Wood is a healthy solution for heated flooring. Naturally insulating, this material prevents direct contact with the heat emitted by the heat radiating panels, thus greatly improving home comfort (the heat is constantly and “gently” distributed) and ensuring a relatively more suitable level of atmospheric heat.
Certain measures are, however, essential at the design stage.
Provided that the heating system has been installed in a workmanlike manner and that the heating pipes in the floor are covered by 3 cm cement screed, before laying the wood floor it is essential to run the heating system, gradually increasing the water temperature until the ambient temperature reaches approx. 20-25° and maintaining it for about 15 consecutive days. After this gradually reduce the temperature over the next 7 days and then switch off.
With a screed more than 5 cm deep, it is advisable to repeat the above procedure a second time.
The floor should be laid with a bonding system using adhesive, avoiding any air pockets between the screed and the floor boards, since they reduce the efficiency of heat transfer. The wood elements must be fully bonded to the substrate.
A floating floor should be laid over a suitable mat/membrane that transmits heat.
Generally speaking, we recommend laying a well-structured wood floor that can guarantee in the future flexibility due to the natural movements of the wood on the heated flooring. Remember that wood, despite being a natural insulating material, transmits heat evenly, avoiding a direct transmission, which can be uncomfortable for the human body, especially in long stay locations. Furthermore, wood in spring and fall, when the underfloor heating is switched off, can give you warmth and comfort, contrary to the ceramic, marble, cotto tile or tile, which stays cold!!
Ever more frequently, wood floor is being used for underfloor heating, because it reduces the direct warmth from the heat radiating panels and distributes it for the comfort of those who live there. Not all types of wood can be laid over underfloor heating systems: it is not recommended to use particularly hygroscopic wood species, such as Beech, Wenge, Afromosia, Maple, Larch and Fir. The relevant information on each wood is given in the documents provided to our dealers.
A good stability of the planks, the wood and the finishing, can be maintained with a controlled ambient relative humidity (A.R.H.) at 45% - 65% and with a room temperature of between 16° C and 22° C.
All houses built today are extremely well insulated; while in the past there were problems of moisture infiltrations, now it is quite the opposite. But be careful, because too much insulation, together with steady temperatures of over 20° C, during the drier winter months (November-March), can remove the moisture from the air in the home, to the point where it drops below the basic minimum values for a good ambient balance (45% A.R.H.); with the result that everything in the house becomes dry, dehydrated and starts to suffer, mainly the natural components such as greenery or wood, and consequently furniture, decor accessories, floorings, coverings and, not least, the health of the people who live there, increasing dust transmission, dryness of nasal mucous and the airways, as well as the electrostatic field and thereby general wellbeing.
Also apartment blocks with central heating (not underfloor heating), or homes in which it is difficult to control the heating temperature, during the winter months can encounter these kind of problems. That is why it is good, in the winter months, to use humidifiers with a hygrometer, to control the ambient humidity, which should be between 45% and 65%.
Please note that excessive dehydration of the wood (due to heat transfer or high temperature heating) can cause cracks on the surface of the wooden planks (of any wood species). To avoid this excessive wood dehydration, you simply need to balance the environment with air humidity. The good norm is considered to be an ambient humidity between 45% and 65%, and these values can be maintained by humidifiers or humidity regulators.