Can I Put Underfloor Heating Below My Oak Flooring?
Here is a question that is quite commonly asked when people purchase oak floors, Can I put underfloor heating below my oak flooring? In the case of Solid Oak Flooring, this is something that we strongly discourage and should not be done. Solid Oak flooring is prone to expand or contract when there is moisture in the environment. This can be seen throughout the year, as in the summer the boards will expand whereas in the winter they will likely contract. This characteristic is something that is common place in all wood flooring however with the addition of underfloor heating this characteristic can be made a lot worse as the rate of expansion and contraction will increase. This is because the boards will be experiencing a much higher temperature then what they are commonly used to. Circumstances such as these can also lead to problems such as “gapping” (where the space between the plank becomes excessive) and “cupping” (where the plank appears to become a dished shape with the edges higher then the center of the plank).
However with these conditions it does not mean you have to do away with underfloor heating altogether, as Engineered Oak flooring proves to be the perfect answer. Unlike Solid Oak flooring, Engineered Oak flooring is much more durable in changing conditions and will therefore not expand or contract when it is heated or cooled. Engineered oak flooring is also made up of a number of layers which make it extremely water resistant. These different attributes make Engineered Oak a much better option when looking to install underfloor heating.