Friday, December 14, 2012

The Best Hardwood for Radiant Heat Systems

Radiant heat systems have been around for years, but they are gaining popularity in homeowners that want to cut down on their energy consumption and save a little money in utility bills. However, floor radiant heat systems can really mess up a hardwood floor. These types of heat systems can cause your wood flooring to dry out quicker than other heating systems, which can lead to warping and buckling. Luckily, there are certain types of hardwood flooring you can install that are less likely to experience the negative side effects of radiant heat systems.

american walnut hardwood flooring

The key to using hardwood flooring over radiant heating systems is to choose a product that is very dimensionally stable. Dimensional stability is the measure of wood's tendency to shrink and swell as it gains and loses moisture. Because radiant heat systems pump heat directly through the floor, it's very important to find boards that are less likely to move around as their moisture levels change.

Domestic hardwood species with a lower density tend to have better dimensional stability than their more denser exotic counterparts. North American oak, American walnut, and American cherry are all great known for their natural stability.

Engineered Flooring
People prefer engineered flooring over solid hardwood for a lot of reasons — it's easy to install, it's versatile, it's light-weight — but what a lot of folks don't know is that it is also much more stable than solid flooring. These reasons combined make it a perfect match for radiant heat systems.

Narrow Boards
Fact: wide hardwood boards are inherently less stable than narrow ones. In fact, any board over three inches wide is frowned upon for installation over radiant heat systems. Stick to the industry standard: 2 1/4".

We could go on and on about the differences between quartersawn and rift-sawn floors, but for this post you really only need to know one thing: quartersawn is more dimensionally stable. Done and done.

Questions? Read Radiant Heat Installation of Hardwood Flooring on our website or give us a call at 1-888-448-9663.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fantastic Floor Presents: French Connection White Oak

Welcome back to your favorite hardwood spotlight series on the web, Fantastic Floor Presents! This week we're straying from the traditional format a bit and taking a look at not just a species of wood, but an specific line of flooring products. Namely, the White Oak French Connection from the Garrison Collection. Enjoy!

We've talked about white oak hardwood flooring before. A lot. But the French Connection line from Garrison is special. Why? For starters, there are fifteen styles to choose from in the series, making matching your floors to your current or planned design scheme a breeze. I mean, take a look at some of these beautiful examples:

Beautiful, right?

The flooring also comes prefinished, so the wire-brushed oil finish that gives the flooring its allure and luster is built right in to the boards — no onsite finishing required. And because the line is engineered, the boards are ready to go right out of the box. Engineered flooring is lighter and generally easier to install, meaning you can use French Connection White Oak flooring in any room and any floor of your home. It also features enhanced dimensional stability, making it less likely to bend and warp than standard solid white oak floors.

On a broader note, white oak hardwood is one of the most popular, beautiful, and durable hardwood flooring products on the market today. It's light tones and pale heartwood complement almost any design scheme and lend themselves quite well to different color finishes. It is also extremely resistant to wear. In fact, white oak hardwood used to be used as mine timbers and boat planks. That's pretty tough.

Want to learn more about the White Oak French Connection line at Fantastic Floor? Call us today at 888-448-9663 or send us an email at We look forward to hearing from you!