radiant floor T varies under obstacles


Old 04-02-14, 11:47 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: U. S. of A.
Posts: 17
radiant floor T varies under obstacles

I am getting started on the second staple up floor radiant system in my old house. most of the floor is original narrow oak over biased 1" oak. about 2" thick. Other areas have various amounts of remodeling but for purposes of discussion let's say they're modern plywood with that luann board on top. New Armstrong vinyl tile will be installed on that soon. So, both floors have recommended max surface T of 85. Don't disagree with that. I'll target 80. My concern is that several situations could cause local areas to overheat. Examples - throw rugs at doorways or sink work area; sleeping bag left on floor; pile of laundry towels on floor, large area rug in a room... Shucks, what if a person put down a double air mattress for guests? I had 2 days experience with my new second floor bedroom floor radiant (before the 60 heat wave hit), and found that as the floors were just barely warm enough for me to notice, under my discarded flannel shirt they were hot.
I'm really excited about the rad floor idea, but don't want to end up with damage spots under every rug or laundry pile.
thanks for any comments.
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Old 04-09-14, 06:55 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,174
It's not the temperature of the floor that will cause issues, it's the moisture content in the wood that causes dimensional changes.
The 85 F cutoff is not entirely to protect the floors, it's there to protect humans as 85 F is the number that they have decided can be harmful over time.

I have seen dark hardwood floors reach 100 F plus in the summer with the sun beating down on them. Of course very excessive temps will damage them, but I don't think it would be possible to get there with radiant heat.

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