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Wooden Flooring Suitable for Underfloor Heating


wood flooring for underfloor heating

Under Floor Heating (UFH) is a way of heating homes that is growing in popularity, and it’s easy to see why. With an extremely high comfort factor, together with a nice even distribution of heat, many argue that there is less wastage with this option when compared with traditional radiators. Whether or not it is more efficient, one thing’s for sure and that is that it makes for much more streamlined, slick walls. So if you’ve made the decision to go the UFH route and are looking for wooden flooring suitable for under floor heating, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll give you our view on what you should take into consideration when choosing your wood flooring to install over under floor heating. In addition, we’ll share some of the really important points to remember when you’re fitting the floor.

Solid or engineered?

When choosing wooden flooring suitable for under floor heating you may well come up against conflicting advice. At Wood and Beyond, we recommend only installing engineered wood flooring if you have under floor heating. Why is this the case? It’s simple really. The construction of engineered wood flooring means that it is much more resistant to expansion and contraction than solid wood flooring. Why is this important? It’s important because in the case of wood flooring that’s fitted over under floor heating, it is closely in contact with the source of heat.

Engineered wood flooring will expand and contract much less when faced with rising and falling temperatures and moisture levels than solid wood flooring. This means that the floor is unlikely to suffer any damage if it has been fitted correctly. Solid wood flooring on the other hand is quite likely to develop unsightly gaps and may even cup or bow depending on the quality of the floor and how it has been fitted.

Thickness?

As a broad rule of thumb, all the engineered wood flooring options on the Wood and Beyond website could be fitted over under floor heating. However, our preferred guidelines are to choose a solution that is between 14mm and 16mm thick. This is because you will get optimum efficiency from your heating system with this thickness of board. That said, if you do want to install a thicker board, such as an 18mm board, there is no reason why you can’t, unless of course the manufacturer of your UFH system recommends against it. We purely make our recommendation based on optimising the efficiency of your UFH system. We also prefer a solid wood lamella or top layer maximum thickness of 5mm for the same reasons.

Fitting Method?

When it comes to choosing the best fitting method for your wooden floor, at Wood and Beyond we recommend that you opt for a glue down method when you’re fitting over UFH. Why do we prefer this method? Firstly it removes the needs for nails and screws, which could be disastrous when combined with under floor heating. But more than that, glueing your floor in place gives it a really flexible fix. Once again, the flexibility of this installation means that the floor has the freedom to move ever so slightly when temperatures rise and fall, making this the ideal fitting solution.

3 things you mustn’t forget when fitting

We have a free guide on fitting engineered wood flooring which you can download here. But for now, the three key things not to forget when fitting your engineered wood flooring over under floor heating are:

  1. Always respect the instructions given by your UFH manufacturer.
  2. Make sure you take the time to acclimatise your floor before laying it.
  3. After fitting, give your floor time to adapt by gradually increasing the temperature of your heating over time.

If you’re looking for the ideal wood flooring solution to fit over your under floor heating and would like some help, don’t hesitate to get in touch. At Wood and Beyond, we’re here to help and we’d be delighted to assist you to make the perfect decision for your project, no matter how big or small it may be.


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