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The flooring blog at FindAnyFloor.com keeps you up to date with the latest flooring features, tips and hot topics? Find out what’s going on beneath those feet of yours! Visit the FindAnyFloor.com floor blog and stay up to date on all things flooring. Ask questions and find answers from our flooring pros! We also have a family of flooring blogs that cover topics such as green flooring, topics for floor professionals, and our corporate floor blog to keep up with everything at FindAnyFloor.com.

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= New Post

FAF Blog

Radiant Floor Heating with Hardwood Floors

By Stacey Kosha, (655 words) Posted in Radiant Heating on April 6, 2009
There are (116) comments permalink

Example Radiant Floor Heating system utilizing a built-in subflooringA must read for anyone installing radiant floor heating with hardwood floors.

If you have ever purchased or installed hardwood floors, you probably know these two basic facts:

  1. Hardwood floors are sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity levels and can expand or contract as a result.
  2. Hardwood floors are not naturally warm underfoot, like carpet, and can cause cold feet especially during the bitter cold winter months.

Many people believe that due to hardwood flooring’s sensitivity to temperature and humidity changes, that using radiant floor heating with hardwood floors to stop the dreaded "cold toes syndrome", is out of the question. While this is true in many situations, there are ways to use radiant floor heating successfully with hardwood flooring in order to put an end to cold feet. That said, please don’t go out and buy any ole radiant flooring heating system, thinking you can install it under your hardwood floors. A radiant heating installation should be carefully coordinated with the hardwood flooring installation by a professional installer with radiant heating experience.

It's recommended to use Engineered hardwood or stable solid woods when used with Radiant Floor Heating systemsI also recommend that you choose engineered hardwood flooring over solid hardwood as engineered floors are more resistant to expansion and contraction than solid hardwood floor. If you choose to be rebellious and use solid hardwood flooring be sure to choose stable hardwoods such as Ipe and Brazilian Cherry. Use strips that are 3” wide or less and opt for quarter sawn or rift sawn hardwoods rather than plain sawn. Even in your hardwood meets all of these requirements, you should still check with your hardwood flooring manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure that installing radiant heating underneath your floor will not void the warranty of your floor covering or the radiant heating system itself.

For help selecting the right radiant heating, visit FindAnyFloor’s Buying Radiant Floor Heating Guide.

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Comments (116)

Michael posted on: April 15, 2009

Good Article !! Engineered hardwood flooring works really better than solid hardwood.

n carter posted on: April 22, 2009

What about electric radiant heat under bamboo flooring?

Stacey posted on: April 25, 2009

Thanks for your question n carter. Some bamboo floors can be used over radiant floor heating. You should check with the manufacturer because you have to careful with bamboo just like hardwood. I don't recommend bamboo floors in a basement generally as even the slightest moisture problems can cause issues. Wider planks installed using a floating bamboo installation are generally best over radiant heating. I was just looking at Cali Bamboo and they have bamboo planks that they recommend over radiant heating. Check it out and let me know if you have any other questions!

Melinda posted on: April 27, 2009

What about concrete, carpet, and laminate? Or is laminate the same as engineered? Floating? Resiliant? Just gets so confusing.

I am going to be doing a new home construction. Finished basement, thought concrete might be the way to go? My husband likes carpet in other areas of the house.

I would like to know what works the best, and then I will decide based on prices of what works the best.

Thanks for any advice or information.

Hardwood flooring posted on: April 28, 2009

Thanks for the informative article. I just recently purchased engineered hardwood flooring and I have plans to get in installed in the upcoming weeks. Just my luck I also live in a place that gets bitter cold winters. What do you think about getting radiant floor heating with engineered hardwood flooring? I love the look of hardwood yet I hate the cold it brings during the winter. I really like this combination but have gotten mixed reviews from friends and from asking people at my local hardware store. The consensus is that I have to install them with my own risk.

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