Radiant Heat and Your Hardwood Floors

With the weather getting colder outside, an option to keep your hardwood floors and house warm is to install radiant heat. Radiant heat is a type of heating system that is placed below your floors.

So, can you install a wood floor over radiant heat? Or, if you already have a wood floor, can you install radiant heat underneath it? Learn everything you need to know about radiant heat and wood floors in this week’s blog!


Installing Wood Flooring Over Radiant Heat

If you already have radiant heat, you can install some, but not all, wood flooring over top. Not all wood flooring is going to work well in this situation. Solid wood floors, for example, perform the worst over radiant heat. Manufacturers may state in their warranties whether or not their product is suited for use over radiant heat. Here are a few things you need to know about installing wood flooring over radiant heat.

  1. Engineered hardwood is better than solid. Engineered hardwood can stand up better to the fluctuations in temperature than solid hardwood.
  2. The narrower the plank, the better. If you had your eye on a wide plank, it would be a good idea to reconsider. Narrower planks (2-3 inches) are less susceptible to cupping.
  3. A humidity control system will often be necessary.
  4. The moisture content of the wood shouldn’t exceed six percent.

Installing Radiant Heat Below Existing Floors

Do you already have wood floors but want radiant heat? If your wood floor meets the requirements listed above, then it is possible to retrofit with radiant heat. If your floor joists are accessible from underneath, you can loop the tubing in the joist bays. The ideal tubing for radiant heat is PEX (cross-linked poylethelene). This is a plastic material that is extremely resistant to the effects of repeated heating and cooling. Rubber tubing should be avoided. Also, make sure to use a mixing valve in your radiant heat system. This regulates the temperature of the water flowing through the tubes to keep it consistent, which is easier on your wood floor.

Radiant heat can also be installed under tile, which is a flooring type that can get especially cold during winter time.

To learn more about anything and everything related to hardwood flooring, contact the flooring experts at Signature Hardwood Floors by calling 410.415.0755 or click heretoday! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!


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