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Heated Wooden Floors

Heated Wooden Floors

9/4/2006

This is a controversial subject in Australia today.

Why is it that our European counterparts consider this an essential part of their comfort criteria whilst we tend to shun it in Australia. Is it because we are in denial, or just behind the times? Old habits die-hard and this is an area that needs to be addressed.

Typical Case Study

Customer has sought reliable information regarding the installation of radiant floor heating for their proposed timber floor finish in their living area. They have decided in this instance to install a floating timber laminate. Their enthusiasm is suddenly dealt a blow. The laminate floor retailer has told them that the application of heat to the floor will void the warranty. What does the customer do with this dilemma? Go somewhere else, or give up with frustration and disappointment. A difficult answer to find...

There is an answer of course.

The industry needs educating and this will take time. Many of the laminate floors that are marketed in Australia come from Finland, Scandinavia and so on. The manufacturers of these imports endorse the use of certain engineered heating systems to enhance the comfort of their flooring products but the retail industry in Australia isn't aware of it at present. How backward are we? This problem isn't going to go away.

Heat Control

Let's take a closer look. Timber isn't as stable as concrete, it swells in high humidity and vice versa in dry weather. Moisture content variation in the timber is the reason for the inevitable movement. So if we add heat, won't this just make things worse? Yes, if the heat applied is allowed to exceed 27-28 degrees Celsius, damage to the moisture content can occur.

How can this be prevented?

Simple, a thermostat that reads and controls the heat source in the floor using a remote floor probe has to be used. This has a default maximum temperature setting of 28 degrees Celsius so that whatever the operator does; this maximum temperature cannot be exceeded. This protects the laminated floor and also the customers' warranty.

Whether it's a floating timber laminate, batten fixed or secret nailed tongue and grooved floor you are contemplating. There is a heating system to complement. Worth noting!