Parquet board for a warm water floor

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Own­ers of pri­vate hous­es, own­ers of coun­try guest cot­tages try not only to equip their homes with the most con­ve­nient and prac­ti­cal com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems, but also to cre­ate a high lev­el of com­fort inside their liv­ing quar­ters. For­tu­nate­ly, for this today there is a wide selec­tion of a wide vari­ety of build­ing fin­ish­ing mate­ri­als. Hav­ing an appro­pri­ate finan­cial base, it became pos­si­ble to cre­ate inte­ri­ors of any lev­el of com­plex­i­ty. For these pur­pos­es, both tra­di­tion­al and new, high-tech mate­ri­als can be used.

Despite the wide tech­no­log­i­cal pos­si­bil­i­ties, there are a num­ber of con­tro­ver­sial issues that have to be resolved on the go, while equip­ping your own home. You may also have such a prob­lem if you have an under­floor heat­ing sys­tem and want to have beau­ti­ful par­quet floors in your house. At first glance, the sit­u­a­tion does not look crit­i­cal. There is a warm water floor that heats your home, and there is a desire to make a floor cov­er­ing from par­quet. Take it and do it, but in prac­tice it is not so sim­ple. Let’s try to dis­as­sem­ble.

Is parquet compatible with warm water floors. What is the essence of the problem?

In the expert com­mu­ni­ty, there are ambigu­ous opin­ions about the use of par­quet boards in res­i­den­tial premis­es heat­ed with under­floor heat­ing. Can par­quet boards be used with under­floor heat­ing? Some argue that yes, you can. Oth­ers, on the con­trary, argue that a par­quet board is not suit­able in such a sit­u­a­tion. What is the essence of the prob­lem?

A water heat­ed floor designed for a par­quet board is an engi­neer­ing and tech­no­log­i­cal solu­tion that has the right to life. If you fol­low clear instruc­tions and do not devi­ate from the tech­nol­o­gy, par­quet can be used as a floor cov­er­ing. A house with par­quet floors looks rich and lux­u­ri­ous, and under­floor heat­ing adds the nec­es­sary com­fort and cozi­ness to the home­ly atmos­phere. This is one point of view.

On the oth­er hand, skep­tics argue that the par­quet board, due to its com­po­si­tion and tech­no­log­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics, is not suit­able as a fin­ish­ing coat­ing. Despite the pres­ence of con­flict­ing opin­ions, there are a num­ber of gen­er­al require­ments and nuances that must be tak­en into account in this case:

  • the floor sur­face should not be exces­sive­ly warm. Max­i­mum allow­able floor sur­face heat­ing tem­per­a­ture 260FROM;
  • the floor cov­er­ing should warm up even­ly, over the entire area of ​​​​the heat­ed room;
  • strin­gent require­ments for the choice of wood used for the man­u­fac­ture of par­quet boards.

For ref­er­ence: Each bar should be heat­ed equal­ly, no more, no less. For the man­u­fac­ture of par­quet boards, it is not rec­om­mend­ed to use maple and beech — wood species that do not like ther­mal expo­sure.

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In terms of uni­form heat­ing, the floor water cir­cuit is just able to give off heat to the floor cov­er­ing in equal pro­por­tions. If in the process of lay­ing a water pipe you have cho­sen the pipe pitch that is opti­mal­ly accept­able for this case.

If the step is not cho­sen cor­rect­ly, a tem­per­a­ture imbal­ance will occur. Some planks will heat up more while oth­ers will remain cold. Over time, such under­floor heat­ing will cause the par­quet floor to become uneven. One plank will dry out and deform, while the oth­er, on the con­trary, will remain in a nor­mal state. Hence the gaps between the indi­vid­ual planks, the unpleas­ant creak­ing of the floor sur­face. This, accord­ing to skep­tics, is the main obsta­cle to the instal­la­tion of par­quet in hous­es where heat­ed water floors are installed.

The pho­to shows a par­quet floor, which is laid on a heat­ing water cir­cuit in vio­la­tion of the tech­nol­o­gy.

The sight is unsight­ly. Instead of the expect­ed 30–50 years, your par­quet has fall­en into dis­re­pair already in the sec­ond, third year of ser­vice. This is in terms of prac­ti­cal­i­ty and aes­thet­ics.

The last argu­ment of crit­ics of the par­quet board used for under­floor heat­ing is the dif­fi­cul­ty of instal­la­tion. For par­quet, ply­wood is the basis, which in the usu­al ver­sion is sim­ply glued to a con­crete screed. For greater reli­a­bil­i­ty, the base is fixed with self-tap­ping screws. The larg­er the ply­wood sheet, the more holes you will have to make in the screed, screw­ing the base. Where is the guar­an­tee that your self-tap­ping screw will not enter the heat­ing cir­cuit pipe?

On a note: for those who nev­er­the­less decid­ed to make a warm floor with par­quet floor­ing in their house, it is rec­om­mend­ed to make an exact lay­out of the water pipes of the heat­ing sys­tem. As a result of this step, the risk of mount­ing fas­ten­ers get­ting into the body of the pipeline is min­i­mized.

Parquet board. Properties and characteristics

The par­quet board usu­al­ly con­tains formalde­hyde, a chem­i­cal com­pound that nor­mal­ly does not show aggres­sive­ness. How­ev­er, when wood is heat­ed, formalde­hyde is released into the air, becom­ing harm­ful to the human body. When oper­at­ing the water heat­ing cir­cuit at tem­per­a­tures up to 260C, formalde­hyde is not active. The slight­est excess of the spec­i­fied tem­per­a­ture becomes dan­ger­ous.

For ref­er­ence: formalde­hyde adverse­ly affects the state of the human body. Vapors of this com­pound are an irri­tant of the res­pi­ra­to­ry tract, becom­ing the cause of the devel­op­ment of severe res­pi­ra­to­ry dis­eases with pro­longed expo­sure. With con­stant inhala­tion of formalde­hyde vapors, a per­son feels weak­ness and malaise. It is not uncom­mon for res­i­dents of new hous­es with expen­sive fin­ish­es to expe­ri­ence dis­com­fort while at home. The rea­son for this con­di­tion may be a warm water floor, cov­ered with a par­quet board.

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In order to avoid unpleas­ant con­se­quences, when choos­ing a mate­r­i­al, you should care­ful­ly study its label­ing and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion data. On the par­quet board there should be indi­ca­tions for which type of floor heat­ing the mate­r­i­al is intend­ed for, for water heat­ed floors or for an elec­tri­cal sys­tem.

In accor­dance with Euro­pean safe­ty stan­dards, the per­mis­si­ble con­cen­tra­tion of formalde­hyde vapors in the air of res­i­den­tial premis­es is 1.2 mg/m3. If formalde­hyde con­tent is unavoid­able in a par­quet board, it is up to you to choose whether to use such mate­r­i­al for fin­ish­ing under­floor heat­ing or not.

There is no offi­cial ban on the use of fin­ish­ing mate­ri­als con­tain­ing formalde­hyde. There are mod­ern fin­ish­ing tech­nolo­gies, thanks to which the harm­ful effects of formalde­hyde can be min­i­mized. This state of affairs is also the case with par­quet boards.

For the man­u­fac­ture of par­quet boards today, almost all known types of wood are used, which have the appro­pri­ate tech­no­log­i­cal prop­er­ties. Oak, beech, ash are the most suit­able mate­ri­als. For par­quet, not only aes­thet­ic data are impor­tant, but also high per­for­mance prop­er­ties. We have already said that beech does not react well to heat­ing, so it is best to use oak par­quet for warm floors.

Installation of parquet boards on underfloor heating. What does it look like?

Hav­ing dealt with the mate­r­i­al, hav­ing decid­ed for your­self that your warm floor will have a beau­ti­ful and pre­sentable appear­ance, pro­ceed with the instal­la­tion.

Impor­tant! Before you start lay­ing par­quet boards, you should make sure that your floor­ing is designed for the pos­si­ble adjust­ment of the behav­ior of the wood. Such a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure is asso­ci­at­ed with the phys­i­cal prop­er­ties of wood coat­ings. Wood is sen­si­tive to any fluc­tu­a­tions in tem­per­a­ture and changes in humid­i­ty.

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To achieve the most accept­able result, refer to the expe­ri­ence of the Scan­di­na­vians. In these coun­tries, more than one gen­er­a­tion suc­cess­ful­ly com­bines heat­ing floors and par­quet floor­ing. Scan­di­na­vian tech­nol­o­gy is based on the method of fas­ten­ing wood­en planks with met­al sta­ples. The result is a sol­id wood­en sur­face, which does not need to be addi­tion­al­ly fixed to the base.

The met­al brack­ets that hold the indi­vid­ual planks allow the entire wood­en floor sur­face to respond nat­u­ral­ly to any change in phys­i­cal con­di­tions result­ing from changes in tem­per­a­ture and fluc­tu­a­tions in indoor humid­i­ty. This method of lay­ing par­quet floors is called float­ing lay­ing, which allows you not to wor­ry about the con­di­tion of your floor as a result of the heat­ing sys­tem.

The advan­tages of this tech­nol­o­gy include the fact that when work­ing with sta­ples, there is no need to use adhe­sives, primers and ply­wood as a base. It is enough to have a sub­strate, a par­quet board and the required num­ber of met­al brack­ets. The par­quet is laid on a con­crete screed, in which the heat­ing water cir­cuit already lies. Pay atten­tion to the thick­ness of the wood­en planks. It is bet­ter to opt for slats, the thick­ness of which does not exceed 15 mm.

On a note: the large thick­ness of the par­quet board is the rea­son for the high heat trans­fer coef­fi­cient of the floor cov­er­ing, which will inevitably lead to an increase in heat­ing costs.

To lay par­quet you will need:

  • par­quet board;
  • met­al sta­ples for par­quet planks;
  • set of tools.

Works are car­ried out on a ready-made con­crete screed, 30–70 mm thick, which has reached the required mat­u­ra­tion. Instal­la­tion of a con­crete screed under wood­en coat­ings is no dif­fer­ent from tra­di­tion­al tech­nol­o­gy. The main con­di­tion: a per­fect­ly flat sur­face.

Conclusion

Par­quet and warm water floors are a tech­nol­o­gy that has the right to exist. Sub­ject to the instruc­tions and the nec­es­sary tech­no­log­i­cal para­me­ters, it is pos­si­ble to make par­quet floor­ing on warm floors, achiev­ing good results. Today there are many suc­cess­ful exam­ples of suc­cess­ful prac­ti­cal imple­men­ta­tion of the com­bi­na­tion “warm water floors — par­quet”.

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