Radiant Heat Installation Guidelines
When installing Provenza hardwood flooring over radiant heat, it is the Owner & Installer’s responsibility to ensure that the flooring itself is suitable for use over radiant heat and that proper jobsite requirements, including but not limited to, moisture testing, subfloor conditions, ambient temperature, relative humidity, are per Provenza Installation Guidelines and can be verified at manufacturer request.
For radiant heat installations, Provenza recommends using the Hydronic Radiant Heating System only.
It is the Owner & Installer’s responsibility to ensure that the radiant heat system itself is suitable for hardwood flooring use, installed and operating properly before proceeding to installation. The Installer should be able to provide evidence of this to the manufacturer on request, via its “Radiant Heat Compliance Form” which can be obtained from Provenza Floors prior to installation.
Flooring failures due to improperly installed radiant heat systems are not covered by the Provenza manufacturer warranty.
With radiant heating, the heat source is located directly beneath the flooring, which may cause it to dry out faster than a similar floor in an environment with a conventional heating system. Types of wood flooring that are best suited for use over radiant heat must possess a higher level of dimensional stability.
With this in mind, Provenza Floors®, Inc. only recommends its Engineered Oak flooring products for use in Hydronic Radiant Heat installations. No other Provenza products are covered by this limited warranty.
General Radiant Heat Guidelines
To minimize the effect that rapid changes in ambient temperature will have on the installed flooring, Provenza recommends that an exterior thermostat be installed and used. Unlike conventional heating systems which switch on as needed, radiant systems work most effectively and with less trauma to the wood floor if the heating process is gradual with small incremental increases in relation to outside temperature.
All radiant heat installations must have a heat control system which helps maintain a constant baseline temperature and prevents overheating. Radiant heat temperatures that exceed 85 degrees may damage the hardwood flooring and void the limited manufacturer warranty.
All hydronic radiant heat flooring installations must have humidity controlled as per manufacturer recommended guidelines of between 35-55% at all times. Not doing so may lead to flooring failure and void the manufacturer warranty.
Approved Radiant Heat Systems & Installation Methods
- Aluminum Hangers (Floating Only)
- Channel Aluminum Board (Floating Only)
- Sleeper Systems (Floating Only)
- Lightweight Thermal Mass Concrete (Floating Only)
- 1 1/8" T&G Warmboard (follow supplier instructions carefully)
All hydronic radiant heat installations are recommended to be floated. Cork is the recommended underlayment for a floating installation. See Provenza Floating Installation guidelines for further instructions.
The hydronic radiant heating system must be operational and heated for at least 7 days prior to the installation of Provenza flooring. Use an incremental control strategy that brings the subfloor through temperature changes gradually which should include an external thermostat.
This incremental strategy should include being turned on at least 3 days prior to installation at a temperature of 70 degrees; then, raised to 85 degrees for a period of 3 more days. The installation site should be aired out every day to allow excess humidity to exit the structure.
The Provenza flooring product to be installed should also be acclimated to the environment where it will be installed as per manufacturer guidelines.
Once these steps have been taken and the flooring is ready to be installed, turn off the heat to let the subfloor cool down to room temperature for 3 to 4 hours.
Before installation begins, it is the Installer’s responsibility to ensure that the heating system is functioning properly, designed for hardwood flooring and is not on the same circuit for other floor covering types (that may allow higher temperatures). Failure to do so may cause excessive heat damage and shrinkage in the hardwood flooring and void this limited manufacturer warranty.
Radiant heating systems normally create dry heat that can lower the interior humidity levels which makes keeping humidity levels in the ideal range of 35-55% that much more difficult. Provenza recommends adding a separate humidifier to the HVAC System with adequate controls to keep the installed floors in this wood “comfort zone”.
General Installation Guidelines
Double gluing of grooves and tongues (top and bottom) as well as the end joints is required for a stronger bond. As described earlier, check for excess glue or spillage on the hardwood flooring surface and wipe immediately to avoid damage to the hardwood flooring finish.
Once installation is complete, turn the heating system back on immediately to achieve further acclimation of the flooring to the installation site.
Follow manufacturer guidelines on maintaining indoor ambient temperature of between 65 and 85 degrees with humidity levels of between 35%-55% at all times as not doing so may damage the wood flooring and void the manufacturer warranty.