Wooden Floors and Underfloor Heating – Good Idea or Not?
Wooden floors have been popular for for over a decade now, and it looks like demand will continue to grow into the foreseeable future. The case for this stylish flooring finish is made clearly by estate agents who, when responding to a recent survey, stated that wooden floors will increase the value of your property between 1-10%. It seems that buyers like the fact that they’re low maintenance, good looking and durable.
Wooden Floors and Underfloor Heating – Match or Mistake?
The luxury of underfloor heating is also increasing in popularity, especially with young families who are attracted to radiant heat because:
- It’s eco-friendly
- It’s dust free
- It heats your home using lower water temperatures
- It provides an rapid, even warmth
One question we get asked a good deal is whether wood is a good flooring finish to combine with an underfloor heating installation.
Wood is a Natural Insulator…
… which means that dense wood coverings will slow down the passage of heat from underfloor water pipes to the room above. On the plus side, once wood heats up it holds the heat for a prolonged period, making your floor luxurious to walk across, or sit on. It also means that even after your heating is turned off, your room will remain warm for a good while.
What Kind of Wood Works Best?
Based on our experience of installing underfloor heating we would recommend engineered wood as being the most suitable. Also known as composite, or man-made wood, it’s created in layers. This reduces the overall density of the material and enhances its stability. Engineered wood is far less likely to shrink or warp in response to changing environmental conditions.
Working With an Existing Wood Floor
If you already have a wood floor in place, you can overcome many of the potential problems by careful underfloor heating installation. Most important is the rapid, even spread of heat across the entire floor. This avoid ‘hot spots’ which can lead to warping, or cracking of the wood. The aim with underfloor heating is always to create a responsive system with no sudden changes in temperature.
Liquid Screed for Wooden Floors and Underfloor Heating Installation
The installation of wet underfloor heating involves first, the laying of water pipes under the floor. Second, liquid screed is poured over the pipes to form a sub floor. Third, the wooden floor is laid once the screed is completely dry. Liquid screed reduces the amount of time it takes to install underfloor heating, and – once installed – the screed can be force dried to further reduce the waiting time.
Liquid screed is particularly well suited to this job because its liquid consistency ‘hugs’ the water pipes, ruling out the possibility of air pockets which could hamper the even flow of heat. It’s also an enhanced thermal conductor, which means that it transfers heat from the water pipes to every corner of the room fast. You room heats evenly and fast, using lower water temperatures than required for radiators.
If you would like to know more about installing underfloor heating with an existing, or brand new wooden floor, call RB Liquid Screed today, on 01842 659498 / 07498 964984