Can I Install Laminate Over Radiant Heat?
Yes! In fact, Shaw’s Laminate flooring goes perfectly with radiant heating systems and is approved for use over them. Additionally, the radiant heating system must be designed specifically for use with laminate flooring. It should include a surface temperature probe as well as thermostat controls to monitor the flooring temperature/laminate heat.
To help you achieve the perfect installation, we’re giving you a few pointers before you get started on your new laminate flooring journey.
Use the Correct Underlayment
If you’re installing Shaw Floors’ laminate in a home where radiant heat is used, it’s important that all installation guidelines are followed and the approved underlayments are used. Shaw Laminate Flooring needs a quality underlayment between it and the sub-floor in order for the laminate to perform as expected.
The two underlayments that Shaw Floors typically recommends to customers are Selitac and Silent-Step Ultra, both part of TotalWorx. Below are some quick facts about each:
Selitac Thermally Insulating Laminate Flooring Underlayment:
- easy to cut, easy to lay, easy to lock
- non-allergenic and odorless
- enhances peace, quiet, and comfort of your home
- outstanding seam strength
- moisture and vapor resistant
- easy to install
- 100% recyclable and made in the USA
- extends your warranty
- Requires the use of Selistop™ Aluminum Foil Sealing Tape
Shaw Silent-Step Ultra Laminate Flooring Underlayment
- 3-in-1 underlayment
- ideal thickness for comfort and stability
- provides superior sound absorption and the most realistic hardwood walk-sound available
- appropriate for use over concrete or wood substrates on all grade levels
- superior sub floor moisture resistance
- fast and easy installation
- made in the USA
Understanding underlayments helps ensure laminate floors installed over radiant heat will be installed correctly, allowing you to get the most out of your floors.
How to Install Laminate Flooring Over Radiant Heat
The following list contains important information about installing our laminate flooring over radiant heat, in a specific order- so don’t skip ahead! Read and follow each step carefully for best results.
Important installation guidelines:
- Sub-floors must fully comply with all of the below "dry" requirements before proceeding with the delivery, acclimation, installation and any other required curing processes.
- Newly installed water-type radiant heating flooring systems should be in operation, with the temperature set between 64-72 °F, for a minimum of 4 weeks. This will ensure that any subfloor moisture has properly dried.
- Older/existing water-type radiant floor heating systems need to be fully pressure tested, properly maintained and set to a minimum of 64 °F for at least 4 days before delivery, acclimation or installation of the flooring begins.
- Electric mat or mesh radiant heating systems must be specifically designated as suitable for use with laminate flooring systems by the manufacturer.
- Always check wood sub-floors to ensure that the moisture content is less than 12% using an accurate wood moisture meter. Concrete sub-floors must register "dry" using a reliable concrete moisture meter.
- The PH level of concrete sub-floors should register between 6 and 9.
- Be sure that the temperature is between 60- and 80-degrees F throughout acclimation and installation. Check the relative humidity to be sure it is between 35- and 65-degrees F.
- After completing the installation, do not change/adjust the radiant heat settings for at least 48 hours. After the initial 48-hour period, only increase or decrease the temperature settings 4 to 5 degrees per day, so that the laminate flooring can gradually adjust to the temperature changes.
- Flooring temperature is key! Never raise the flooring surface temperature setting above 85° F.
Final Tips on Laminate Heat
When laminate is used over a radiant heating system, minor gapping can occur and should be expected. However, maintaining consistent relative humidity levels will help to minimize this occurrence. Also, when it comes to flooring temperature, seasonal changes can also have the same effect on laminate. With that being said, temperature and humidity controls should always be monitored to ensure the best performance of your laminate.