thermal conductivity of coated fuel particles provides useful data for modeling fuel performance during the operation of nuclear reactors. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.