Dry assembly of wood flooring with floor heating

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Dry assembly of wood flooring

Not long ago I was on assembly of massive wood flooring, which is nothing special, but the overall composition of the floor was very uncommon. Therefore I would like to share this new experience with you.

On this project the design was a dry assemble of flooring with floor heating system. The whole assembly process looked like this. There was a wooden net on a cement-concrete under layer 3 cm thick and the wood net planks were anchored 60 cm from each other. In between these planks were heat-transmitting pipes on a special isolation layer. It was two pipes from one end to another where it was curved and coming back to beginning. It was repeated in between each of the wood plank of the net. On these heat-transmitting pipes were put an aluminum triangle shape covers, in which were made precisely for this purpose (there were small holes in the cover which made it possible to easily fasten it to the heat-transmitting pipes). The purpose of this aluminum molding is to accumulate the heat from floor heating system and transmit this heat to the wood flooring and after that to the house itself. The aluminum molding was fastened always a few millimeters higher than the wooden net. It was done like this because the aluminum molding should be in the immediate contact with the wood flooring to be able to transfer the heat most efficiently.

As I said, the individual planks of the wooden net were 60 cm from each other, so the wooden flooring should have thickness at least 20 mm and for sure have tongue and groove system. If someone wil choose a thinner flooring on this kind of foundation net, I can assure you that when you would step on it in the middle of the two planks you would feel how the flooring is curving under your weight. For sure nobody of you would like this.

flooring nailing gun

On this project we used 20 mm thick massive wood flooring with V shaped edges. It was fastened to the wood net through nib. Better said, we shot special 5 cm long flooring nails in 45 degrees. It is done exactly over the tongue so it is perfectly hidden and do not cause problems during the putting the tongue into the groove. For this purpose there is a special flooring nailing gun for flooring with tongue and groove system. It is pneumatic and work on compressed air, so there is need for having a compressor on the site. This exact nail gun I used can shoot special nails which are extremely tough and can be in L or T shapes, or even in U shape. Basically said it can shoot three types of nails. With this machine I worked for the first time and I must say it is a tremendous help. You can assemble around 50 m2 of flooring a day with this tool and two workers on site. If you would do this process by screwing the flooring then you could make maybe 10-15 m2 a day.

Flooring nails

I must warn that with this machine you cannot assemble the first line of the flooring. And few last hints, but this depends on the width of the wood parquet. I suggest gluing the first and last lines of the flooring on the wood net using glue meant for wood flooring and after that nail it with an ordinary small nail gun. These small nail guns work only with smaller softer nails, so only purpose of these is basically to just hold the wood flooring until the glue dries.

During such a dry montage of wooden flooring we must realize that the parquet is holding only on the nail fitted to the wooden net. This means that over time your wood floor could make noise in form of chap or squeak. It is impossible to get around this. This is traditional style of montage that was used tens of years in the past. It was mostly used for the wood parquets with V shape system where every 3rd or 5th piece was nailed. I don’t have to mention how these parquets are squeaking these days in the older apartments where they are laid.

I personally did not like this dry montage of the flooring with floor heating. I don’t like dry montage of wood flooring in general. I like to have an order in things and that is why I like more a whole surface gluing assembly system. This way the flooring won’t be squeaking or make another noise. If it ever happens anyway the sound won’t be as intense as it would be after dry assemble style with nails. Please bear in mind that it is just my personal and subjective way of seeing this and I don’t want to discourage anyone from using this style of assemble with floor heating. Company that would design you this system would for sure have it certified and therefore guaranteed.

The advantage of this system can be in how fast it can be done. When doing the montage the common way, the floor heating should be poured around with a special compound and let it dry for at least one or two months – depending mostly on weather. On the other hand when making it this dry way you can assemble the floor after about 7 days. So better to think about what is a priority for you. If time is your priority then you should go for the dry style of montage and if you want rather more quit flooring then you should go for the wet style of assembly.

Author: Soska Milan

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