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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.