Wooden floors and underfloor heating (UFH) are a match made in heaven. On the one hand, there’s nothing quite like a wooden floor to give a natural, timeless finish to a home, elevating its aesthetic to one of luxury and opulence. On the other, UFH is a superb method of efficiently heating your home and ensuring that cold feet are an evil you’ll never have to face again.
Fortunately, the two concepts complement each other remarkably. Wood is a fantastic choice of material for an underfloor heating system. Unlike tiles or stone, it’s naturally warm to the touch and provides better heat output than more insulating carpet materials. As a sustainable material, wood is also more environmentally friendly than the alternatives, while heating a room from the ground up is more efficient than conventional heating systems.
As you can see, pairing a wood floor with underfloor heating appears to be the ideal solution in every aspect. Having said that, there are still some considerations which must be taken into account when installing an UFH system beneath your home’s wooden flooring.
Engineered or timber?
When it comes to pairing up a wood floor with UFH, there are two options on the table for the former: an engineered system or a timber solution. Engineered wood is a manmade product which combines several base layers of plywood beneath a real wood veneer. A timber floor, meanwhile, is composed of precisely that: natural hardwood that has been harvested and treated specifically for the purpose of flooring.
At Greyspace Flooring, we generally recommend opting for an engineered product, since these are less susceptible to movement as the floor heats up and cools down. This makes for a more stable end result, while the softer inner core of the system can mean that engineered products are more affordable and easier to install, as well. Having said that, there are also some natural timber solutions which are compatible with underfloor heating, too.
New installations or existing upgrades
The process involved in pairing underfloor heating with a wooden floor will also depend on whether the project is a new installation, where everything is created from scratch, or the UFH system is being installed beneath a pre-existing wood floor. The first is the simpler option, since no preparatory work needs to be undertaken to access the space where the underfloor heating system will lie.
On the other hand, if it’s an upgrade to an existing wood floor, there are two methods by which it can be achieved: installation from above or below. From above will entail removing all of the floorboards to allow the underfloor heating system to be put in place, then laying those boards back in place after the fact. From below requires ripping out the ceiling of the room beneath and accessing the space from the bottom up. From above installations are generally preferred for ground floor projects, while from below installations are more suited to ones located on the first floor or higher.
Regardless of which kind of installation method is required, we generally recommend that a solid surface (such as a sheet of plywood or screed) is laid in place over the top of UFH and beneath the wooden floor itself.
Call in the professionals
While retrofitting an existing wood floor to include UFH can be more complex than a straightforward new installation, it’s easily achievable in the hands of trained professionals. At Greyspace Flooring, we’re experts in overseeing the entire process on a case-by-case basis, ensuring you get the results you desire for your unique circumstances.
To find out more about the services we offer and the options available to you, why not get in contact? You can drop us an email at [email protected] or give us a call on 0114 258 1256 and we’ll be happy to help in any way we can.