Is your kitchen dark and gloomy? Do you find it difficult to locate the things that you need to cook, bake or serve meals? If you are unhappy with the look or layout of your kitchen, a kitchen renovation is in order. One of the best decisions I have ever made was hiring a remodeling contractor to assist me with the renovation of my kitchen. This contractor had some great ideas for storage, organization and layout that I never would have thought of. If you are considering renovation work in your home, this blog can help you find ways that a remodeling contractor can help you make the most of the project.
Radiant heat systems use a series of water-filled plastic pipes to transport heat energy through the homes. These pipes are concealed beneath floor finishes, where they provide efficient, moist heat that radiates upward to warm the entire house. While some homeowners have concerns about installing hardwood flooring over a radiant heat system due to the risk of heat or moisture-related damage, it is possible to install wood floors over radiant heat in a way that minimizes the risk of cupping, bowing and other signs of damage. Always choose a skilled installer for complex projects like these, and choose flooring capable of holding up to changes in temperature and humidity. Check out these tips to select hardwood that will work well with radiant heat for many years to come.
Engineered wood floors have always been the optimal choice for applications where moisture might be a problem, such as basements or other ground-level installations. The plywood backing in engineered wood planks gives it tremendous dimensional stability, which means it will naturally resist twisting, warping, cupping and other changes that occur when wood is exposed to heat and moisture. Engineered wood floors are often designed for a floating installation, which is an ideal option for floors with radiant heat. These floating floors move as a single unit, which means much greater resistance to damage than a glued or nailed down floor.
While engineered flooring is a top pick for radiant heat, you can also choose a solid hardwood if you pick a species with natural resistance to heat and moisture. Consider stable species like American cherry, walnut, teak or mesquite. Avoid wood species known for instability, including beech, Australian cypress, and bamboo -- as well as soft woods like pine and maple.
Stick to Narrow
Wood flooring planks come in many different widths, from those measuring just a couple of inches to boards that are a foot wide or more. In general, the narrower the planks you pick, the less likely they are to cup or bow when installed over radiant heat.
Those fantastic grain patterns you see when you look at hardwood floor are largely the result on the way the wood was cut at the factory. Simply changing the angle that the wood is placed against the saw makes a big difference to the look of the finished product. This cut also has a significant impact on stability. When installing wood over radiant heat, always go for quartersawn wood -- the grain will run across the width of the board when you're looking at the ends, so that the grains extend from tongue to groove. Avoid rift sawn wood, which has grains that run from the top of the board to the bottom when you're looking at the end of the board, because this cut is less likely to resist damage over time.
Visit a local flooring showroom, like Westwood Flooring, to see the options available.