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In-depth Guide to Wooden Floor Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating guide

Imagine slipping out of bed to make a cup of tea on a winter morning and finding that, instead of having to cram your feet into fluffy slippers, you can walk round bare foot and cosy toed thanks to your underfloor heating. Underfloor heating, especially when it is underneath a comfortable wooden floor is fast becoming a popular touch of luxury in many homes. We have an in-depth guide to wooden floor underfloor heating for you.

Underfloor heating is a great heating solution

If you choose underfloor heating, especially with a wooden floor, it will keep your home cosy but underfloor heating offers so much more than that. It is energy efficient, clean, eliminates cold spots and can save space on your walls that radiators would usually take up.

underfloor heating
There are 2 main types of underfloor heating

Underfloor heating can be run by either hot-water (or wet) systems or electric mat systems. With a wet system, warm water from the central heating system is passed through small plastic pipes that are laid beneath the final floor.

With an electric system heat passes through a series of cable elements that are attached to special mats. These mats are connected together and linked to mains power. Electric systems are cheaper to install but generally cost more to run whereas wet underfloor heating systems are more expensive to install but, because they use water at a lower temperature than radiators, are economical to run. Both systems can be used with underfloor heating.

Underfloor heating can work with wooden floors

Whilst stone or tile floors perform the best with underfloor heating due to their high thermal conductivity, wooden floors can also make a good base. Different types of wood respond differently to heat, which means that some timbers are better for underfloor heating than others.

Wooden boards that are more dense and slim will conduct heat better as will engineered flooring. Always consult a professional when selecting a wooden floor that you want to use with underfloor heating as they will understand the relationship between the thickness and type of boards and their insulation properties.

wooden floor underfloor heating
Wooden floors can loose moisture when used with underfloor heating

When you heat a floor from underneath the moisture content of the wood can fluctuate. Some types of wood counteract this better than others, for example wood that is kiln-dried often works well with underfloor heating because it can adapt to temperature changes without shrinking or swelling.

Different types of wooden floors respond differently to underfloor heating

When you buy a wooden floor make sure you talk to the professionals about which type of wood to choose. Engineered timber is the best flooring to choose for your underfloor heating because it copes well with changing temperatures and is not adversely affected by varied moisture content. Solid hardwood however is more likely to experience issues arising from humidity and temperature changes.

Possible problems with hardwood floors and underfloor heating might include the development of gaps and convex or concave unevenness. Softwoods are a better choice than hardwoods for underfloor heating but it is important to make sure that softwood boards are not so thick as to prevent any heat output.

underfloor heating company
Wooden floors do not react well to unnecessary changes in temperature

The best way to look after your wooden floor is to ensure that your underfloor heating does not lead to sudden or prolonged changes in temperature. Turning your underfloor heating off for a whole summer is not a good idea, neither are quick changes from low to high temperatures. If you really need to turn your floor off for the summer months, make sure that you increase temperature by only a few degrees a day once you decide to turn it back on. This will allow the moisture content in your wooden floor to balance.

Underfloor heating should be professionally installed

Underfloor heating and wooden floors can work really well together but in order to avoid choosing the wrong floor and ending up with unsightly bumps and gaps, you should always make sure that your underfloor heating and wooden floor are installed by a professional.

At Indigo Floors we have years of experience in helping people make the right decisions about their flooring and underfloor heating. Our real wood floors give a natural warmth and elegance to a home that is enhanced by underfloor heating. To find out more about our wooden flooring and underfloor heating solutions call Indigo Flooring today on 020 8959 2629 and talk to our team.

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