Installing Bamboo Flooring Over Radiant Heating
Bamboo flooring makes the perfect option for a hardwood floor that is installed over radiant heating. One of the things that many people do not understand about radiant heating is that they can dry out a hardwood floor because of the heat that is rising from underneath it. Bamboo is not affected by this and can withstand changes in humidity. If you have radiant heating and want to install bamboo flooring over it, here is some information to help you.
Subfloor Is Needed
It is highly recommended that you do not place any type of flooring directly over the top of the radiant heating in your home. This is because it is going to need a barrier between the heat and the floor. Most manufacturers will tell you that you will need at least 5/8-inch thick plywood. Many people will want to get the cheaper OSB type of wood, but it does not hold up very well under the heat, and humidity, that is generated with the radiant heating system. The subfloor is not only a heat shield for the bamboo flooring, but it will also give the flooring a much more stable foundation while protecting the radiant heat.
One of the biggest mistakes that someone can make when it comes to the way that they install their bamboo flooring is with the way the floor is attached to the subfloor. One way is with nails that are driven through the tongue of the plank to give it a strong attaching point. However, this is dangerous as the nail can be driven too far into the wood and cause a rupture in one of the heating coils under the subfloor. To keep from doing this, you should use bamboo flooring glue instead of nailing the floor. Another great alternative to nails is to use a floating floor, which uses no adhesives.
Allow Bamboo Flooring to Acclimate
When you get ready to install the bamboo flooring there is a period of time where you must let the planks get acclimated to the room. This is going to be different from room to room. With a room where there is radiant heating, you should let the flooring acclimate in the actual room for at least 72 hours. This will let the radiant heating go through its heating cycle several times so the flooring will better handle the heat and the humidity. You can leave the planks in the packages, but you will lessen any problems with shrinking or warping if you take out the planks and lay them on the floor.
Leave Radiant Heating Set
With a radiant heating system installed in your room, it is important to keep the heat set at one particular setting. When you have bamboo flooring installed over it, this becomes much more important. While bamboo is a versatile building material, it will react to constant changes in temperature. Being warm weather, almost tropical grass, bamboo needs to have a constant level of heat. Leaving your radiant heating at a constant room temperature will keep any problems to a minimum.