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floor made of framing planks turned on edge: radiant heat below and finish above?
Hi Everyone -
Apologies, this is a bit of a cross-post from the Radiant Heat forum, but I also have more general questions so I thought it okay to repost here.
The particular challenge I'm dealing with is that I'd like to install radiant heat beneath an existing flooring that is made of 2x4 douglas fir lumber planks turned on edge. The property is a unique one, and no one I've spoken to has ever heard of flooring made of that much wood. The wood looks quite nice and keeping it as is would save us the cost of more wood flooring, so I'd prefer going under rather than over.
Alan Forbes, with whom I've been discussing this with (and who's been a great deal of help), is concerned that we won't be able to get adequate heat transfer through the 3.5 inches of wood. From what I've read elsewhere, douglas fir has an R-value of 1.2 per inch, so we're looking at an absolute thermal resistance of 4.2, maybe 4.0 after lots of sanding and then refinishing? In case it matters, the wood planks are 50 years old. On the bottom side of the house the wood planks will have seen lots of wear from weather.
The second question is: has anyone had a good experience using lumber framing wood for their flooring? I am pretty certain the floor is strong enough -- portions of one floor we're even used as a garage originally -- but I've heard others express doubt about the wood being too soft. The planks have been put in tightly enough, so far as I can tell, that they look pretty good, though probably some wood filler wouldn't hurt. Any other concerns to be wary of?
So. . . can it be done? And what's the greatest absolute R-value through which you've successfully and happily pushed radiant heating?
I'm happy to attach pictures of whatever you'd like to see.
Thank you all in advance!