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Lets talk flooring.... and heat...

AlexS Member Posts: 69
Im having a hard time deciding on the right flooring for my old farmhouse.  I have 5" wide heart pine on the second floor that I've sanded and poly'd... It's 150 years old, so there's substantial gaps between the T&G boards, but that's fine, it's just the bedrooms up there.

The downstairs has been gutted and Im in the process of rebuilding.  I like the wide planks, but I know it could be an issue with the radiant floors.  I hear domestic cherry is a good choice for stability, but it's soft, so not the best choice for a floor. Heart Pine is out also.. too soft, I see the damage a chair can do up in the bedrooms.

I'm thinking about using Ash.. It has a similar grain to the pine, but considerably harder.  The little bit I find online says it's a rather stable wood as well... So has anyone heard any pro's or con's about using Ash with a radiant floor system?  BTW, Im using extruded plates below the subfloor...

Oak is definitely out, I cant stand it.. I do like the wide planks as well, so if there's another choice that has the stability needed, Im all ears.


  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,314
    I am surprised you

    like ash and not oak. To me the grain of white oak and ash are very similar. I do know the narrow boards will be more stable than the wide. It is just the nature of wood with or without radiant heat. Narrow flooring became popular not just due to it being easier to cull grade out of logs but also because it stayed still better. The manufactured flooring is the most stable product but I would guess it would not appeal to you for an old farm house renovation.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • LarryC
    LarryC Member Posts: 331
    Remove the heat from the floor. Radiant ceiling instead.

    If the first floor is gutted, why don't you install radiant ceiling?  Insulating the second floor joists will add to the noise suppression.  The plumbing chases are already there for the second floor radiant installation.  Rearranging furniture will not be a problem.  Flooring choice is now whatever you want.  Radiant cooling is now an option too.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Floors and Ceilings:

    Do the ceiling. You have more radiating space and it is nicer. With the floor, you loose under rugs, cabinets and appliances.

    Ash is nice but getting harder to get. Stay away from Cherry. It doesn't wear well and doesn't like high traffic areas. Save the cherry for the cabinets. Pine isn't all that bad if you use area rugs and put protectors on the feet of the furniture. Pine looks a lot more old timey.


    Who has all maple floors. They wear like iron and don't dent without the force of a hammer. Left natural, they turn a lovely honey color. But leave room for expansion in the width. A LOT OF ROOM!! Like wall pushing out room.

    Seen it, told em, didn't believe me, it happened. More than a few times. A lot more.
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