Can I use Heated Floors with a Timber Floor Covering?

Having a heated floor with a timber floor covering is a great choice. However, there are rules you have to observe to make sure they work well together.

heated floor with timber flooring

Installing heated floors can provide many benefits over other heating methods such as:

  • Cheaper running costs
  • Improved energy efficiency
  • More comfortable warmth

Despite what many people believe, you can benefit from heated floors without compromising on the aesthetics of your home.

Using heated floors with timber flooring can actually be an ideal choice.  However, you should observe a few rules when choosing your wooden floor covering.  These will makes sure both your heated floor system and your floor covering work as best as they can.


How to Install Heated Floors with Hardwood Floors:

When installing underfloor heating with hardwood floors, there are certain things you ought to look for in the wooden floor covering options you consider:


1. Low moisture content:

The moisture content of the wood you choose for your floor is vitally important when installing it above a heated floor system. The timber floor’s moisture content should be between 6% – 9%.

This avoids the issues of shrinkage and expansion which can occur and also avoids the build up on condensation which can occur if the moisture content is too high.


2. Pre-finished boards:

Picking pre-finished boards when using underfloor heating avoids any movement of the boards as a result of the rising heat. The boards will not expand or contract as untreated boards might.



3. UHMA accreditation:

Wooden flooring accredited by the UHMA (Underfloor Heating Manufacturers’ Association) will be ideal for use with underfloor heating systems. Look out for manufacturers known to the organisation or even flooring recommended by it.


4. Guarantee:

Always be sure to pick flooring supplied with a manufacturer’s guarantee. Check that the guarantee is valid for floors used with underfloor heating.


5. Expertise:

A company that knows what it is doing is worth paying for. Any technical information or advice required should be supplied by a competent manufacturer, so try to find one whose knowledge of its own product is as detailed as you would expect.


6. Underfloor heating experience:

Companies whose floors have been used with underfloor heating before are likely to have a better understanding of the requirements of such a system and will therefore likely be able to provide more useful information.


Other factors to Consider:

The main issue with using timber with heated floor systems is that the floor can warp. This is why getting a timber of suitable moisture content is important. It might also be advisable to lay the wood loose to begin with.  This will allow it to acclimatise to the room.

Reclaimed wood can avoid these issues, as they will have had many more years’ worth of time to settle. This method selecting a timber floor is also much more environmentally friendly.


Image: Stone and Timber

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