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Woodstoves and vinyl plank flooring

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Cynnergy, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Cynnergy

    Cynnergy Feeling the Heat

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    Hello all,

    I'm thinking of installing vinyl plank flooring (the stuff with glue-able strips) in the cabin, but I'm a bit worried how the glue will interact with the heat from the woodstove (we'll probably put in a PE True North on a tiled hearth). The installation instructions state that the vinyl planks shouldn't go above 95::F for an extended period of time.

    Anyone have any experience with this?

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  2. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    You'd be fine, but make sure you keep it far enough away from the front of that stove. In other words, follow code for the install of your stove/hearth.....
    Worst case scenario, do a tile surround in front of your hearth if you think it will get too hot in that area. if your floor hits 95 degrees elsewhere, you've got one amazing heater there....
    lopiliberty likes this.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It could be an issue. If this floor needs to float then be sure to allow a generous amount of expansion room. The stove will heat the floor beyond the hearth to more than 100F. This is safe but will expand the tile (not sure about the glue). We had a fellow here a few years back that installed a vinyl floating floor in a new space for a new stove but didn't follow directions and took it right to the wall with no expansion gap. The next picture he posted was of a buckling floor. :confused:
  4. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    Most plastics and glues contain a large amount of petroleum and aromatic hydrocarbons that will off gas with heat and you already mention 95 degrees and a warning. There have to be dozens of places that reach 95 degrees on a regular basis without a wood stove. The floor you described does not sound wood stove friendly to be honest unless breathing all that floor and glue sounds like a good idea. How do you feel about wood or tile and wood not the engineered type but solid wood with no glues used. The engineered floors are basically plywood and loaded with glue it is what the laminate used in their description is all about.
  5. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    The floor around my stove never sees 100*.
  6. gseith

    gseith New Member

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    I have this type of flooring in the room with my stove, and I haven't had any problems. This is the first season with the flooring, but I don't see is causing any problems in the future.
    It's not uncommon for the room temp to get 90°+, but that's the air temp. It doesn't stay that warm in the room long enough for the floor and other objects to reach that temp. As long as your hearth is large enough the floor around it shouldn't reach any harmful temps.
  7. brogsie

    brogsie Feeling the Heat

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    I have this flooring at my summer house. It's not by the stove but because I only heat at 50* when not there it really shrinks a lot.
    It does come back as the house warms.
  8. Cynnergy

    Cynnergy Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks everyone for the tips!

    I would love to have wooden floors, but I just can't justify the cost at the moment, and I think we need something more durable :(. I do share the concerns about off-gassing (of glues, plastics and paint), but I think this is an issue for most modern flooring? I wish we could get diy lino, that's supposed to be all natural ingredients. I guess we'll just have to make sure we have the windows and doors open for the break-in fires and hopefully it won't be too bad after that.

    I was hoping to get sheet vinyl installed by proper installers, but the quote came back at $5500(!), so that's a no-go. At least with the diy planks, I can just replace them with something else if they keep lifting or get damaged.

    Thanks for the warnings about expansion. I'll make sure to keep expansion spaces around the edges! I think the install instructions are for 1/8" in a normal house and 1/4" in a cabin, but I might go more if I can find trim to cover a bigger gap.

    Just have to say hearth members are awesome once again!
  9. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    Just remember to nail your trim to the wall and not the floor so the flooring can move under the trim. The tile you can put around the stove the better and if from a big box store can be had cheap. If you have animals that might have an accident on the floor do remember that laminate will get ruined if it gets in between the seams, at least my neighbors did. If you are going to have vinyl under the stove pad maybe increase the R value of the pad and make it a bit bigger than required. I would also consider when shopping for a stove pay attention to the required R value for under the stove. I would think the lower required the less likely to have a problem and they seem to vary from very little to a lot.
  10. Cynnergy

    Cynnergy Feeling the Heat

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    Yep ddahlgren, I've got all that in mind! One nice thing about all PE's (even the inexpensive True North) is that they're ember-protection only. I wouldn't put vinyl under the stove/hearth at all though, that just seems like asking for trouble :).

    I like to support the local shops where I can, but I think I can do the flooring for $1800 or so with the HD planks - that's a big difference.
  11. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    I like to support locals as well. Having a small business myself I can understand their financial issues. Out of every dollar I make about 45 cents goes to one tax or another. To add insult to injury it takes the volume of sales to get the pricing big box stores get to buy inventory so hard to compete. The big box stores all have minimum wage employees for the most part and the shop doing the installing has tradesmen that require a good deal more money. So hard for the small shop to compete with DIY and big box store materials.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    This is totally going to vary with the stove and the temp it is being run at. There's a lot of difference in the front radiated heat between different makes. Stove height, door angle and design, ashlip etc all affect this too. For our stove, when it's running at about 650F, the floor at 24" in front of the stove will be at about 110F. It gets warm enough over the winter to shrink the floorboards close by.
  13. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    If it's the vinyl stuff (like peel and stick) that I'm thinking of, it might cup up a bit. We had this in our old house in front of our gas stove and it reactivated the glue every winter and would cup up.
  14. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    peel and stick glue down vynal plaks cant really be ruined by water or dog pee between them. There just vynal. Well they wont be more ruined than most things that sit in dog pee. actually better than HW floors will fare with pee
  15. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

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    inverse square rule will help alot here, ie doubling the distance from the heat source will will cut the heating of planks by 75%.

    PVC(vinyl) has a HDT ( heat distortion temp) of about 140degF, as temp approaches this the material softens and will start to relieve stresses ( cup and get wavy)

    Maybe there's a more heat resistant product you can lay down in front of the stove and interlock with the vinyl stuff?
  16. Cynnergy

    Cynnergy Feeling the Heat

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    More great advice, thanks everyone. Clemsonfor - it's not dog pee that I'm worried about, it's cat pee (much worse IMHO). It seems like a cat farm around the island during the holidays from all of the family coming and they tend to get a bit territorial :confused: (cats and people if the weather doesn't cooperate and it rains all day every day).

    I've been thinking (dangerous I know) and researching some more options. I will try to get the hearth as big as possible without overwhelming the room, and then I might try putting some 'pretty' tile on some sheet metal to make a kind of 'tile rug' to protect the floor in front of the stove? Maybe even put some small feet underneath it to get an air-gap and make a mini-floor protector. Hopefully it won't be too much of a tripping hazard. If it is or if it doesn't work, I can just rip out the damaged planks and put the 'tile rug' in the floor. What do you think?

    For anyone new to the post, the hearth will definitely be to code no matter what, so it isn't a safety issue, just aesthetics.

    Other flooring options like engineered hardwood or cork seem nice but too $$$ for my budget right now.

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