Engineered Hardwood floors?? Pro/Cons??

twingleSeptember 3, 2011

I am starting a renovation project and I want to get rid of my ceramic tile floor. Its ugly and covers 80% of my 1st floor including kitchen. I would love wood floors but I'd also like radiant heating which can only go under engineered hardwood. Any thoughts??? My kitchen is very large and has 2 couches , large screen TV and a firplace. More a great room I guess. But we spend the majority of our time in here. Right now the room and especially floor can get really cold. My husband likes to lay on the floor to watch TV or play video games with the kids. Thanks!

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Floortech

Here you go! I (we) as a company research this more than you can ever imagine. There are a lot of know it alls regarding this, but I am here to tell you that each manufacturer takes a different stand on this. Exotics are basically out. I would recommend a locking floating styled engineered and you must must must must do your research as to which brand and species in that brand will work with the type of radiant heat you are using. Radiant heat zaps out the moisture in wood causing gigantic contraction of the wood in the heating months. You must maintain some humidity in the air. This does not mean you can not, but please do your due diligence in choosing a store to purchase it from and you must deal with an expert who will give you in writing specifications on the product you are buying that it will work with radiant heat. Engineered wood is much structurally stable than solids, thus why it is more conducive to radiant heating. Laminate flooring is always a safer bet, but you do concede some realism with the product, but will not show abrasions in an active household like real wood will. Much to consider and do some darn good research and work with an independent flooring store that has an expert working inside the walls. Then you will be happy when it is all said and done. Do not trust an installer for advice as most are not schooled well enough on the technical aspects. Ask an expert, then give the installation instructions to the installer or just keep the selling store on the hook for all of it. Words to the wise. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 12:04AM
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inspector

Twingle here are some important things to consider.

1. Use a narrower product as they expand/contract less. 2 1/4" or 3 1/4" preferred.

2. Some species are much better suited for radiant heat. Rift & Quartered white oak is recommended as is walnut, American Cherry or red oak. Stay away from Hickory, Maple, or exotics species.

3. Radiant heat is a very comfortable way to heat a home but you have to keep in mind it also reduces humidity particularly at floor level. If you don't have a central forced air system that has humidity control you'll need to consider using humidifiers in the winter if your RH drops below 30%. This also means you'll need a hygrometer to measure the relative humidity in the home so you know if its getting dry. Most good companies will provide you with this when they sell you the floor.

Sam @ Real Wood Floors

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 12:32PM
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