What can I do w/ this floor?

chris11895March 2, 2011


We are going to be moving in about a year and are trying to upgrade some features of our house which are less than desirable. One area is the kitchen floor. Our kitchen is rather open to the Family room where there are HW floors, yet the kitchen has radiant heat and super cheap stick on tiles, family room does not have radiant heat. There is also almost a 1" gap between the floor in the family room and the kitchen. If we weren't moving I'd pull up both floors and redo them, since the family room floor doesn't even match the wide pine in the rest of the house, but, we know we're moving. SO, my question is this: What should and can I do with these floors? Can you do hardwood over radiant heat? I would think you could rectify the level issue w/ padding your subflooring but will that have a negative impact on the heat? If I did tile I don't know if it will look weird because it's kind of a large area that would just end at hardwood and then you'd turn a corner and see yet a different type of floor. Not sure if that would draw attention to the issues. Anyhow, any and all ideas are welcome!

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You certainly can put radiant heat under hardwood. If you use the right materials, it works like a charm. Engineered wood might be a little more stable than 3/4" strip flooring if you have a lot of humidity and temperature swings. What tends to happen in those circumstances is that spaces can open between the strips of HW. I have never had such a problem but know people who have. I consider it due to improper installation.

Google pex radiant underfloor heating systems. The best systems have pex with aluminum heat spreader plates. The pex is eitehr embedded in plywood underlayment or between large pieces of underlayment.

It is definitely a job that a do-it-yourselfer can do, although I would have a plumber tie it into your existing system. BTW, if you have baseboard heaters instead of underfloor radiant heat currently, you will have to add a means to drop the temperature in the underfloor heaters to 140 or below from the 180 or so that is used in baseboard systems. There are ways to do this that are not very complex.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 7:43PM
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