My husband, who is a plumber, says that using radiant heat under hardwood is terribly inefficient. He says you will have a lovely warm space between the joists and very little heat above because the heat has to go through ( in our case) 2 layers of subfloor, and a layer of hardwood. We will have radiant heat in the concrete basement floor and on the main floor we have opted to go with the old fashioned column radiators and a soapstone wood stove.
I must say that I completely disagree. I used radiant heat throughout my two story home and have been completely satisfied with it's warmth and efficiency. First of all, by choosing to install a radient system at time of construction, it allowed me to design eight zones that give me total control of all spaces. I chose to install the radient system under the subfloor of all areas on my main floor that have hardwood or tile. Anywhere else, including the second floor areas, I went with radient baseboard. To answer the initial question, there has been no warping of the wood. Radient heat, especially under the tile and wood floors, does gently warm the floor area turning it into a complete source of heat that then warms the room itself. Anyone familiar with radient heat knows that it will warm the air, the objects in the room and the logs themselves (taking full advantage of the log thermal mass). There is no loss of heat with it rising up to the ceiling as in other heating choices. This was one of the primary reason I would only use radient heat in the design of my home due to the openess and grand scale of the rooms as well as the height of the cathedral ceilings. Having lived in homes with radiators, hot water baseboard, electric baseboard heat and forced warm air. Radient is my clear choice for heating.
My wife and I have installed radient heat in our basement slab and we plan on installing it in the floor joists for the main floor as well. We will have hardwood, tile, and carpeting in different areas of our main floor. I'm glad to know that it won't be a problem. Thanks for your input. Dave
I have radiant heat under an engineered hardwood floor and it works well, better than under my tiled floors (engineered wood is thinner than tile), but the places that have a large area rug get little heat. Last year I rolled up the rug, but it was quite a chore moving the furniture. Also, I'm afraid to get a dog for fear of it scratching up the engineered floor. Good luck with your decision.
Anthony, we did this in our new log home here in NC. The person placing the floor was aware of our radiant heat system/Central Boiler, and said "no problem". We have not needed heat, as yet, but "stay tuned" Pat
Well, we're in the midst of doing just that...hardwood/engineered/laminate over the radiant heating tubes/gypsum we have down. The main thing, unless you paid extra to have sufficient wood integrated with your tubing (wouldn't suggest doing that anyway) is that you have to float the floor...no nailing or gluing.
Also, we're in Colorado, so we'll try to keep the humidity up in the winter, but feel the floating floors movement will save a lot of the problems. We've seen solid wood that has grooves on the bottom side and you can clip together using those grooves to have a solid wood floor floating.
Used radient heat tubing on top (or inserted into the subfloor), underneath the finished floor (not on the basement ceiling, between the floor joists). Floors are soft white pine planks that I had milled on the property. Floor was glued and faced nailed for a rustic look. It's been five years and no warping or separation. Radient heat system "Viega"
I have poured gypsum over the radiant tubes and that is my floor surface, and you're saying that you can "glue" to the surface (the gypsum) along with nailing the floor boards together? I know I cannot nail down the boards as I could easily hit the radiant tubes...not a good thing. Does the gypsum surface have to be fairly flat and smooth for the glue you used to work? What type of glue was used and what was your surface?