WOOD AND FLOOR HEATING? WHY NOT?
HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT DIRECTION FOR LAYING DOWN THE PLANKS AND HOW TO DILATE?
HOW AND WHEN TO DILATE?
WHY A WOODEN FLOOR
WHAT ARE THE CHANGES IN DIMENSIONS OF A WOODEN FLOOR?
OAK FLOOR WITHOUT KNOTS OR WITH KNOTS?
MASSIVE OR MULTILAYER OAK FLOOR?
OIL OR LACQUER FOR AN OAK FLOOR?
GLUING THE FLOOR OR LAYING IT DOWN IN THE FLOATING WAY?
HOW TO MAINTAIN OILED FLOOR AND HOW TO TREAT IT?
IS IT POSSIBLE TO MAKE LOCAL REPAIRS OF OILED FLOORS?
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT WOODEN FLOORS FROM DAMAGE?
WOOD IN BATHROOMS
WOOD IN THE KITCHEN
EXTERIOR WOOD FOR TERRACES
WHAT IS A FLOATING FLOOR
VINYL OR WOODEN FLOORS
According to research, more and more newly built houses will be furnished with floor heating as the main source of heating in future. Living rooms will naturally be the first in line. Wooden floors have been greatly demanded for years, and therefore a combination of both is a clear choice. But is such a combination functional? What is there to be cautious about?
MAIN OR SUBSIDIARY SOURCE OF HEATING?
There are different types of floor heating systems.
Warm-water systems. These can be divided to wet systems (water pipes is situated on concrete constructional floor, and they are cast in the surface floor layer) and dry systems (the pipes are laid “loose”). Warm-water systems are used as both main and subsidiary heating sources.
Electric systems. These are always used as a subsidiary heating source, usually in combination with radiators. Floor heating is usually the least problematic as a subsidiary source of heating.
Differing information represents a big problem. Different values are given for the maximum temperature of the surface the sand-cement layer of the floor can handle. Some say this temperature may not exceed 28 °C; others say it’s 30 °C. The stated values vary up to 32 °C. According to our experience, 28 °C is maximum surface temperature for this floor layer.
The problem gets even more complicated due to the fact that there are different opinions as to what surface this is. Most floor heating system suppliers and installers speak about the surface temperature of the sand-cement layer. But some say that this temperature regards the surface layer of the floor laid on this surface – that means the parquets. And that, naturally, is a huge difference! In an average living room with a temperature of 21 °C, the surface temperature of a parquet floor varies between 15 and 17 °C, provided there is no floor heating. The wood expands when the parquets are heated. But that happens rarely, and its insignificant. However, wood also loses humidity when heated. That causes shrinking, which is far greater than the expansion. If the temperature of wood increases from 17 to 27 °C, there will be major shrinking. Recently, I saw floor with sand-cement layer temperature of 33 °C. The surface temperature of parquets amounted to 28,5 °C. The parquets shrank and cracked.
To provide for high-quality heating within the premises, thermal resistance of the parquet floor must not exceed 0,15 m2 K/W. If you know the thermal conductivity coefficient and the material thickness, you can easily calculate thermal resistance.
Thermal conductivity coefficient (lambda) W/mK is the amount of heat flowing under the same conditions to a square meter per 1 second through a 1-meter-wide layer in a temperature difference of 1 Kelvin. The Kelvin temperature scale is derived from the Celsius scale, but the zero point is different. Degrees Celsius can be expressed in Kelvins: 0 Kelvin = -273 °C, absolute zero. Thermal resistance (m2K/W) is calculated by dividing the material thickness by the thermal conductivity coefficient. With floating floors, thermal resistances of all materials must be calculated. Therefore, calculate the resistance of interlayers subduing noise and/or vapour as well!
The customer chooses a suitable type of wood with humidity percentage of approx. 8 %. The glue must also be suitable for use with floor heating.
Floor with the least possible thermal resistance is selected.
For a good result, it is necessary to have relative air humidity of 50 % to 60 %. In many cases, this is a problem with newly built houses. Central exhaustion systems, which are currently obligatory in newly built houses, often cause permanently low air humidity values in winter, which leads to gaps forming in parquets, even in areas without floor heating. The use of electric moisturizer is often not sufficient to maintain permanent values of air humidity. The customer can check this for himself by means of a calibrated hygrometer, which you can buy at an optometrist shop, for example.
It is forbidden to lay carpets on parquets covering floor heating. It could cause accommodation of heat. In the best case, the room will not be heated; in the worst case, the parquet floor will be damaged.
The floor laying is most often directed towards the main source of light in the room, i.e. towards a window, or a terrace. The planks are laid in the direction of the incidence of light. This is not a condition, but nevertheless, the floor looks generally better. The direction of the floor laying can impact the room dimensions optically. If you want to widen the room optically, select a transverse direction for laying down the planks (when you enter the room, the planks will be laid transversally). If you want to lengthen the room optically, select a longitudinal direction for laying down the planks (when you enter the room, the planks will be laid lengthwise). In narrow corridors, we recommend the longitudinal direction of floor laying.
Be careful to dilate the floor in full-scope gluing and rooms longer than 8 m (when the floor is laid transversally). There are several versions of dilating:
Dilation joints must also be provided alongside the entire perimeter of the room. The floor must not touch any of the walls in the room. In case there are columns in the room, or other fixed construction elements (free-standing fireplace, dividing partition, etc…), the dilation joint must be provided around these, as well. Insufficient distance from walls represents one of the most frequent mistakes in laying down floors. It often manifests itself in summer, when the wooden floor expands forcefully due to increased air humidity and temperature during the summer months. The dilation joint, or eventually the distance from walls, should not be less than 10 mm.
People have known wood since ancient times and have used it, among other things, to manufacture floors. The floors allow the natural beauty of wood to manifest itself, despite different fashion trends, and it shows the user’s personality. Wooden floors are a product of nature; they are environmentally friendly. Due to the fact, that it is a natural product, wood is renewable and recyclable. Wood is still the most frequently used type of flooring for its characteristic qualities. More and more customers choose wooden floors to create peaceful and harmonious homes. It is the most natural and most suitable type of flooring.
And given the fact that wood does not accommodate dust and other allergens, it is the perfect choice for healthy home. Wooden floors have covered a long way over the past few years. Today, there are more styles, colors and types of wooden floors, which are more affordable than ever before. OAK is without a doubt the most popular type of wood. Today, wooden floors are very competitive in price, and they represent excellent values compared to other flooring materials. You will never have to replace a wooden floor, and it intensifies and increases your house’s value. Compared to other flooring materials, wooden floors provide permanent values; these floors are for life.
Dimensional (shape) stability – swelling/shrinkage.
Wood is a natural material, sensitive to the characteristics of the environment it is situated in. Wood is most significantly influenced by ambient temperature and relative air humidity. Each temperature and relative air humidity corresponds to a specific moisture of the wood. If the wood is situated in an environment with stable parameters, the content of moisture gradually settles at the level of balanced moisture. Dimensional stability of wood – swelling and shrinkage – is linked to accommodation and releasing of moisture. This dimensional stability differs in all the three main directions:
Changes alongside the fibres are insignificant. The largest changes of dimensions happen in the direction of the growth rings (tangentially),
and changes in the vertical direction to the growth rings are approximately half-size. The values of radial and tangential shrinkage are given as a percentage change between wood that is saturated with water to its maximum extent (over 30% moisture) and wood that is totally dry. However, it is necessary to bear in mind that in reality, limit values of humidity usually don’t influence the wood for long enough to make the wood accommodated to them, and therefore the resulting changes in dimensions are smaller. The size of joints in wooden floor, occurring due to dimensional changes, is significantly influenced by the means of laying down the floor. Full-scale gluing of parquets to the base helps.
Both options are possible, naturally. But oak is oak due to the “liveliness” of the massive or multilayer oak floor.
WOOD IS A NATURAL MATERIAL WITH CHARACTERISTIC QUALITIES KNOTS, NATURAL COLOUR SCALSE OF WOOD AND OVERALL “LIVELINESS” INTENSIFY THE BEAUTY OF THE NATURAL MATERIAL. PEOPLE SAY THAT WOOD “BREATHES”. IT CONSTANTLY ACCOMMODATES OR RELEASES MOISTURE, STRUGGLING TO ACHIEVE A CONSTANT POINT OR BALANCE. DIMENSIONAL CHANGES ARE AMONG THE CHARACTERISTIC QUALITIES. WOOD “WORKS” DEPENDING ON AMBIENT AIR HUMIDITY. AMONG THESE CHANGES, THERE IS ALSO THE SO-CALLED “CRADLING” OF THE FLOOR AND MINOR WIDTH DEVIATIONS. THESE DEVIATIONS ARE NOT DEFECTS; THEY ARE THE WOOD QUALITIES. WE RECOMMEND AIR HUMIDITY REGULATION IN ORDER TO ENSURE THEY WILL BE AS SMALL AS POSSIBLE.
In this case, your ideas and feelings matter, as well as the qualities of the individual constructions.
People say – “massive is massive”. But other people don’t like the dimensional changes of planks and other qualities typical for massive floors, and they will surely choose the multilayer option, and we will guarantee that the floor’s appearance and quality will be identical with massive floor.
Massive oak floors – floors made of massive oak wood are highly valued for their unique natural appearance, long life and the possibility of repairs in case of damage. The walkable surface is warm, pleasant, decreasing impact noise. Due to significant reactions to heat and humidity, the floor is not suitable for floor heating or into premises with high humidity.
Multilayer wooden floors – as opposed to massive, these floors are made of two or three layers, veneered, with the top finish layer always made of hard wood. All the options can be glued on a full scale, and the three-layer floors can also be laid in the floating system. Multilayer wooden floors offer a significant advantage due to fewer joints (as opposed to classical wood), and to lesser risk of creating gaps. Thanks to the joining of several layers, this type of floor is also suitable for floor heating. Wooden floating floors will please you with their natural appearance, long life, noise suppression, and pleasant warm impression.
Current trends clearly prefer oiled floors. The oil darkens the wood mildly, but most of all, it intensifies its beauty. It remains far more natural than lacquered floors, and over time, it gains pleasant patina. Its beauty is also supported by the opaque appearance of the floor. Using the hard wax oils, you can also select the colour tone of the floor – from the currently very popular white colours, through tones of brown, all the way to dark colours. And the possibility of local repairs of the floors in case of damage is indispensable. The floor maintenance may be a little more complicated, as it must be carried out regularly with treatment products. It is a bit easier to maintain lacquered floors, but on the other hand, they kind of lose the right face of a massive oak floor. Also, it is basically impossible to carry out local repairs. Therefore, from our point of view, oiled floor is a clear choice, but naturally, it depends on each individual.
Even three-layer floors with tongue and groove system are generally glued to the base today. Full-scale glued floor offers better stability in eventual temperature and humidity changes, compared to a floating floor, and it is also better in suppressing the impact effect (by dampening the sound). And it’s more pleasant to walk on a glued floor.
Maintenance and treatment of an oiled floor is by no means a difficult process, however, it is necessary to carry out the maintenance regularly. The hard wax oils used today function as a sufficient protection of the wooden floor thanks to their composition. Everyday maintenance of an oiled floor is carried out by means of dry-wiping or vacuuming dirt and crumbs using a vacuum cleaner. Mopping the floor, which is recommended several times per month (depending on the state of dirt – if it’s not too dirty, once or twice per month is sufficient), is done with a wet cloth, well squeezed, in the direction of the fibres. Once per month, we recommend adding a universal oiled floor cleaner to the water (attention – really use a cleaner designated for this purpose!).
After approximately 2 – 3 years of using the floor (depending on the level of wear and tear and stress of the floor), it must be re-oiled with treatment oils. The application of the treatment oil is not difficult at all, and you can handle it yourselves. Naturally, the floor must be cleaned prior to the application of the treatment oil. This treatment oil will fill in pores and dry spots occurring due to everyday use of the floor, and upon application, it will create a new protective layer, and the floor will once again look as if it was just laid down. With heavy-load premises, such as restaurants, stores, etc., we recommend this treatment once – twice per year.
In more complex renovations, the basic hard wax oil is used, which, however, is only re-applied after several years of use, although it can naturally be applied sooner, when everyday maintenance is neglected or carried out improperly.
In any case, do not worry that you might become “slaves” of maintaining oiled floors. It is by no means more difficult than maintaining any other floor. Even maintenance of lacquered floors has its rules.
Yes, it is. This is one of the great advantages as opposed to lacquered floors. You can carry out local repairs on oiled surfaces, using hard wax oils. The repair is most easily carried out on a floor where natural (colourless oil) was used. It is naturally also possible to repair coloured oils locally. However, it is important to realize that this repair will be more visible for some time, before oxidation starts to take place and this repaired part merges gradually with other planks. In case of deep damage (like deep scratches) – it is possible to fill the damaged spot with putty, and create a puttied knot from the spot, and then re-oil it. You will certainly manage to perform easy repairs yourselves, and it is best to contact a floor-laying company to deal with more complex ones.
It is important to furnish furniture legs with felt pads, if possible, which will protect oiled wooden floors from surface damage. We recommend using rubber casters with wheeled armchairs, or special pads.
And why not? People usually get tiles in bathrooms, and wood is very much ignored in this respect. There is some kind of “automation” in this. Yet if you choose suitable wood for the bathroom, it is much more pleasant for your senses than tiles, which feel “cold”. Wood is not only warmer, but also more natural, and we believe it will make you feel much better. But you will surely say now – wood works, absorbs water, and twists. But – note all the places where wood is used. Outside, where there are changing environmental conditions, nearby water, but also under water (like house pillars in different towns – like Venice, for example). The point is in choosing suitable wood, or suitable wooden floor, and also suitable coating for your bathroom.
The most suitable types of wood are exotic, and the most resistant floors are made of them, like merbau, ipe, jatoba, cumaru, … However, it is also possible to use “domestic” European wood, like oak, maple, or cedar. The characteristics of these types of wood are a little less favourable, but they still can be and are used as wooden floors or wall linings for bathrooms. In order to ensure your satisfaction with a wooden floor in the bathroom, you must be aware of several aspects:
– Lacquered floor lasts a bit longer than oiled floor, but it dulls the wood’s nature a little
– Water should not stay long on the floor’s surface, so try to wipe the floor after use.
– Carry out regular maintenance of the floor.
If you keep in mind the above principles, you will surely be satisfied with choosing wooden floors for you bathrooms.
This option is also possible, and very frequently used over the past few years. Nothing beats having wooden floors everywhere, that is, including the kitchen. There are no transitions between materials, but instead the style remains uniform throughout the rooms. This option will especially be appreciated by those of you with combined living rooms and kitchens.
Due to the fact that oak has been the most frequently used type of wood for floors over the past years, it is this type of floor that is used most frequently in kitchens, too. Don’t be afraid of choosing oiled versions of floors. Today, hard wax oils of superb quality are manufactured, which are used in commercial premises (like restaurants, stores, etc…), and so the oiled wooden floor is bound to endure the operation in your kitchen. It is just important to bear in mind some rules:
– The floor in the kitchen may show greater signs of wear and tear, but you can treat it with designated materials more frequently
– Wipe the kitchen floor regularly with wet mop.
And most of all – for the maintenance, use only products designated for this purpose – and to this end, seek advice from the floor salesman who sold you the floor or laid it down.
Exterior wooden terraces – an ideal connection of the interior and the exterior premises. It is definitely a good choice. There is nothing more pleasant than enjoying your terrace in the summer, having it lined with wood. It brings “a bit of nature” to your garden, and the smell of the forest, and regarding colour, you can match them with the roof fascias or other wooden elements outside. However it is necessary to bear in mind that wood outside, that means not only on the terrace, is subject to the impact of constantly changing weather. You have to take into account that each wood will get the so-called “patina” over time. However, wood has excellent physical properties, and moreover, it doesn’t feel cold when it’s cold outside, and it doesn’t get hot in the summer, so it doesn’t burn your feet.
Today, you can really choose from a wide spectre of types of wooden floors designated for terraces. Terraces of exotic wood are popular, for example, bankirai, ipe, massaranduba, cumaru, etc…
Exterior terraces made of exotic wood.
In general, exotic wood is very hard, which means it’s resistant to wear and tear or damage. It is also resistant to attacks of pests, such as the insects or fungi. But you can certainly use wood like oak, or pine.
Exterior terraces made of coniferous wood
This is a widespread version of exterior terraces. However, bear in mind that the wood of coniferous trees is softer on the terraces. Most frequently, European or Siberian larch is used, pine tree, or heat-treated pine tree (thermal treatment). Further on, there is cedar, and regarding foliate trees, we must mention oak. When using wood on terraces (especially coniferous wood), surface treatment is of utmost importance. Special oils for exterior use are most frequently used. An exterior terrace should be re-oiled at least twice per year in order to ensure its protection. However, you can also choose a terrace made of composite materials (WPC)
Composite exterior terraces ( WPC )
A more expensive option, but this floor is more resistant to exterior influences, and it is maintenance-free. Also, there is no risk of getting a splinter. It is basically a mix of wood and plastic in a given proportion. However, wood is wood, despite having its ailments. It is up to each one of you to decide what material you’ll use on your terrace.
The way of laying down exterior terraces
There are several ways. The most frequent way is represented by the laying down of discs into concrete flanges or onto hard surface, with a grate subsequently attached to them, and the floor is then screwed into the grate. In case of a concrete floor, the grate can also be anchored straight to the concrete by means of screws (however, it is necessary to have the grate slightly above the concrete, to allow for the rainwater to flow away)
Floating floor is a type of floor that is laid down in the so-called “floating way”. That means the floor lies loosely on the base, and it is not connected to it in any way. This is usually the way multilayer floors are laid down, as they are generally less prone to any possible dimensional changes. Floating floors, or else the laying down of floors in the floating way, brings about several advantages, such as the speed and cleanliness of assembly, and lesser demands regarding the rigidity of the base. This way namely concerns laminated floors.
Wooden floors are also laid down in the floating way. With these floors, however, we prefer full-scale gluing. That way, the floor “sticks”, and you feel that you really walk on a wooden floor. Also, any future renovations are easier with full-scale glued wooden floors than with floating floors.
Each option has advantages and disadvantages. Over the past years, vinyl floors have become very popular, and they basically pushed away laminated floors. Vinyl floors are mainly used in commercial premises or heavy-load premises, such as shopping malls, schools, etc… There’s a myth regarding vinyl floors, claiming that they are practically undestroyable, and they endure everything. Yet this is by far not the truth. On the contrary, it is necessary to lay vinyl floors onto a base that is of high quality and quite even (which may sometimes be a really big problem). The vinyl floor’s life is limited as well – unlike the life of a wooden floor. It is impossible to repair the floor. If you really want a vinyl floor of excellent quality, including high quality bases, you’ll find out that it is by no means a cheap matter.
Wooden floor – natural beauty with everything included. Natural grains, beautiful knots, a piece of nature in your home. No other floor will offer these qualities to you. Moreover, including the possible renovation. And there’s nothing more to add to that.
We are among the largest manufacturers of massive and three-layer wooden oak floors in Europe
ESCO PODLAHY s.r.o.
387 31 Radomyšl
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