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Engineered Hardwood Flooring Over Underfloor Heating

Can I use wood flooring with underfloor heating?

For a long time people believed that it wasn’t sensible or possible to install underfloor heating with wooden floors – and they were technically right when it came to solid wood floors. Even after tree has been felled, wood carries on breathing as it is a natural living material, the cells that make up the planks eact to their environment.  The two biggest factors that will impact hardwood floors are moisture and heat.

Both of these factors can cause solid wood to expand and contract resulting in bowing, warping, cracks and board gaps, underfloor heating – with its changes in temperature can cause problems when using solid wood flooring.  Fortunately, there is now a solution: Engineered Hardwood Flooring.

When it’s a cold day Hardwood floors keeps your feet warmer and when it is a warm day hardwood floors are refreshingly cool, thanks to it’s natural cellar structures. Wood is natural in design and as such is great insulator with thousands of air chambers per cubic inch. 

As a matter of fact, hardwood flooring offers seven times better insulation than ceramic tiles and is much warmer than plastic laminate or thin vinyl floors and its natural.


Engineered Hardwood is Perfect for Underfloor Heating

Engineered wood flooring is made by taking a perfect plank of hardwood such as Oak and pressure bonding it to a special plywood or multilayer base which provides exceptional stability.  The new plank has a solid hardwood layer with all the benefits of real wood but without the tendency to change shape due to heat and cold which is dramatically reduced because of the stability of the engineered stucture.  This means that even though the engineered wooden planks will heat and cool they won’t change shape unless exposed to extreme UFH temperatures over 28 degrees.

Choose your Engineered Wood Carefully

Not all engineered wood is created equal.  A significant proportion of any engineered plank is solid wood and this retains all the pros and cons of the species from which it was made.  These include the colour, grain, resistance to moisture and hardness.  When it comes to floors, exotic hardwoods definitely have the edge.

1.         Tough and Hardwearing

Exotic tree species are almost always hardwoods with very good scores on the Janka scale.  The dense composition of the planks means that they will stay looking lovely even in high traffic areas such as kitchens and hallways. And, after many years of use they can be refinished to return them to their original condition unlike cheaper laminate flooring which has to be discarded. They also manage changes in temperature well.

2.         Fabulous Colours and Patterns

The grains, colours and patterns of exotic hardwoods are exceptional and have made them much in demand around the word.  With names like Tigerwood, Brazilian Cherry and Purpleheart you can appreciate why they are loved by so many interior designers and discerning homeowners.

3.         Moisture resistant

Most exotic species are typically quite resistant to moisture due to their natural oils and the high density of the wood.  It’s always best to keep untreated planks dry but pre-treated exotic woods can now be used in kitchens and bathrooms too.

4.         Naturally Stable.

The density and cellular structure of exotic hardwoods mean that they are remarkably stable and resistant to physical changes brought about by heating and cooling.  Unlike fast growing softwoods, they have had time to create a very solid structure that changes little over time.

Having your UFH installed by professionals is the secret to having a floor and heating system that can last for decades. Experience matters with wooden floors and it is essential that heating elements and pipes are laid out in the correct way to avoid hotspots and ensure an even temperature across the floor.

Choose engineered wood.  This wonderful material is stable, affordable, looks beautiful and allows for effective heat transmission.  Remember, you’re heating your home not just your floor and what’s underneath it.

If you would like to talk about a new engineered hardwood floor with Underfloor heating please contact our specialists.  Call us today for samples of our hardwood flooring selection on Tel: 0845 293 9374.

Can't Find What You Are Looking For?

If you are unable to find a particular type of wood floor you desire then worry not as we have access to the most comprehensive range of wood floors and exotic species in the UK, so challenge us to find your floor and fill in the request form.

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