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Electric Underfloor Heating Under Wooden Floors

Posted 11 Mar 2016

Wood is slowing overtaking tiles as the most popular floor covering used with underfloor heating. When selecting your floor finish for your electric underfloor heating there are 9 key points to always take into consideration. Rayotec offers an advanced, German-engineered electric underfloor heating mat that is specially designed to work under a floating wooden floor.  

9 Key points to safely using electric underfloor heating under wood floors

(1)    Moisture content

This is mainly an issue with solid wooden floors but it is important that the moisture content of the floor is kept at 8% or less to avoid warping. Check with the manufacturers upon ordering and make sure that the wood in transported and stored in a dry environment

(2)    Thickness of wood flooring

Wood in not a great conductor of heat so the thinner it is the higher the output of the system and the faster the warm up time. The maximum recommended thickness is about 18mm (thicker floors are possible but at a lower output).

(3)    Floating floor

Obviously you can’t nail a wooden floor down if you an electric underfloor heating mat underneath. All floors must be floating. It is possible to stick down wooden floors but you need a different mat. Call the office for more details.

(4)    Wooden floor underlay it is possible to use a specialist wooden floor underlay over the electric underfloor heating mat but make sure it’s thin and is not the foil reflective type.

(5)    Maximum floor temperature

Wooden floors should never get above 27C. The room thermostats should have a floor probes which will automatically shut of the underfloor heating if the floors get above this temperature. All of Rayotec’s thermostats have floor probes to protect the flooring.

(6)    Let your flooring acclimatise
Palziv insulation

After you have installed the wooden flooring do not turn on the underfloor heating until the flooring has acclimatised. The length of time depends on the thickness of wood but it is typically 7-14 days.

(7)    Expansion gap

An expansion gap should always be left around the flooring. This is typically between 10-30mm (ask your flooring supplier for more details).

(8)    Earthed system

All of Rayotec’s electric underfloor heating mats are earthed.

(9)    Insulation

Insulation reduces warm up time and running costs and protects the matting. Rayotec supply the advanced Palziv system that not only has fantastic insulation properties but is also much easier and faster to install when compared to traditional foam boards. 

What is the best flooring for electric underfloor heating

Electric underfloor heating under laminate floors

Laminate flooring is the best to install over electric underfloor heating. As it is thin (about 7mm typically) the heat travels through it very easily giving you a good output and fast warm uptime. Laminate generally copes well with changes of temperatures and doesn’t warp easily.

Electric underfloor heating under engineered board

Engineered boards are also very good with under floor heating. They range in thicknesses but generally the thinner the better. A typical thickness of 14mm would be perfect but up to 18mm in possible although with a slightly reduced output. Engineered boards are designed not to warp easily which is also a big benefit.

Electric underfloor heating under solid wooden floors

Solid wooden floors are not a problem as long as you ensure that the moisture content is 8% or lower and the wood ideally 18mm think or less. Always check with your flooringn company for suitability before ordering.

The Rayotec Underfloor floor heating system – Rayoflex

Rayotec sell the advanced German engineered Rayoflex mat. This is a fully earthed mat with an output of 150W/m2 that is incredibly easy to install. In fact two competent people can lay over 100m2 of Palziv insulation and Rayotec flex electric underfloor matting in a day! The mats range in size from 1m2 to 10m2 and multiple mats can be used to heat one room.

Visit our online shop for heating mats suitable for under wooden floors

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