Radiant heating systems are very popular and though more expensive to install than conventional heating systems they are very energy efficient with a long term payback. These systems provide a very even consistent and comfortable heat.
Only engineered flooring can be used over these radiant heating systems. Most carpet and box stores promote engineered hardwood as being bullet proof and able to handle all situations. It must be realized this product is manufactured to be more stable than solid wood, but is still composed of 95% wood and 5% glue, and is not without issues. Choosing the wrong type of engineered hardwood to put over your radiant heat can be a costly mistake. Even the highest quality flooring will fail if put in the wrong environment. (Quick Video: engineered hardwood flooring comparison. )
By choosing a radiant heating system you’ve obviously thought ahead and considered long term performance. Don’t make a mistake now by choosing a cheaper, inferior flooring to go over it. Take the time to ask the right questions and consider the facts before making your decision. If you are shopping elsewhere check the manufacturer’s specifications to be sure that it is recommended for radiant heat. In our industry price competition has forced good North American manufacturers to compete with the poor quality manufacturers from China, forcing them to use a lower quality of lumber. Gaylord hardwood flooring is 100% North American, made by us for us, and all of it done within a 300 mile radius. We are proud of this fact, and proud to have been chosen by The National Hardwood Flooring Association’s “Wood Floor of the Year” award in the Best Manufacturer Factory Finished Category in 2015.
Our engineered flooring is by far the best on the market and can handle the dry conditions during the heating season, as well as the high humidity of summer. It is the perfect balance between having a thick surface layer, but not one that overpowers the plywood below. The surface layer is 3/16”, with the total board thickness of ¾”. We have never experienced “dry cupping” in our engineered flooring, but it will certainly check and crack. A rustic, matte finish will make these natural occurrences blend in and add to your floor’s beauty.
Proper installation of your engineered flooring is essential. Your radiant heating system must be turned on for 7 days before installation and then moisture testing done. Not doing the right preparations and turning the heating on only after installation will be disastrous for your floor. You must maintain a relative humidity of 30 to 50% before and after installation. After installation the floor cannot be disturbed for 48 hours, to allow the glue to set. If the floor is walked on before the glue has cured, the bond will be weakened; the boards will separate and possibly cause squeaks in the future. See our video Engineered Flooring over Radiant Heat