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Author Topic: Hardwood floors on concrete radiant slab. How to keep it together?  (Read 427 times)

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Offline Crusarius

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So I have had a dream of hickory hardwood floors in my house for quite a while. I have some shagbark hickory on my property to use but I doubt I have enough. And with all the ppl that seem to hate it and the bad reputation I hear it has makes me wonder how many trees I would need to do the floors.

I just saw this thread about mixing hardwood species in a frame. http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,98948.msg1517767/topicseen.html#new This idea got me thinking about doing that for my floor.

The biggest issue I have is my house is slab on grade. The concrete slab has radiant floor heat. How would I fasten the wood to keep the joints together?

is there a way to make it floating? The cheap snap together flooring has a key that locks it together. Do they make router bit sets to do that?

I will be watching the other thread as well, different expansion and contraction rates is a very large concern especially with the radiant floor.

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Offline loghorse

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Re: Hardwood floors on concrete radiant slab. How to keep it together?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 07:59:47 PM »
my daughter and her husband put 1x3 walnut,hickory,and white oak on their main floor.it is kiln dried,tongue and groove.it is in the entry,dining room,kitcen,and one bedroom.about 400+ sq ft.under it is 1 inch of gypcrete with piping ran through it.gorgous floor BUT,all of it has slight cupping because of the heat under it.the pattern they put down was scattered.not all species in one chunk.professionly sealed.before it was installed i noticed it was grooved on th e back.maybe someone else can chime in about heat touching the whole floor (as in a slab or like they did).good luck

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Hardwood floors on concrete radiant slab. How to keep it together?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2017, 08:35:00 PM »
Thanks. The cupping and twisting is my concern. especially with how much humidity fluctuation there is in the house. Also have no idea how to hold it together. I thought of fabric backer glued to the boards but not sure how that will last.
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Offline Larry

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Re: Hardwood floors on concrete radiant slab. How to keep it together?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2017, 09:23:04 PM »
I built a new house about 10 years ago and was considering hardwood floors on a slab with radiant heat.  After a lot of research I wasn't totally convinced their was a perfect method to install it.  The one thing that convinced me not to do it was when the season changes from hot to cold.  At that time the floor has to come up to temperature slowly or I was told bad things happen to the wood.  I could remember to do it or get the heat programed but if I was not around....

We still put in all hardwood and a little tile on slab but without radiant heat.  The method was 6 mill poly, 3/4 plywood shot to the slab with spikes, red rosin paper, and finally hardwood.  The flooring was stacked in the house with the AC on for a month to acclimate.  Flooring was than laid and sat for another month than finished.  After a week traffic was allowed.  Flooring was perfect with no cracks and has remained that way.

Hickory makes beautiful flooring, my neighbor used it in his house and its gorgeous.

Good luck.
Larry

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Online Bruno of NH

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Re: Hardwood floors on concrete radiant slab. How to keep it together?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2017, 06:56:32 PM »
I have seen good and bad with hardwood over radiant heat.
Some woods work better than others
I have rustic yellow birch in my great room and was going to use radiant heat but changed my mind on it
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Offline woodworker9

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Re: Hardwood floors on concrete radiant slab. How to keep it together?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2017, 02:56:31 PM »
Some get lucky with real hardwood floors over radiant heat.  Most do not.  Engineered floors are just that....engineered like plywood to withstand the cupping and warping that normal hardwoods are frequent to failure for.

It's a lot of hard work to cut, flatten, plane, and edge hardwood flooring.  It's even more work to install it correctly.  It's your back, but I wouldn't do it.  Hickory is NOT one of the species of wood that plays well with radiant heat floors.

If it were me (and it was!) I would sell the lumber, and use the money to buy engineered flooring.  I love my radiant heat floors.  I always wanted to mill and make the flooring myself, but I also enjoy not having to re-do it all.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Hardwood floors on concrete radiant slab. How to keep it together?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2017, 09:29:43 PM »
or I will use the lumber for cabinets and other fixtures. I do love the idea of nice mixed hardwoods of various sizes and species all put together in a floor but I am really thinking it may not be a good idea over the radiant.
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