Wood Flooring Heating Issues
It is well known that hardwood flooring can shrink or expand due to extremes of heat or cold, which makes many home owners fear the worst when it comes to considering the prospect of fitting even engineered hardwood flooring over a radiant in-floor heating system, though at least one expert says that there may in fact be nothing to worry about.
Flooring expert Steve Maxwell believes that it is unlikely that fitting engineered hardwood flooring over such a heating system would result in problems for the simple reason that high quality engineered hardwood flooring is manufactured with a thin layer of the best quality hardwood fitted onto the top of a laminated plywood substrate, which is made from less valuable species. Because of the laminate construction, this means that the floor is much less likely to expand or contract due to temperature, including that of in-house heating.
Maxwell says that while it may surprise some, even ordinary solid wood flooring can perform unexpectedly well over such heating systems with acceptable rates of shrinkage even when the heating system is running to temperatures as high as 90F.
The best form of wood flooring to fit over such a system is not the old fashioned nail anchored kind, however, but click flooring, which helps to ensure that even if contraction or expansion does occur, it will only happen at the very edges of the room and therefore will not be visible underneath baseboard and quarter round, thus resulting in no necessity for wood floor repair.