Hardwood floors installed over underfloor heating? Not a problem, find out here why
Underfloor heating is becoming more popular and topping most home owner’s wish lists more so because as so many it provides pleasant warmth and helps to save energy.
With this in mind, there is no reason that the natural beauty of hardwood cannot be mixed with pleasure by having the underfloor heating system of your choice with a beautiful hardwood floor.
Is it possible to have wood flooring over underfloor heating?
Thanks to modern manufacturing processes of engineered hardwood flooring can be used over underfloor heating without problems, so YES you can and here is why.
All Maples & Birch engineered hardwood floors are suitable for installation over underfloor heating, offering a vast range to suit all tastes, styles and budgets.
Even with our range of specialist wood species like Iroko, Merbau, Cherry, Teak, Palisander, Jatoba, Doussie, Afrormosia, Wenge, Tigerwood, Beech, Maple, and Walnut have been tested and then approved by Maples & Birch for use with underfloor heating within their own tolerances!
Saving energy and protecting the environment
By combining of hardwood floor and underfloor heating, you will save money and natural resources. When compared to conventional heating radiators, modern underfloor heating allows you to reduce the room temperature by about 3°C – for the same felt air temperature which will considerably reduce your energy consumption.
Why Engineered Hardwood Flooring?
It’s all about natural expansion and stability, in main solid hardwood boards expands significantly hence when exposed to direct heat and thus are unstable and can cause significant structural damage.
Engineered hardwood flooring offers greater stability as it expands on a more sure-footed stable structure. Each board is constructed with a base of multiple layers starting with the top wear layer of solid hardwood with a central core of either softwood or high-density fibreboard (HDF) balanced on spruce or birch plywood.
Naturally using multilayer hardwood floors instead of solid hardwood flooring protects the environment saving natural resources: One cubic metre of oak wood can only yield an estimated 35 square metres of solid hardwood flooring whereas with the multilayer production process you produce about 115 square metres of engineered hardwood flooring using the most modern and sophisticated manufacturing methods.
Thermal resistance within hardwood flooring is naturally low, this allows heat to easily transfer as it is a natural conductor which entails that hardwood floors installed on underfloor heating systems are cost-effective.
Wet System Heating
This method consists of a piped water system that is immersed and set into a cement or Anhydrated screed or pre-produced block system. Carrying heated water/liquid that is able to heat the area through the floor instead of using radiators.
Matt System Heating
This type of underfloor heating system is an electrical element or carbon-based which radiate which radiates heat through the hardwood floor. Some element wired systems need to be screeded allowing for a smooth sub-floor whereas other element coiled systems are not suitable as these are of older technology and designed for use with screed or ceramic, stone or slate floor coverings.
Installing Hardwood Flooring on to Underfloor Heating
Maples & Birch advised that engineered hardwood boards of 14mm-15mm are best suited to underfloor heating systems to achieve the best optimum performance from the systems installed. Boards up to 15mm in depth are just simply installed as a floating system on basic foam underlay avoiding foil-backed underlay over whatever system is installed.
We advise that thicker boards can be floated but on smaller area coverage, with areas larger than 15m2 we strongly advise boards that are 18mm-22mm in thickness are adhered on to screeded systems only and not floated on matt or wets systems.
It is essential that before the installation process that the sub-floor and hardwood flooring be acclimatised so the heating system should be switched on and brought to its maximum temperature by increasing it by 10°C increments a day it should then be maintained at maximum temperature for up to 5-7 days.
The temperature should then be lowered to temperature increments of 20°C for 2 days, this will guarantee stabilisation of the floor.
It is essential that the underfloor heating system is switch off before starting to install the hardwood floor, which can be installed using either the adhesive fix-down or floating methods.
Once the hardwood floor is installed is it vital to switch on the heating system in increments to its maximum temperature.
View our range of Engineered of hardwood floors click here