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best floor with radiant heating
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coldplay702
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Joined: July 2008
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Posted: August 1, 2008 2:11 AM

What is the best type of flooring to use with radiant heating on a ground level home? I was thinking something more unique than hardwood like bamboo or cork, but am open to any suggestions.
MrsKosha
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Posted: August 1, 2008 1:23 PM

RE: best floor with radiant heating
Bamboo and cork are both great choices for your home and can be used over radiant heat as long as the manufacturer recommends it. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
MrsKosha
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Posted: August 1, 2008 8:48 PM

RE: best floor with radiant heating
I would prefer strand woven bamboo as it is eco-friendly (when produced and constructed responsibly), and is the most structurally sound construction of bamboo. Cork is a great choice as well as it comfortable underfoot.
stevegetsiv
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Joined: February 2009
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Portland, OR
Posted: February 8, 2009 6:47 PM

RE: best floor with radiant heating
I realize there haven't been any posts on this topic for a while, but it is an important subject. My company has plenty of experience with supplying solid exotic woods for radiant heat. We commonly recommend 2-1/4" and 3" in Jatoba / Brazilian Cherry, Ipe, and TigerWood.

Sometimes, it is possible to find solid wood material that is selected for grain orientation. Solid wood generally expands and contracts by a factor of 2:1, comparing tangential to radial grain orientation.  Imagine looking at the end of the log and seeing the concentric growth rings. Tangential is along the growth rings and radial is from the very center of the tree to the outside.

Because solid wood will expand twice as much tangentially, if you can orient all the growth ring vertically, the material will be more stable in width - and that's what you want when dealing with radiant heat. The industry terms for this type of grain selection is quarter sawn, straight grain or vertical grain.

There are some resources on the web that list the tangential and radial expansion percentages for many species. You can check out my site at www.novausawood.com for more info.

I hope you find this information helpful. Steve
MrsKosha
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Joined: August 2008
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Posted: February 9, 2009 1:09 AM

RE: best floor with radiant heating
Lot's of great info.  Thanks Steve! FindAnyFloor will actually be adding a section on radiant heating soon. 
stevegetsiv
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Joined: February 2009
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Portland, OR
Posted: February 9, 2009 3:01 PM

RE: best floor with radiant heating
Below are listed a select group of flooring species along with the radial shrinkage percentage from green to dry:

 

Acacia 3.1 %

Amendoim/Ybyarro 4.6 %

American Walnut 5.5 %

Andiroba, Royal Mahogany 3.1 %

Angelim Pedra 4.4 %

Birch 6.5 %

Bloodwood 4 %

Cambara 4.2 %

Cherry 3.7 %

Cumaru 5.4 %

Curupau 4.8 %

Cypress 4 %

Dark Cumaru 5.4 %

Dark Ipe 6.6 %

Dark Red Meranti 3.4 %

Douglas Fir 4.8 %

Eucalyptus 4.6 %

Garapa 6.5 %

Guajara / Moabi 5.9 %

Ipe 6.6 %

Jatoba 4.8 %

Kempas 6 %

Lapacho 6.6 %

Maple 4.8 %

Massaranduba 6.3 %

Purpleheart 3.2 %

Red Oak 4 %

Santos Mahogany 4.2 %

Sucupira 4 %

Tiete Rosewood 4 %

TigerWood 4 %

Walnut 5.5 %

Western Red Cedar 2.4 %

White Oak 5.6 %

The lower the percentage, the more stable the floor. Thanks.
Steve
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