Electric Systems for Wooden Floors
The most frequently used electric underfloor heating system installed with floating wooden flooring is our Foil Heater. Contact us for a more detailed breakdown of your floor heating options.
Foil Heater System
The Foil Heater system is an electric heating mat that offers quick installation beneath wood flooring and other floating floor types. Its foil-wrapped heating wires offer unparralled thermal conductivity into the wooden flooring, allowing rapid heat-up times and efficient and consistent heat distribution.
underfloor heating for wooden floors
Floor heating for wooden floor finishes is increasingly popular amongst homeowners. Warmup systems have been extensively researched and developed for use with a wide variety of wooden floor options. The key with radiant-based heating of wood flooring is the wood’s thermal conductivity; the thinner and denser the wood, the quicker the heat-up time and therefore, the more efficient the system. Using a Warmup Thermostat to control the underfloor heating system facilitates an optimum temperature output that never exceeds 81°F – warm enough to heat your home but not too hot that it may damage your wooden flooring.
When installing an underfloor heating system with a wooden floor, thermal conductivity is an important factor to think about. Ensure the wood is as dense as possible for greater thermal conductivity; the thinner and denser the wood, the quicker the heat-up time.
While there are no rules for the thickness of the wood you can use with underfloor heating, we recommend that wood thickness should be no more than 18mm as any thicker than this will hinder the efficient performance of the heating system.
Also, as wider boards will often show more “movement” than more narrow boards of the same material, we recommend that the ratio of thickness to width should be in the region of 7 to 11. A board with a thickness of 16mm and width of 160mm would give a ratio of 10, so that would be ideal.
Check with your wood flooring supplier to check for suitability of your chosen floor finish for use with underfloor heating.
Moisture Content of Wooden Floors
Wood is a natural material that absorbs humidity around it; meaning that the moisture content varies depending on the environment. If you were to lay wood flooring with high moisture content in a very dry house, the wood would dry which would cause shrinkage – opening up potential gaps. The floor could also become noisy with creaks as it pulls away from the subfloor.
Installing wood flooring in a house that was significantly more humid than the moisture content of the wood flooring finish means the flooring could expand and swell but underfloor heating does not affect humidity.
Speak with your flooring supplier to ensure that the wood flooring has the correct moisture content corresponding to the moisture content of the environment the flooring will be installed in.
A wooden floor should never be heated above 81°F and a Warmup Thermostat-controlled heating system will guarantee this.
Limits of Heat Transfer
When using the system with wood flooring, care should be taken to ensure effective performance of the system and we do not recommend installing a floor heater if the limits below are not met. This may hinder the performance of the system and result in the system not working as desired.
The figures below are for electric underfloor heating systems only. Water systems have a broader range of limits due to the variables of the specification.
Transfer of heat limits
• Tog: 1.5 (Unless otherwise stated)
• RSI: 0.15m² K/W (Unless otherwise stated)