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Radient Heat - What Are My Wood Flooring Options?

11 years ago

I am about to start a major renovation to my home. The place will be completely gutted and doubling the square footage. I have decided to use radiant heat (hydro) on the main and upper floors and want to use wood flooring throughout these two levels with the exception of bathrooms and entry foyers. I keep getting conflicting information from my GC, Architect, and local flooring retailers. I live in the Northeast (NJ) and want to know what my options really are and what will work best. The local retailers are telling me I have to use engineered flooring while the architect says to use quarter sawn hardwood. I have a 5 year old and 3 medium sized dogs so durability is a concern and as much as I like the look of quarter sawn White Oak, I think I would prefer something a bit harder such as an exotic. Also, does the overall thickness of the flooring have anything to do with the transfer of the radiant heat? I imagine that it would, so does that make engineered preferable? Also getting conflicting information from retailers about glue down vs. floating. What is appropriate in this application? I am not fond of the hollow sound/feel of a floating floor so I would prefer glue if we went with engineered. I keep getting the vibe from the GC that he wants something that he can site finish, presumably so he does not have to be as careful during construction. Is the Aluminum Oxide on prefinished better than the Polyurethane that would be applied on site? I really love the look of Brazilian Teak, Santos Mahogany, and Sepele but am affraid that these may not be a good choice considering the application and the climate in my location. Is that correct? In a nutshell ..........What is most appropriate for my application? Quarter sawn or engineered? If engineered can I glue, and what species are most appropriate? Can I get exotics in quarter sawn? Any thoughts, comments, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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