Hardwood Over Radiant Heat

Question

We have radiant heat in our condo and were advised we must a) use only certain types of flooring and b) keep a humidifier constantly running at 45% to maintain our flooring warranty. Is this all true? Signed, “Sweating like an Oldie”

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Jim 6 months 1 Answer 96 views 0

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Answer ( 1 )

  1. To some degree what you have been told is true. You will be looking for an engineered hardwood that is warrantied for installation over radiant heat. Hardwood is basically like a sponge. If you have a continual heat source underneath it, the hardwood will naturally want to dry out and before too long, you would have cracks between the boards big enough to lose a small child in. Here’s where engineered hardwood comes in. Due to the layering process, the hardwood is more dimensionally stable and can withstand the stress that the heat is putting on it. When it comes to engineered hardwoods, they can be installed in a condo in 2 ways depending on the product; as a glued down floor or as a floating floor. Now to the humidity issue. Calgary is one of the harshest climates in North America on hardwood. 99% of the manufacturer’s do state in their warranty brochures that humidity must remain between 45-60% (the exception to this is Torlys – Great Canadian company – Great product for you to look at – they warranty down to 30%) The problem with the 45% stated humidity regulation is that I have never been in a house in Calgary that could maintain 45% humidity. I would dare say that it is virtually impossible. Yet lots of people have hardwood. What you need to ensure is that the company is taking all of the appropriate steps to compensate for our humidity issues (ie – acclimatizing the wood properly prior to installation). If the wood is installed and its moisture content is low – and your house stays relatively CONSISTENT in its humidity levels, then your wood isn’t going to do anything weird as time goes on.

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