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Installing Hardwood Flooring Over a Radiant Heating System

At Gate Hardwood Floors, we know how appealing the idea of warmth radiating from your floors can be, especially during Boise's freezing cold winters. However, we want our customers to be aware of several considerations and recommendations before installing wood floors over a radiant heating system.

Preparing for Installation

Hot water pipe systems are the most common type of radiant floor heating installed today. These pipes are run either in-between floor joists using a metal dispersion plate or laid within a lightweight concrete ‘screed' layer. Before installing hardwood flooring over concrete screed, it must be tested to ensure that the concrete registers below 75% relative humidity. Once the humidity level is reached and the hot water pipe system has been operating for at least two weeks without any leaks appearing, then a site-acclimated wood floor can be installed. During installation and for at least four days following installation, the indoor temperature should be held at 65℉, the ideal temperature for installation. While all these steps can seem time-consuming, they are crucial to protecting your beautiful hardwood floors from future damage.

Choosing a Wood Floor and Adhesive

When installing a wood floor over a radiant heat system, we recommend using engineered hardwood flooring and a glue-down method with a Polymer adhesive for the very best results. Engineered hardwood flooring is generally more stable than solid wood, and the adhesive will bond the floor to the concrete for minimal movement and maximal heat transfer. Additionally, we recommend that you refrain from using hickory, pine, maple, or Brazilian cherry wood flooring over radiant heat, as they are known to be unstable wood species.

Caring for Wood Floors With a Radiant Heating System

To avoid causing undue stress on your wood floors, the heating system should only be increased or decreased by 2 degrees from one day to the next. This gives the floor time to adjust to the new temperature. Additionally, consider investing in a humidification/dehumidification system for your home or commercial building to help keep relative humidity levels between 35% and 55%. By keeping your environment stable, you will minimize the movement in your wood flooring throughout the year.

Call Gate Hardwood Floors for a Free Quote on Hardwood Floor Installation Over Radiant Heating

Because radiant heating systems place an additional strain on wood floors, it is important to have them installed by a specialist. If you are interested in installing a wood floor over radiant heat at your Boise, Idaho, home or business, call Gäte Hardwood Floors today for a free consultation and bid.

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