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Radiant floor heating and wood flooring

Wood flooring is currently the most popular choice when it comes to floor coverings with homeowners. It is interesting to look back on past flooring trends over the years. Tile and wood floors jockey back and forth as consumers’ favorites, followed by carpet and resilient flooring. But, the clear trend over the years seems to be hard surfaces, due to their longer wearing surface and luxurious look and feel. However there is one common complaint with hard surfaces: they tend to be cold and uncomfortable.

There is a misconception among homeowners and flooring dealers that wood floors can't have an electric radiant underfloor heating systems installed directly below the wood surface. The concern is mostly related to natural hardwoods. Hardwood flooring has the tendency to expand and contract with too much heat, which can lead to premature cupping and warping.

Many flooring dealers believe the only solution for radiant floor heating under a hardwood floor surface is to heat from below the sub floor. This is referred to as “staple up” or “between the joists” applications. Although this type of installation is suitable for installing radiant floor heat under hardwood flooring, it is not the only choice a homeowner has in providing warm and luxurious wood floors.

Oftentimes, it is not cost feasible to install a gas or electric boiler along with other components in order to provide radiant heating in just one room that is having hardwood flooring installed in it.

There are other systems that claim they work well under wood floors. Here is where you should throw caution to the wind! Electric cable systems are not a good choice because they run much hotter than is recommended by NWFA. Another item to consider is to try convincing a wood flooring installer that he should be careful and not accidently nail into one of the electric cables!

he best choice for heating under a wood floor is to utilize the STEP Warmfloor system, whether it is installed under floating laminate or engineered wood floors. STEP Warmfloor will comply with the recommendations of the NWFA, as the flat heating element can’t physically reach temperatures above 82 degrees F. By the time the radiant temperatures transfer their heat through the 5/8” or ¾” wood floor, the temperature of the surface is close to 75-80 degrees F.

The benefits of STEP Warmfloor don’t end there. Here is a list of some features that make STEP Warmfloor the best choice for radiant floor heating under wood floors:

  • The installer can nail directly through the heating element without compromising the integrity or performance of the STEP Warmfloor heating element.
  • The element can't overheat, therefore providing a lifetime of comfort.
  • Energy efficiency is what makes STEP Warmfloor stand out from other systems.

Contact us today to find out more