Are you looking at making some changes around your home in 2022? Maybe you’re considering wooden floors in your home, but if you’re also adding underfloor heating, then we have a look at what wood flooring is the best option.
Wood floors whether solid or engineered are highly durable and resistant to everyday wear and tear. They are also an eco-friendly and sustainable choice, as well as holding warmth far better than man-made laminates, tiles or stone, and much more comfortable underfoot, especially in winter.
But the property that makes them suitable, or not, for use with underfloor heating is the material’s thermal conductivity, or how well the wood transfers the generated heat. Different wood has different thermal properties, and as such, this can determine whether it is suitable for use with underfloor heating.
Engineered timber is the best type of wood flooring for use with an underfloor heating system, as it has good thermal performance. Other wood can be used, but with softer and less dense wood, it is important to pay attention to the thickness of the floorboards, so that they do not act as an insulator and block the heat.
As a general rule for wood flooring, the floor surface temperature must not exceed 27°C.
Heating the floor changes the moisture content of wood, so you should choose wood flooring that can adapt to the changes in floor temperatures without changing the appearance of the floor. Kiln-dried wood tends to work best with floor heating, but always check with the flooring manufacturer about suitability for use with underfloor heating.
While engineered wood is the best for use with underfloor heating, bamboo is also well suited. However, solid hardwood can be prone to temperature and humidity changes which can result in gapping.
Engineered timber can be laid directly over underfloor heating with a floating floor or batten/ jointed system. Boards less than 20mm thick should be supported and fixed to provide suitable structural support. Low tog underlays are recommended when installing the boards over screed.
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