One of the nicest ways to enhance any kind of real or engineered wood flooring is to install underfloor heating, but before doing so, it’s important to understand the two main underfloor types of heating that are available.
Wet and Dry Underfloor Heating
A wet underfloor heating system sees a pipe being installed underneath a floor, and then warm water being pumped around the pipe, which heats the floor. These systems work with the central heating system of a home.
A dry underfloor heating system involves the installation of an electric heating cable under a floor. When electricity is turned on, the cable produces heat.
More about Wet Underfloor Heating
A wet underfloor heating system is best for new builds or where a new extension is being built. This is because wet underfloor heating needs to be embedded into a floor. As well, it may require an adjustment to floor height. As well, this type of underfloor heating may require maintenance like boiler services, depending on the heat source.
Small areas of flooring where wet heating is desired can be installed by tapping into a local radiator. Larger areas needing wet heating will benefit more from a standalone system, which may require a larger boiler than what is currently present.
More about Dry Underfloor Heating
The dry underfloor heating system is best when you wish to add it to an existing floor. As well, dry underfloor heating works well when installed for the purpose of providing additional heat when an existing heat source has reached its capacity because no upgrading of the boiler is necessary.
Dry underfloor heating does not rely on any other heating system in a home, such as wet systems do. Once this kind of underfloor heating has been installed, no further service or maintenance is necessary.
Considerations for installing Underfloor heating with Wood Floors
When thinking about installing underfloor heating for the wood flooring in your Bedford home, you must remember that the floor material will be in very close proximity to the source of heat. During colder months when more heating will be required, this means your floors will receive continual heat exposure, essentially becoming a huge radiator. This can cause your flooring to become dry.
A direct correlation exists between the temperature of the air, the moisture content of the air and the moisture content of your floor. The relative humidity of the air as well as its temperature will have an impact on your flooring, and when combined with the amount of heat or humidity generated by your underfloor heating, will impact it even further.
The relative humidity in any home where underfloor heating is being installed for wood floors should be no less than 40%, and no more than 60%. Moisture content in walls is another important consideration; this number shouldn’t be higher than 8%.
The general operating environment of any wet or dry heating system should be between 18 and 24°C. As well, the interior must be free of any ingression of moisture due to leaks in windows and other common causes.
When installing any kind of underfloor heating with wood floors, it’s critical to fully commission and pressure test before the actual floor is fitted. As well, a heating system must be calibrated with the purpose of restricting the floor temperature to 27°C maximum.
Any wooden flooring installed over underfloor heating is required to be kiln dried to between 6 and 8% by British Standards 8201:2011. This is because the moisture of a wooden floor will drop in certain conditions of humidity and air temperature, which can place it at risk of damage.
Any wooden flooring having over 8% moisture content that is installed over underfloor heating will require additional water to be introduced to prevent the floor from drying out. Humidifiers can help to regulate relative humidity.