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4 Things to Consider Before Installing Radiant Heat Under Hardwood Floors

Imagine stepping onto your hardwood floors and having them be pleasantly warm. Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to wear socks inside? Or if you didn’t have to continually adjust the thermostat?

Radiant heating is an attractive option for many reasons. It’s quiet, energy efficient, and can even lower your utility bills. It offers a more uniform air temperature, which means you won’t have to use your traditional heating as much. Your whole home will feel more comfortable, with fewer drafts and cold spots. And when your feet are warmer, the rest of your body will feel warmer as well.

There are many benefits, but unlike some improvements to a home, this is something that needs a bit of thought and planning before installation. Here are some things to ask yourself if you’re considering installing radiant heat under your hardwood floors.

Is radiant heating the right choice for me and my home?

4 Things to Consider Before Installing Radiant Heat Under Hardwood FloorsThe idea of having warm floors all the time is very appealing. But it’s a major decision. And if you’re installing it in an existing home, it might mean your floor is taken apart for days, if not weeks. Be sure this is something you can live with before you get started.

Radiant heating is an especially good choice for certain home layouts. Homes with high ceilings or large rooms can benefit a lot. Traditional heating methods end up wasting a lot of energy in these houses, inefficiently blasting hot air from just a few vents. Why waste so much energy and money heating the air near your ceiling?

Radiant heating solves this problem by working against how hot air naturally rises. It concentrates warm air consistently in the lower portion of your room—where you live.

Of course, any room can benefit from radiant heat, not just ones with high ceilings or large rooms.

Your personal tastes in flooring are also important when deciding if radiant heat is right for you. Note that you wouldn’t want to install heaters under carpeting, which already acts as an insulator. While possible, it’s a very inefficient combination. But other materials, such as hardwood, stone, and tile, work much better with radiant heat systems. These flooring materials aren’t naturally insulated and can get cold, especially in the winter. Adding radiant heat will make them comfortable to walk on year-round.

What is the cost?

Radiant heat used to be a luxury only found in the top homes, as it was often expensive. Luckily, technology has evolved so that systems are easy to install and within reach financially for many homeowners. Still, installation is an extra cost, so you have to consider if it’s worth it before going ahead with it.

If you’re putting in a new floor, the cost will vary depending on what material you go with. Engineered wood averages $3 to $13 per square foot, while hardwood goes for $5 to $14 per square foot. To add radiant heat under hardwood floors, add another $4 to $6 for every square foot of flooring. And don’t forget to include labor costs from the company installing the floor and system. This will, of course, vary from company to company; at companies like Wall 2 Wall Hardwoods, you can contact them for an estimate.

To be assured of a good finished product, going with a reputable, experienced professional is your best option and worth the cost. They can help you assess your home and give you their advice on everything from materials to the best heating systems.

Will the type of hardwood I love work with radiant heating?

Do you have your heart set on a certain type of hardwood? Do you want to keep your current hardwood floor? Or are you currently looking at flooring samples and need help choosing?

No matter where you are in the process, know that while many hardwoods can work with radiant heat, there are types that you should avoid. So be sure to consider the wood you are using carefully.

Some woods, such as maple and pine, are more sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity levels. They are more likely to expand and contract according to changes in their environment. While these woods can work in some homes, they don’t work well when you add dry heat under the floor. When wood dries out, problems can occur over time, such as gaps between the boards. You chose hardwood floors because they are a beautiful and elegant addition to your home. You want them to last as long as possible.

So what should you choose?

Many woods are stable under fluctuating conditions, especially engineered hardwoods. A professional flooring technician is a great resource if you have questions, and they can recommend types of wood that work well with floor heating systems.

There are also ways that both you and your flooring expert can ensure your floor and your new heating system will work well together well into the future. Your technician can use methods such as installing a floating floor, which puts a little space between the wood and the heat. Your floor can also be held together with interlocking planks (rather than glue or nails) to allow you to more easily fix problems if they occur.

Once your floor is in, you can do your part to maintain it. Don’t let your floor heater exceed certain temperatures and monitor humidity levels to prevent the wood from drying out.

Should I retrofit or invest in updating my whole floor?

You’re in luck if you’re in the process of building your home right now or you’re updating your floor. It is easier to place radiant heat under your hardwood floor while it’s being installed. But don’t think that means you’re out of luck if you want to keep your current wood floors.

There are several different methods used to install floor heaters. They can be embedded into concrete and turned into an additional layer under your flooring. This works well for homes that are just being built.

Heating systems can also be installed dry, without having to pour another layer of concrete, which works if you want to keep the wood floor you already have.

Are you thinking about installing radiant heat under very old flooring? You may run into some issues. Your floors might be a type of wood that doesn’t work well with heating, or they might have warped or developed gaps between the boards over years of use. Definitely talk with a professional if you have your heart set on having both your old wood floors and radiant heating.

Think radiant heating is for you? Take the first step and come talk with a flooring consultant at Wall 2 Wall Hardwoods today.

5 Reasons To Install Hardwood Floors This Year

You love the carpet in your home, of course. After all, it’s been there since you got the place and you’ve already sunk countless hours of time into maintaining it; not to mention the money on cleaning products and maybe even replacement carpets. If you have pets in your home, then that cost was likely even higher. But if you are truly happy with your carpet, then perhaps all that time and money is worth it. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for an upgrade, perhaps it’s time to consider making the switch to hardwood floors.

Known for their durability, versatility, and timeless elegance, wood floors will change your home, and your life, for the better. Wall2Wall Hardwoods can provide that benefit for you if you’re ready to make the change.

Here are our top 5 reasons to install hardwood floors this year:

1. Hardwood Floors Can Last For a Very Long Time

When it comes to homebuilding, wood is one of the most versatile and durable materials you can use. When used for your floors, hardwood might just be the best material you can get. After all, your floor gets a great deal of use as it’s constantly being stepped on. It deals with heat during the summer and cold during the winter. It has to absorb spills and have heavy furniture placed upon it. Over the years, all of this can extract a heavy toll from even the hardiest floors.5 Reasons To Install Hardwood Floors This Year

Hardwood, however, can take it. It is actually extremely difficult to damage a hardwood floor; though, of course, it’s not impossible, and even hardwood floors can become damaged under adverse conditions. However, even if a hardwood floor is damaged, repairs are usually easy if you have a reputable wood reconstruction service on your side. A company like Wall2Wall can easily repair or replace a damaged portion of your floor without having to rip out and replace the whole thing. Often, that isn’t the case with carpets or other types of lower cost flooring.

2. Wood Floors Bring Health Benefits

Soon after you install the hardwood floors in your home, you may start to notice a variety of health benefits tied to the cleaner air. Other types of flooring, especially carpets, have a tendency to trap odors, pet dander, pollen, smoke, and other pollutants. Over time, these impurities can reenter the air inside your home and contribute to allergies and asthma, as well as being a cause of colds and other illnesses.

Once you install a wood floor, there will be no place for dust particles, dander, pollen, or germs to hide. As a result, the air quality in your home will immediately improve; this is especially true if you have pets. Cats and dogs constantly shed fur, which can quickly get lost inside of the fibers of a carpet; with a hardwood floor, you can just vacuum it right up.

3. Hardwood Flooring Equals Easy Cleaning

Speaking of vacuuming, that brings us to another wonderful advantage of hardwood floors: they’re phenomenally easy to clean. Of course, when you’re cleaning carpets, you’ll have to vacuum them several times a week and still may not get all of the toxins, pollutants, and irritants out. Occasionally, you’ll probably have to get a professional in to shampoo your carpet and every few years or so you’ll have to replace the carpet completely.

Cleaning a wood floor is nowhere near that complicated; all you have to do is grab a broom every once in a while and in a few minutes, your floor will be sparkling clean. To lengthen the life of your floor, you’ll occasionally need to pick up a wood floor cleaner and perform a more in-depth cleaning. Do this regularly and you’ll never need to have an expensive professional cleaning as you might with carpet.

4. You’ll Save Money With Hardwood Floors

One of the biggest concerns homeowners have when it comes to hardwood floors is the initial upfront cost. While it’s true that when you initially install hardwood floors they can be a little on the pricey end, but over the years you’ll actually save a bundle.

Think about it: if you head to a company like Wall2Wall Hardwoods, you’ll pay the cost of installation – which may not be as much as you expect – and then reap the benefits for years to come. As we have pointed out, hardwood floors are known for their extreme durability. They require minimal maintenance and only need to be replaced after generations of use. What will cost more, installing one hardwood floor every thirty years or new carpet every three to five years?

5. You May Even Make Money

Another great benefit of hardwood floors: they’ll actually boost the value of your home. There are many reasons for this; far too many to list here. But to name a few, hardwood floors actually improve the acoustics of your home; they’ll make for a quieter home with a great home theater. They don’t develop a smell over time in the way carpets do. They’re a sustainable resource, being made from wood, and therefore have an environmental benefit.

But, when it comes to boosting the value of your home, perhaps the greatest benefit is style. The reality is that the majority of flooring options have a tendency to go out of style after a scant few years. Carpet and tile come with manmade patterns which may appear to be trendy when you buy them, but when the time comes to sell the house, they’ll look drab and out of date. They can easily drag down the value of an otherwise terrific home.

Hardwood floors are exactly the opposite: they have a timeless appearance and a beauty that won’t fade fast. Hardwood floors have brought elegance to homes for centuries and there’s no sign they’ll go out of style anytime soon.

Loving Wall-2-Wall Hardwoods!

What can’t we say! These guys are the BEST! Flexible schedule, super kind, and best of all, quality work.

Thanks to John and Charles for being really flexible and giving us the best addition to our awesome remodel.  They gave us fir floors, stairs, trim and a Swedish finish to die for!

Fir is soft, but, for us, it symbolizes the PacNW.  They are warm and support us well :)

The Fletchers

hardwood floor restoration 

Let us show you how hardwood floor restoration and change your home.