Under-floor heating in private homes has increased in popularity in recent years. But, if you want to install under-floor heating in your home, you may wonder if it is suitable for all wooden floor types, including solid wood floors. Customers have been asking about this ever more frequently in recent time. Therefore, we have decided to write this article to shed some light on this issue and give you some useful tips.
What is under-floor heating?
Under-floor heating is a form of central heating of a room with the use of radiant pipes installed underneath the floor. This heating method helps achieve indoor climate control, providing thermal comfort. It brings about numerous benefits, including heat consistency across the entire room, which means that the temperature in all areas of the room is more or less the same.
In general, when you ask an employee of an under-floor heating company about whether or not under-floor heating is the right choice in the case of solid wood floors, they will tell you: "yes, but..." – because there are certain factors you need to consider, such as moisture content in the wood. However, flooring providers usually offer more specific information on whether or not the given type of solid wood flooring should be installed over under-floor heating.
Which solid floors are the best for UFH?
Wood flooring suitable for under-floor heating should be resistant and should effectively transfer heat. As we have already said, solid wood floors are 100% natural. Therefore, they tend to expand and contract due to heat and humidity fluctuations. These processes will cause gaps in the floor, appearing and disappearing along with changes in ambient conditions. So, solid wood floors are not deemed the best wood flooring option for installation over under-floor heating. But, solid wood flooring with narrow board, low moisture content, which is thinner than 25 mm and is properly installed, should guarantee a satisfactory final result.
Nonetheless, engineered wood flooring will always be a better choice as far as under-floor heating is concerned. Engineered wood is not that susceptible to expansion and contraction as compared to solid wood, and hence the heat can pass more efficiently.
Engineered wood flooring - more suitable for UFH
Engineered wood floors that are particularly fit for installation over under-floor heating are: 15/5, 15/4 and 14/3. Those numbers designate the overall thickness of the board as well as the thickness of the solid top layer. 15 and 14 mm mentioned above refer to the total thickness of the board, while 5, 4 and 3 mm to the thickness of the solid top layer.
All in all, it now seems obvious that engineered wood flooring is a definite winner over solid wood flooring as far as installation over under-floor heating is concerned. In our opinion, this option is better and much safer, as it will spare all the unwanted surprises which may pop up later on during regular use.