Warmboard and Bamboo Flooring

Warmboard Sample Cut Out.

Warmboard and Bamboo Flooring. It's the perfect radiant floor heat combination. To understand why, you need to understand both of these materials.

Radiant heating is today’s buzzword on the matter of warming up the home during the cold months.

It consists of heating (usually) the floor so the space over it may be warmed as well and evenly at that. Unlike forced-air heating which blows in air heated as it passes into the home interior, radiant heating does not blow in pollen, dust, and allergy-causing air particulates. Among the better innovations in radiant heating technology is the unique Warmboard flooring design.

What is Warmboard?

The essential operating principle for radiant heating is to heat first a thermal mass material so it can radiate the heat. Whether warm water or electricity is used, the radiant heating system follows this procedure. What makes them different from each other in terms of practical application is the kind of thermal mass used: concrete, gypsum, wood, or tiles. For interior floors, wood is predominant, composed normally of a subfloor and the actual floor. In Warmboard utilization, it forms the subfloor itself.

Warmboard is actually a rigid panel of 1.12-inch standard size plywood. This panel has tongue-and-groove construction, is heat –resistant, and has a modular design of channels cut on the upper surface. Aluminum sheeting is stamped and bonded to that surface, so the Warmboard panel appears to be a tiny farm lot carved with irrigation canals. The grooves or channels are where the hydronic tubing will lie during installation.

Because it is made of wood, the Warmboard can be sawn, drilled, screwed, nailed and otherwise worked onto the floor joists like any other piece of plywood, except for the limits imposed by not tearing or seriously damaging the aluminum sheet overlay. And being rigid, the Warmboard is often used, and even recommended to be used, as the subflooring material since apart from the channels and the aluminum sheet overlay, it is not much different from any other subflooring material. In installing the Warmboard as the subfloor, the homeowner actually saves on labor and materials.

Why choose Warmboard and Bamboo Flooring?

Bamboo floors don't expand and contract as much as hardwood floors do. Radiant floor heat makes the floor much warmer than it would be with heated forced air. When the floor warms up, hardwood floors expand. When the heat is off, they contract. This expansion and contraction of the flooring can cause buckles or gaps.

Warmboard and bamboo flooring are perfect for eachother because the radiant heat is right below the Bamboo, and the bamboo won't expand too much when it is heated up. Bamboo is also just as tough as many other hard wood floor choices, and it looks beautiful.

This doesn't mean you can't use a different hardwood floor for Warmboard. You just have to be wise in how the wood is installed and what types of hardwood you might use.

The benefits of using Warmboard and Bamboo Flooring

Warmboard is catching on at a quickening rate because it affords several advantages and benefits not obtainable in other thermal mass like concrete or gypsum. Among these benefits are:

Fast warm-ups. In Warmboard installation, the hydronic tubing lies in, and is in direct contact with, the Warmboard thermal mass. Thus the warmth in the hydronic tubing is conducted readily into the Warmboard. Meantime, the tubing’s heat is likewise reflected upward by the aluminum sheet insulation towards the actual finish flooring even and Warmboard absorbs the heat. And, since the finish flooring is also in direct contact with the subfloor, the Warmboard and bamboo flooring warms up more quickly than concrete or gypsum. The floor also cools more speedily.

Saves more money. The first place savings is realized is in the installation. Since Warmboard replaces the subfloor, the same labor and cost of materials expended in laying the subfloor in other systems can be used for installing the Warmboard. In concrete or gypsum thermal mass method, a subfloor is laid out first, then concrete or gypsum is poured on top of the subfloor to house the hydronic system before the finish floor is installed. By eliminating the concrete layer, considerable savings in installation labor and materials cost is achieved.

The second area where savings is realized is in temperature control. Since warmboard cools and heats up quickly, you can warm up specific areas in your house not used for some time separately through individual thermostats. For instance, if you wish to use your den for the children to play in you can readily warm it within a few minutes. With concrete thermal mass, you need to start heating it up long before you need the space.

Easier installation in new construction. Since Warmboard replaces the subfloor, floor construction does not entail additional labor, special equipment or materials.

Responsive warming. Warmboard heating warms the subfloor (itself) and the finish floor at the same time so warming up is much quicker even than the staple-up system. The staple-up system, where the hydronic tubing is stapled under the subfloor, must first heat the subfloor before it can warm up the finish floor and the space above it. This takes more time. Safety and low maintenance. The hydronic tubing is embedded within the warmboard so the tubing is protected from mechanical damage, rodent attack, chemical or gas permeation and similar things that can weaken or create a malfunction in the radiant heating system.

These are, among other things, the main benefits of using Warmboard in radiant floor heating. Warmboard and bamboo Flooring is also a great option for a home. If you are planning your own house, or are tired of a cold home, begin to seriously think about using Warmboard in your radiant heating system. You will happy to know more about it.

Related Articles

- Warmboard Subflooring for Hydronic Radiant Heat
- Bamboo Floor and Radiant Heat
- Warmboard Pricing
- Warmboard Uses

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