abandoning my wonderful heated floor

barnartist Posted By barnartist, May 18, 2017 at 10:27 PM

  1. barnartist

    barnartist
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    I'm doing a big house remodel. We seem to want real wood flooring or even a good engineered flooring. But it turns out my hydronic heated floor could ruin such a floor.
    I am considering a baseboard type product but I'd want it to look like trim so its not noticeable.
    A. Thoughts on my current heating options
    B. Where/what should I look into for the baseboard heating?
    C. Will I like a baseboard type heating?
     
  2. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
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    Some types of wood flooring are compatible with radiant floor heat. After many years of installing various types of heat ,i dont like the look of any of the baseboard units. Hidden heat is best but probably cast iron baseboard is the least objectionable looking type. Finned baseboard looks so cheap and tacky IMO.
     
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  3. Jan Pijpelink

    Jan Pijpelink
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    When using the right padding under your wooden floor, you can use radiant heat without damaging the wood or even without shrinking it.
    Assuming the radiant heating is controlled using a thermostat in combination with correct padding you should be fine.
     
  4. jetsam

    jetsam
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    Lots of people have wood over radiant subfloors.

    If it is the old style copper-hydronic-in-mud setup, you may want to consider replacing it anyway, because that stuff has a limited lifespan. Newer hydronic systems are more durable, and there's electric radiant underlayment now.
     
  5. djkeev

    djkeev
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    If you have a concrete floor, I'd worry more about wood on concrete than wood over radiant heat!

    If your radiant in floor heat is on a wood framed floor system be very aware of the fastening nails used, thickness of subfloor and radiant heat tube damage.

    Dave
     
  6. peakbagger

    peakbagger
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    FYI, there are other options like radiant behind walls and ceilings that have many of the benefits of radiant floors without the downside.
     
  7. Wickets

    Wickets
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    agree with others here ( i did a whole house remodel two years ago and radiant heat was a must have and so I'm an expert now LOL) that wood flooring is fine. Whomever is advising you needs to be replaced!
     
  8. Wickets

    Wickets
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    P.S. baseboard heating is the absolute worst looking contraption ever invented, AND it takes up an incredible amount of space, AND is a total PITA to keep clean
     
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  9. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    If you must abandon the tubes, consider the modern flat panel radiators. Hang on the wall and relatively small.
     
  10. Rearscreen

    Rearscreen
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    I doubt it. When you say "ruin" what does that mean? I'd like to know what you learned. I had a southern yellow pine T & G floor that had no problems whatsoever. I now have wide plank pine with radiant. No problems. Radiant and baseboard are 2 different types of heat and are completely different in terms of comfort and efficiency.
     
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  11. barnartist

    barnartist
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    Can you tell me where to research this padding?
     
  12. barnartist

    barnartist
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    The company that manufactures the engineered flooring said I could not use their product over a heated floor. It's 3/4 thick-bacically plywood with a hickory layer on top. Thoughts?
     
  13. barnartist

    barnartist
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    I'm not sure but the company that makes the flooring won't back up their product I guess. The engineered flooring is basically a plywood with a thin layer of hickory as the top layer. It's 3/4" thick.
     
  14. jetsam

    jetsam
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    Pick a different floor. Call the tech/install support from that company and ask if it's ok over a heated floor.

    The first one might be ok if you really love it, but it's clearly not going to be warrantied if you do. Might be something to do with the glue they use.
     
  15. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
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    Im going on the assumption is that you have a manifold type system and a thermostatically controlled water temp going under your floor at the required water temp of 85 to 100 degrees. Wood floors being on the lower end of that scale. Some laminates call for even lower water temps of 82 degrees.
     
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  16. DBoon

    DBoon
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    I would also suggest a call to tech support. Be ready with information about what the fluid (loop) temperature is with the radiant floor and what temperature the surface of the floor will run at. Healthyheating.com has a lot of data in this respect - but in general, if your fluid temperatures are 105 degrees F or less, and you have 3/4" strip flooring every 5/8" plywood, you are going to have floor temperatures probably in the 75-80 degree range. I would think this would be safe for the floor you describe, but that is something for tech support to answer. What might make a difference is the width of the flooring (narrower is better).

    I am sure that the flooring company has had situations where people run very hot water through the radiant tubing, get floors that have localized temperatures of 80 degrees plus, and then complain to the company about the failures. So if you can ask the right questions and reassure them that you won't be doing this, you might get a better quality answer from them.
     
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  17. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
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    It is more expensive to install the correct setup for radiant to bring the boiler temp water down to safe levels for flooring so it is not surprising that you will have some skipping that step entirely and trying to run the same much hotter water they pipe to the baseboard radiation into the radiant floor setup thus making a mess of some types of flooring.
     
  18. xman23

    xman23
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    I don't have radiant floor heat. But I know someone the has it installed under the sub floor, between the floor joist. The issue he has at the temp he needs the water at he can't heat the house.
     
  19. djkeev

    djkeev
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    Xman, your friends has either.....

    An incorrectly designed system,

    A poorly installed system,

    Tries to operate it as one would hor water baseboard with set back times,

    A poorly designed/ insulated house,

    NE Pa is not a problem for a proper in floor heat system.

    I'll bet money it was a DIY design and install.

    Dave
     
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  20. barnartist

    barnartist
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    My hydronic setup allows me to pump in the desired water temperature.
     
  21. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
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    You could always use both hot water radiation and radiant floors as long as you have a separate stream of correct (lower)temp water going to the radiant floors. Too much expansion and contraction going on to use boiler temp water in radiant floor tubing. Plus a lot of other hazards.
     
  22. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    It is way easier and safer for the floor company to say that installation over radiant heat is prohibited. That way they are always free from warranty claims even though the flooring might be totally fine. If you install anyways be prepared to accept the risk and lose your warranty.

    It's not about whether it's right or wrong, this exclusion is one of the terms of the warranty. Choose another floor that allows it, shut off the radiant, or take the risk.
     
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  23. xman23

    xman23
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    Yes I agree, not having enough heat, was just a poor design. It was big old house that had steam that he removed. And yes it was a homebrew heating he did. I will say my stove heat has caused a bit of a gap in my oak floor right in front of the stove.
     
  24. maple1

    maple1
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    The last thing I would do is stop using my in-floor heat.

    I would either find a different flooring, or take my chances with it. There are lots of people who have wood floors with heat underneath.

    I don't think I can go along with the above mention of a padding either. Which sounds like an insulating layer. It would be blocking the heat from going where it's needed, which is up. Unless I am misunderstanding something.

    You also might get more input if this is posted in the boiler room, maybe.
     
  25. 68bucks

    68bucks
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    I was interested in this topic for a system I'm considering. I contacted the flooring manufacturer (Chelsea Plank Flooring) and asked them. The told me I can heat through the wood but to keep the temp 85° or below and to bring the temp up slowly. They said the first problem that would appear would be gaping and if it gets really dry in the house I could see splitting especially at the plank ends. If those problems appear turn down the temp and add moisture to the air.
     

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