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Hardwoods and radiant heat

lekpeter Member Posts: 35
I apolegize if this is a repeat topic. <p>
Looking to install 3" - 4" maple strip flooring and using radiant heating. Anyone experience problems with using maple with radiant?
The wood is kiln dried 6 - 8%



  • Steve Hendriks
    Steve Hendriks Member Posts: 4
    wood flooring and radiant

    I don't see a problem but a couple of tips to follow are get your flooring to the job site well, well ahead of time to climatize it. When you have poured you concrete or gypcrete place a piece of clear plastic over the concrete and tape it down around the outside edges, when all the moisture has dissapeared from under the plastic it should be safe to lay down your flooring. Lay your pex tubing down at 6" centres so you can reduce your supply temperatures. If you are using sleepers under your flooring pour your concrete or gypcrete about a 1/4" below the sleepers so there is a bit of an air gap between the slab and the underside of the hardwood. Hope these tips help.
  • kevin coppinger_4
    kevin coppinger_4 Member Posts: 2,124
    It is usually .....

    good practice to get the moisture content down to 5% or lower. Install at 70F and make sure the floor temp design does not exceed 80F. One other thing is to make sure that tarpaper is not used under the wood, bad smells. Use red rosin paper instead.And watch those nails...kpc
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928
    Many type of maple...

    ...but you're likely talking about "hard" maple.

    Hard maple has one of the higher tangential shrinkage rates so, particularly if flat (plain) sawn, it is extremely important that it is very dry and well acclimated to the space. It has one of the lower radial shrinkage rates, so if quarter-sawn it is especially stable.

    IMO, 3"-4" is a bit wide for many species of strip flooring unless it is 1¼" thick or so. The wider the strips the fewer the joints but the more each will move with the seasons. The narrower the strips, the more the joints and the less you tend to notice their movement because the movement of a single strip will be less.
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928
    Some links for you...



    As you see, BOTH the Hardwood Flooring Council and Radiant Panel Association agree that radiant floor heat and hardwood floors are a very good match.

    But, it takes attention to detail both on the part of the heating contractor and the flooring contractor.

    Hopefully your heating firm can recommend a flooring firm with whom they are familiar--or vice-versa.

    What you DON'T want is one, the other or both being inexperienced (or not willing to learn and follow the rules) playing the "blame game" among one another with you caught in the middle.
  • lekpeter
    lekpeter Member Posts: 35
    wood flooring and radiant

    Thanks to all for the replies.

    I forgot to mention that it was hard maple and that it's a staple-up system. Unfortunately, the quartersawn maple is a real budget-buster. I'm planning on running 90F water and hoping for a surface temp of at least 85F. I might reconsider the narrower boards.

This discussion has been closed.