It’s cold. You come home from a long day at work. Your shoes are wet. You take them off and as soon as you step onto your lovely wooden floor, you can feel the heat starting to come back, making your day that little bit better. A common question that’s asked when purchasing a wood floor is whether it is possible to have underfloor heating with wooden floors so that we can experience this warm welcome home. The answer to that question is: Yes. Underfloor heating is an economical and elegant form of warmth for your home, without all the visible pipes and heaters. While it is not suited to carpeted or vinyl flooring, wood flooring is perfect for underfloor heating. Paired with a wood floor, it’s not only a treat for your feet, but ensures that your home is warm both physically and visually.
Underfloor heating systems are available for all types of wood floors. It is important to note, however, that there are different types of heating that work best with specific floor types due to the fact that different types of wood flooring have different thermal properties. The main difference between various flooring materials and their suitability for usage is the thermal conductivity and the pace and efficiency that heat transfers to the surface of the floor. The denser and thinner the floorboards are, the better they conduct heat and typically are more suitable for use with floor heating.
Underfloor heating is most efficient when paired with engineered wood floors. This is because of the way engineered wood floors are constructed. The thin layers of engineered wood allow for the floor to expand and contract at the different levels within the wood in response to the heat. This means that the heat can easily get through the wood without damaging the floor itself or changing its appearance. In addition to that, there is such a large range of engineered wood, so it’s easy to find something that will suit your desires. Check out our wide selection of engineered floors here! Other wood flooring may also be used, however, attention must be paid to the thickness of the floorboards, so they do not act as an insulator blocking the heat. We recommend using a thickness of 18mm or less when installing above underfloor heating.
Laminate flooring works well with water-based underfloor heating systems and most modern electric systems can also be combined with laminate flooring. It is more durable than both engineered wood and solid wood flooring, because of its protective layer on the surface. While it is not as good at conducting heat as an engineered floor, it is more resistant to fluctuating temperatures and is, therefore, less likely to disfigure than real wood.
Solid wood flooring, while possible, is generally ill-advised if you want to install underfloor heating. Like a tree, solid wood expands and contracts in response to heat and moisture. It is not recommended to install a solid wood floor near an area with lots of moisture because this expansion and contraction can create gaps in the floor. This is the same reason why it is not encouraged to set up underfloor heating with a solid floor.
So, while engineered wood floors are recommended for underfloor heating, no matter what type of wood floor you plan to install, it is still a possibility. Therefore, there is no need to worry about not being able to partake in this warm, foot-friendly experience once you’ve got your wood floor picked out. If you have any extra questions, please let a member of our staff know.