What to Know About Radiant Heat and Wood Floors

April 27, 2018 6:22 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s become quite trendy for homes to add radiant heating systems as retrofit projects. In many of these types of jobs, the tubes are attached to the underside of a hardwood floor, but in other jobs the tubing will go down on top of the subfloor and underneath the finished floor.

Every job is a little bit different, but there are some general rules you should follow whenever setting up radiant floor heating in Glenwood Springs, CO in a project dealing with wood.

The wider the boards in the floor, the greater the chance you’ll have some difficulties. Therefore, you should try to use boards in your floor that are three inches wide or less. This is because wider wood is more likely to warp than thinner wood.

Here are a few things to keep in mind with your wooden radiant floors:

  • Control the humidity levels: In a radiantly heated home with wood floors, you should generally try to keep relative humidity levels below 50 percent. Otherwise, it becomes more likely you’ll have to deal with warping and cracking.
  • Careful construction is key: Any damage that could potentially be done to your wood floors with radiant heating will likely have its roots in poor construction practices. So if you’re putting a wood floor over a concrete floor that has radiant tubing, for example, you should realize it will take time for the water to leave the concrete. As that concrete dries out, moisture will go with it and then enter the wood. Therefore, it can be helpful to tape some clear plastic sheeting or vapor barriers over the concrete floor, and don’t let carpenters install the wood floor until it is clear the moisture has left the concrete.
  • Get moisture detectors: The investment will be worth it to keep your floor in good condition. That detector will go into the wood, and you’ll know exactly how much moisture is in the wood. You should aim for no more than six percent moisture.
  • Keep ventilation and heat coming during construction: There will be lots of moisture introduced during construction in the form of paint, plaster and drywall mud. You’ll need to keep the area properly ventilated so that moisture stays away from the wood floor. Otherwise, by the time you turn on your system, the damage will begin to show up.
  • Let the heating system run before the finish wood goes down: As a general rule, you should let the heating system run for about five days before your carpenters come in to put down the finish wood. This will help make sure the wood is completely dry before the project is finished, lowering the chances of warping or other moisture-related damage.
  • Avoid excessive heat: Temperatures greater than 120 degrees Fahrenheit can destroy wood floors. It’s important to avoid allowing your radiant floor heating to become excessively hot.

These are just a few tips that will help you get the most out of your radiant floor heating in Glenwood Springs, CO under your wooden floors. Contact Garrett Hansen Plumbing Inc. if you have any further questions.

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