Radiant Heat for Hardwood and Laminate Flooring

The Ins and Outs of Electric Radiant Heat for Hardwood and Laminate Flooring

The growing trend in wood and laminate flooring installation is radiant heat. Affordable, efficient and comfortable, radiant heated floors are a welcome way to spend the winter months, and roll up your area rugs too. If you’re looking to heat hardwood or laminate flooring, or add some warmth to your existing wood floors, be prepared to do a little homework.

Heated hardwood floor

Find the right flooring for the job. Wood and laminate flooring can be safely installed over radiant heat, as long as you are careful to choose suitable products. It’s not the heat produced by the radiant heat source that’s a concern. It’s the humidity in your home. All wood products expand and contract with humidity, and over time, this process can create gaps between your floor boards. Unsuitable materials or a poorly constructed floor greatly accelerates damage caused by humidity over time.

Styles of wood flooring that are best for radiant heat installation include:

  • Laminated wood flooring
  • Floating floors, laminated/engineered or solid wood floors
  • Certain species of wood including American Cherry, American Walnut, Mesquite and Teak
  • Quarter sawn or rift sawn wood flooring

Some types of wood floors make better candidates for radiant heat than others, so it’s best to go with the manufacturer’s recommendation for suitable types of wood over radiant heat. Quarter sawn or rift-sawn flooring is more dimensionally stable than plain sawn wood flooring. Strip flooring is also a better choice than plank flooring, because narrow boards expand and contract less (take up more movement) than wide boards do. Because of its inherent dimensional stability, laminated wood is also a great choice for radiant heated floors.

Once you’ve chosen the right flooring, it’s important to partner with a reliable radiant heat solutions provider, like Warmzone, to help you choose and install an electric radiant floor heating system under your wood or laminate flooring. At Warmzone, you’ll benefit from an impressive selection of radiant heat products designed specifically for your hardwood or laminate flooring.

Placing heat cable in the grooves of a HeatShield floor heating insulation panel

For new floors, Warmzone HeatShield floor heating insulation panels are a practical radiant heating solution for hardwood and laminate flooring. Installation is simple. There’s no need to embed the heating cables in a mud base. Once you lay the insulation panels on the existing floor, simply press heating cables into the grooves provided, lay the wooden laminate floor directly on top, connect the thermostat and turn on the heat.

Made of a ½-inch thick polystyrene insulation covered with a thin, specifically profiled aluminum, HeatShield is designed for excellent downward insulation, and efficiently directs heat upward for the best heat distribution to significantly lower energy consumption. The efficiency of the panels also reduces your floor heating systems operation time, saving you money.

For new or existing floors, self-regulating Warmzone FloorHeat is a unique, low-voltage heating element perfect for installation under hardwood and laminate flooring. This radiant heat system uses a self-regulating semi-conductive polyethylene heating element, and is ideal for both new construction and retrofit applications alike. It is also very thin, making it a great option for installation under laminate and wood, without additional floor build up. A safe low-voltage product, FloorHeat can also be nailed through without damaging the heating element. This flexibility makes FloorHeat a good choice for retrofitting existing floors.

If you can access your floor joists from below, you’re also a perfect candidate for the Warmzone RetroHeat floor heating system. The RetroHeat heating element is easy to install so it makes a great do-it-yourself project.  The two most highly recommended options for floors are RetroHeat and FloorHeat. Both systems are very affordable, and allow you to install radiant heat to your existing floors without extensive floor tear ups or remodeling.

To learn more about the ins and outs of electric radiant heat for your hardwood or laminate floors, be sure to contact Warmzone at 888.488.9276.

Maximize the Performance of Your Radiant Floor Heating System

Maximize Your In-slab Radiant Heat System Performance with Ground Insulation
If you’ve decided on an in-slab radiant heat solution for your floors, consider Warmzone’s state-of-the-art insulation technology. It’s optimized specifically for ground, slab and in-slab radiant heating system applications to give you the best overall performance. Top quality ground insulation features a unique, lightweight, durable design that integrates closed cell foam and an aluminum reflective technology with a protective poly-coating into three thin layers. This innovative combination of layers and reflective material enables the insulation to control all three modes of heat transfer (conduction, convection and radiation) more efficiently than traditional insulation, optimizing the overall performance of your radiant floor heating system.

Extremely Efficient
Warmzone ground insulation reflects up to 97 percent of the radiant heat that might otherwise be lost below the slab, transferring it up through your floors and back into the living areas of your home, where it belongs. Foam board (a more traditional ground insulation material) is only 30 percent effective at managing radiant heat flow. So by working with Warmzone for your ground insulation needs on your next in-slab radiant heat application, you stand to save 67 percent of heat lost by traditional mass insulation over time. And the reflective properties of quality ground insulation from Warmzone also make for faster and more consistent response times over foam board and other insulation materials. Simply put, less heat loss means your in-slab radiant heat system can respond more quickly, efficiently and accurately to sudden shifts in temperature, resulting in greater comfort and lower operating costs.

Environmentally Friendly
One of the biggest benefits of choosing Warmzone ground insulation is the positive environmental impact it will have on your home’s air quality, comfort and safety. Warmzone offers ground insulation with a durable cross woven polyethylene shell that is puncture, tear, impact and snag resistant, impermeable to water – as well as mold and mildew resistant. Acting as a vapor barrier, the ground insulation also helps prevent radon gas infiltration into your home, so you can relax knowing your personal living space is safe, comfortable and warm. A polyethylene coating makes the ground insulation rugged enough to withstand construction traffic, and able to maintain its integrity during installation.

Cost Effective and Easy to Install
Warmzone offers a state-of-the-art ground insulation product that is very cost-effective because takes less than half the time of conventional ground insulation to install. Unlike other rigid, less effective in-slab insulation products, Warmzone ground insulation does not require any special installation preparations. There’s no lowering and leveling of the subsoil surface required, reducing the time and labor demands that come with ground insulation preparations, saving you money on your radiant heat system installation. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you’ll find the light weight rolls of Warmzone’s ground insulation to be easy to handle. One of the top solutions is available in four sizes—6’ x 25”, 6’ x 50”, 12’ x 25” and 12’ x 50”, and the rolls can be carried and installed by one person. And it’s just as easy to install around plumbing and other fixtures. Simply cut an “X” in the insulation and slide it over the top of the pipe or fixture you’re working around.

One-Stop-Shopping at Warmzone
Whether you’re working with a reputable contractor or you’re a savvy do-it-yourselfer, Warmzone is a great resource for products, radiant heat system design and installation support. Contact Warmzone at 888.488.9276 to find out more about ground insulation and radiant floor heating.

Time to Treat Your Toes Tenderly with Radiant Heated Floors

Radiant Heat Soothes and Comforts Feet

It’s true, radiant heat soothes and comforts feet but here’s the not-so-secret secret . . . it also radiates heat to every object of the room. Starting with the floor, radiant floor heating works subtly to produce an even warmth that envelops the entire room. You’ll feel it tenderly caress your toes and you’ll smile as you walk from each formerly cold surface, soaking in the inviting heat cast from the radiant heat cables working seamlessly below. Radiant heat radiates from your toes all the way to the soft tips of your ears.

Dad and baby on heated floor

The heat slowly warms your whole space and you find it tugging at the sides of your mouth, forming a happy grin and thoughts such as “why didn’t I install heated floors years ago? How do people enjoy their tile floors without radiant heated floors? What if I had to wake up tomorrow without the soothing comfort of radiant heat?”

Lucky for you if you are already a happy customer enjoying the benefits of radiant heat. Lucky because you’ll never have to ask those questions. Radiant heated floors are gaining popularity and are cropping up in most homes these days. If your home has hardwood floors or a tiled kitchen or entryway you’re an excellent candidate for radiant floor heating. These otherwise cooler surfaces take on the radiant heat produced beneath them and start to boast a consistent, calming warmth that tickles your toes tenderly with warmth.