Floor Laying Advice Needed

21 Jan 2010
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Tyne and Wear
United Kingdom
Looking to install Warm Water Underfloor heating to the ground floor of my house. i currently have 22mm oak flooring throughout the ground floor. The plan is to lift the oak flooring then lay 20mm x 50mm batterns on the floor at 400mm centers. Then lay a layer of plywood/Chip board preferably 10mm to keep floor build up as little as possible then relay the 22mm oak flooring to the living room area. Is This all Possible or is 10mm plywood not sufficient in strength? Now the tricky part. in the kitchen iam using the same method batterns....10mm ply.....but the finnish floor will be ceramic tile instead of oak flooring is this possible?

Any help on this one would be greatly appreciated guys


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Don't install solid wood when using UFH systems, they will shrink too much once the system is going. Better to use wood-engineered boards.
Here's more info on UFH and wooden flooring

If possible, stay away from chipboard, plywood is much better (you can nail, glue etc on plywood, not on chipboard)
but with the oak flooring that has been down for over 4 years surely it would have completly dryed out causing no shriking surely? just trying to re use the oak as it seems a shame to waste....
but with the oak flooring that has been down for over 4 years surely it would have completly dryed out causing no shriking surely? just trying to re use the oak as it seems a shame to waste....
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Bump! so is that a yay or a nay to the oak flooring?? also what about the kitchen can tiles be laid onto 10-15mm ply??

Any info would help guys and gals thanks

For something on battens to be load bearing it has to be at least 18mm thick (and battens not further apart as 40cm), so 10 - 15mm is not strong enough and will cause too much flex.

How wide are your solid Oak boards?
sorry i forgot to mention iam an underfloor heating installer. i have installed UFH in a few sports halls where their is a sprung floor type systems "junkers" where batterns are layed 400mm centers then 22mm wood floring is layed over the top directly nailed to the batterns. between the batterns is UFH on Diffusion plates... isnt then the 22mm flooring the load bearing surface? or am i getting mixed up and need to stick to installing UFH ha

Thanks for the help realy appreciated

In the sport hal situation your 22mm thick narrow boards (I presume, 'cos most times sport halls have very narrow wood strips) is indeed load bearing.

In your kitchen 10 -15mm ply on battens to install tiles on is not load-bearing, has to be at least 18mm plywood (DO NOT use chipboard!)

Also, in sport halls the UFH systems will be used quite differently than in your own home, be aware of that when comparing materials you can use in one situation and materials you use in other situations.
sorry also the flooring is 130mm wide 600mm long but iam not 100% on that i will check tonite
Those boards are
a) too wide to use on UFH - too much risk of cupping
b) too short to connect with at least 3 battens, so you do need 18mm "subfloor" to make things loadbearing and glue the boards - if you insist on using them - onto the ply (but this would have effect on the height and the total insulation for the UFH)
mmmm.....so basicaly if i was to re-ues the oak flooring the buld up would be 20mm deep battern...18mm ply....22mm oak flooring total 60mm this may be slightly to high i have plenty of room on the front and back doors but chopping the internal doors down by 60 mm may be a problem...
Chop the doors to the height you need then take the batten out the waste bit and gripfill it into bottom of door
If your oak floor is floating the joints will be glued, if you oak floor is nailed to joists - how are you going to re-use it?? In my experience once you take up wooden flooring it's not much good for anything except the fire.
No the oak floor that i have down now is layed onto solid concrete iam planning on lifting that.... laying joists with ufh inbetween......plywood screwed to joist then relay oak flooring.... if i have to buy new flooring then i will it just seems a shame to waste 35m2 of 22mm oak flooring that is why iam trying to reuse it if possible....

about the doors i have enough height from the floor to the bottom of the door at the front and back of the house.... so that should be fine.... internal doors i will have to buy new or chop down if possible

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