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Does Engineered Wood Flooring Work with Underfloor Heating?
Engineered wood flooring is known for the many benefits and advantages it has, one of them being the fact it perfectly works with underfloor heating. Underfloor heating is a cost-efficient system that will help you keep the heating bills lower while you feel cosy and comfortable at home during the winter months. Engineered wood flooring can be used with every type of underfloor heating. However, there are several things you have to keep in mind and take care of when you want to install engineered wood flooring over underfloor heating and have them both work the proper way and last for many decades.
When considering to have an underfloor heating system installed under your engineered wood floor, you start with getting written confirmation from your underfloor heating system supplier that confirms the entire system works properly with controlled temperatures. This works as some type of guarantee that will help you ensure the underfloor heating system will work effectively and the floor will remain in the best condition and not get affected by the higher temperatures. Apart from room stats, you will also need flow control valves and floor temperature probes. In addition, it is highly recommended to apply a few floor temperature data loggers as they will work as proof that the floor has not overheated in a possible situation of a warranty claim.
Once you are done with all of the above listed, you can continue checking a few more aspects that will ensure that both the heating system and the engineered wood floor will feel great and work properly together. First things first, you should check the moisture content of the concrete subfloor and ensure it does not exceed the limit. Also, check the moisture content of the flooring itself. If some of both or both contents exceed the limit, make sure to reach out to your local wood floor installation service supplier and ask for professional help. In addition, the relative humidity air level in the room should not exceed 65 per cent.
The maximum deviation in flatness should be less than three mm per linear metre. Make sure your subfloor is a closed and self-supporting surface as other types of subfloors does not work with underfloor heating. Before the installation of the underfloor heating system and the floor, make sure the subfloor is thoroughly cleaned and completely dust-free. In case there is a layer of plywood or chipboard as an additional layer of the subfloor, make sure these are also in perfect condition and replace them if not.
One important thing to remember is that underfloor heating should be installed by experienced and knowledgeable experts and not attempted as a DIY project. Installing an underfloor heating system yourself may not only end up as a fail but also be dangerous. You should make sure that all works are performed professionally and enjoy ideal final results and best cost-efficiency.
First things first, in order to install an underfloor heating system successfully, all the hot water pipes should be sufficiently below the top surface of the screed, which will ensure even distribution of the heat and will prevent the occurrence of hot spots. Make sure there is sufficient insulation below the underfloor heating system and have an underlay installed if recommended by the professionals, otherwise you risk moisture being drawn by the screed and destroy the integrity of the cement screed or significantly lower the efficiency of the underfloor heating system.
Commissioning by the UFH Installer
The installer of the UFH should commission it properly, which means that the first day they will set the temperature to twenty degrees Celsius and then increase the temperature with 5 degrees Celsius over eight days. Once this is all done, the temperature needs to stay at 45°C for the next eight days and then you will reduce it with 5 degrees every day over another eight days. The total period should take twenty-one days. Next, when the floor is getting installed, make sure the underfloor heating system is off and leave it like that throughout the entire installation process. Once the floorboards are all fitted, the heating system should be turned on for at least two days. When it comes to finishing and oiling the floor, make sure to follow the instructions of the manufacturer of the finishing product. Sometimes you may be required to wait for at least two weeks.
Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Right after the installation of the underfloor heating system and the floor, make sure the floor is not exposed on a lot of temperature fluctuations, high humidity, and extreme temperatures and keep it like that for a short period. The best case is if the UFH has never been turned off completely but instead kept at a very low temperature. Also, make sure to maintain a relative air humidity level between forty and 65 per cent so the wooden floorboards don't get too dry. Air humidifiers can help you achieve that.