cork flooring over a radiant heated floor
Cork Floors (cork floating and cork glue-down tile) is idea floor for installed over radiant heating systems
Note the instructions from the supplier of the floor heating system. Before installation, the heating system must be in operation for at least 2 weeks prior to the installation of cork flooring, this helps to dry out any remaining hidden residual moisture. The system may be turned off or set to a suitable installation temperature 18-22 degrees C (65 – 72 degrees F.) After installation, the temperature may be increased slowly at the rate of approximately 5 degrees per day, and should not exceed 30 degrees C (85 degrees F). Follow the instructions from the manufacturer of the floor heating system that do not conflict with the above requirements.
Cork floor will keep the heat more efficiently, although it will take longer to warm up because Cork is a natural insulator and will affect slightly the transmission of heat. Cork’s natural insulating properties help a concrete radiant floor feel warm to the touch even when the heating system is off.
If you install cork flooring in your home, actorly, you can skip the in-floor heat. A little bit of forced air heat or baseboard radiators will offer more than enough heat for a cork floor. Cork will act as a heat insulator. By adding it to a space, it can raise the temperature of the room by 7-12 F. If this is a bathroom or small space, the cork will be enough of an insulator to keep the room and the space comfortable.
Our customers who have used in-floor radiant heat (for small spaces) have discovered that they simply turn off the system and work with the heat being generated by their traditional heating system. Financially, the installation of a small baseboard heater is cheaper.
The only in-floor system we allow with our cork is Hydronic (water). If you have an electric system, then we will not carry a warranty with any floor of ours that is put down on over the system.
If you have another source of heat (a primary heating source like forced air or baseboard heaters) you may find that the cork does the job of the in-floor system. If this is the primary source of heat, then there is no help for it.
We know that a lot of electric systems state that they can be used with floating flooring etc, but many flooring manufacturers do not allow their floors to be used with these systems. The electric systems are always at odds with the flooring industry because of this. In essence, it comes down to fire hazards. A combustible substance (like wood, cork, carpet) should not be placed over the electric systems (rather, that’s what the flooring manufacturer has used their reasoning.