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Factors to Consider When Installing Engineered Wood Flooring Over Underfloor Heating

One of the many benefits of fitting a quality engineered wooden floor in your home is its compatibility with underfloor heating. Underfloor heating is not only an effective and luxurious heating solution but also a great way to save space. However there are a number of important factors to consider when laying your engineered wooden floor over UFH.

  • Make sure the underfloor heating has been turned on before the flooring is laid. This will not only test the system but it may also drive out any moisture that is still within the screed. It's important that this is done before any flooring is laid
  • Make sure when laying flooring over screed that the screed is completely dry. The moisture content of the screed should be below 3%. Some adhesives and underlays recommend different levels of moisture content of your concrete subfloor so make sure you check the instructions on each individual product you are using.
  • It is recommended that the underfloor heating is turned off before insulation has started.
  • It is also reccommended that the underfloor heating is turned down low or off if/when you treat the floor using Treatex hardwax oil. More information on this can be found on their website.
  • Make sure to read and follow all instructions that are provided with your underfloor heating and screed.
  • Always consult us if there is anything at all you are unsure of. This also applies to the underfloor heating suppliers.
  • When you turn your heating on it is recommended that you turn up gradually in small increments.
  • Do not make dramatic changes to the surface temperate.
  • Do not have unevenly displaced heat. There should be no hot spots in the subfloor.
  • Steam mops or excessive amounts of water are not recommended for cleaning the floor. This is the same whether you have underfloor heating or not. Cleaning and maintenance instructions are dependent on what the flooring is treated with.
  • We would not recommend that you have heavy rugs, matts or other similar materials covering the flooring. This can cause the boards to heat up more than is recommended which can cause stresses in the board greatly increasing the chances of movement and changes within the floor. It can also cause discolouration.

About the author

Tom Fanthorpe. Director, JFJ Wood Flooring Ltd

Tom is one half of the father & son team behind JFJ Wood Flooring. An experienced wood flooring specialist with over 7 years in the industry, Tom is following in his father John's footsteps as a true expert in his chosen field. Having absorbed much of John's 35+ years of experience in the joinery and timber trade, Tom now leads the wood flooring department and holds ultimate responsibility for everything from customer service to sales, logistics to quality control.

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Submitted by Jamie Rawlings (not verified) on Sun, 06/08/2017 - 15:30

Hi, when installing an engineered hard wood floor are you required to leave an expansion gaps next to the skirting boards?, my flooring contractor recomenneds this with wooden beading covering the gap. I dont like the look once the floor is finished. Please advise.

Many thanks Jamie

Submitted by jfjadmin on Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:47

Hi Jamie,

Thanks for your comment. It is always recommended that an expansion is left around the perimeter of the floor. If it's a new build or if your existing skirting board has been removed then the gap is hidden once a skirting has been re-installed. However if you have existing skirting that is fitted you may have to fit your flooring leaving an expansion gap between your new oak floor and the skirting board. This can then be covered by a beading / scotia. Alternatively are also tools on the market (often called a multi-tool) that can cut the bottom off of existing skirting board. The flooring can then be tucked beneath the existing skirting.

Many thanks,


Submitted by bill (not verified) on Tue, 03/10/2017 - 13:10

is underfloor heating efficient with this type of floor as i have been told underfloor heat does not work very well with wooden floors.

Submitted by jfjadmin on Mon, 09/10/2017 - 14:30

Hi Bill,

Thanks for your comment.

Yes, absolutely. Engineered hardwood flooring is a popular choice of floor to be used in conjunction with underfloor heating. We have been supplying our engineered wood flooring for many years over underfloor heating with great success.

Sometimes you are restricted in terms of what thickness of board you can use but this tends to be down to the type of underfloor heating that is installed. Even our thickest boards, the Supreme 21mm thick, are commonly used over wet underfloor heating systems set within a screed.

Many thanks,


Submitted by Alan (not verified) on Thu, 12/04/2018 - 12:31

I have not got UFH but have got old style skirting board heating. This is metal cunstruction with central heatiig pipes attached to it .There is anexpansion gap under the skirting board. The room is currently carpeted on top of 50 year old parquet flooring laid on top of normal floor boards. Apart from this being very ugly it has been ptoblem free.. Would engineered flooring be suitable to lay over this? Alan.

Submitted by jfjadmin on Wed, 18/04/2018 - 11:14

Dear Alan,

Thank you for your comment. Generally the engineered wood flooring can be laid over any flat, solid and dry subfloor. It would most likely be that you would float your floor using an underlay such as Elastilon but we need to speak to you in a little more detail in regards to fitting. I will contact you directly via email and see if we can arrange a chat.

Many thanks,


Submitted by Andrew Douglas (not verified) on Fri, 04/05/2018 - 09:38

Hi, just wanted to ask about glueing the wood floor to the screed. Is this best practice or should thr floor float to allow expansion ? And if you do recommend glueing it, what type of glue allows the heat through?
Thank you.

Submitted by jfjadmin on Wed, 09/05/2018 - 11:29

Hi Andrew,

Thank you for your comment. Please note that there are many different underfloor heating systems, types of subfloors, types of underlays and types of flooring out there so it's not possible to give you a definitive answer to your question. However generally speaking gluing or floating (using a suitable underlay such as Elastilon Strong) are both recognised methods of installing wooden flooring over a screed with underfloor heating. You must always check what products are suitable to be used in conjunction with your specific underfloor heating system. When gluing a board down you use a flexible adhesive that is designed to glue wooden boards to a screed with underfloor heating. In all cased, glued or floated, you allow an expansion around the perimeter of the room.

Many thanks,


Submitted by Tanja (not verified) on Thu, 30/08/2018 - 22:01

We are using engineered timber floor over water based underfloor heating located in grooves in cement boards. An additional thin fibre cement board covers the whole area and the underfloor heating pipes. What is here the recommended way of installing? Floating or glued?
Thank you very much for your help,

Submitted by jfjadmin on Fri, 31/08/2018 - 17:11

Hi Tanja,

We would always recommend discussing fitting methods with the suppliers of your flooring. If you were to be purchasing one of our high spec engineered oak boards then you could either float the floor using the Elastilon Strong underlay or glue the floor using an appropriate adhesive.

I would be more than happy to discuss this in more detail if you wish. Feel free to give me a call on 01598 740197.

Many thanks,


Submitted by Jeff Griffiths (not verified) on Sat, 01/09/2018 - 20:31

Should you re varnish or wax engineered wood flooring when set over ufh

Submitted by jfjadmin on Mon, 03/09/2018 - 08:51

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your comment. It all depends on what the board is supplied finished with and how high traffic the area the floor is to be laid in. Usually pre-treated floors can be laid and left as they are however it can often be recommended that a further coat(s) is applied on site should the area be especially high traffic. For example if you purchased a pre-oiled board and it was to be laid in a very high traffic area with higher chances of spills and stains (busy kitchen) then we would recommend laying the board and applying a finishing coat(s) of oil on site. On the other hand if the flooring was to be laid in a low traffic area, such as a bedroom, you may choose not to do this.

This is the same regardless of whether or not you have underfloor heating.

If you wish to discuss the different flooring and finishing options along with the nature of your rooms please do not hesitate to give me a call.

Many thanks,


Submitted by Sean (not verified) on Tue, 23/10/2018 - 08:05

I’m thinking of installing engineered flooring in my new kitchen diner extension and through to the hallway, we are having wet underfloor heating installed. I’ve seen some issues with the thickness of the board that the heat doesn’t come through. Is the thickness the top wear layer (real wood) which I should be looking at, some sites say the max thickness should be 18mm?
Is this the whole board or the top real wood layer?

Is there any maintenance I should be aware of?


Submitted by jfjadmin on Tue, 23/10/2018 - 18:20

Hi Sean,

Thank you for your comment. All of our engineered wood floors are based on a multi-laminate hardwood ply which gives the boards very high levels of strength and stability making them perfect to be used over underfloor heating systems.

The thickest board we offer, the Supreme 21mm thick, has been used extensively over underfloor heating for many years with great results, so all of our boards are suitable. However the maximum thickness of board can sometimes be specified by the underfloor heating supplier and therefore we always recommend checking with your underfloor heating supplier first before making your choice.

It's the overall board thickness they can sometimes specify. Not the wear layer. However you tend to find that thinner boards have thinner wear layers and thicker boards have thicker wear layers. More information on wear layers can be found in this article:

The underfloor heating does not affect day to day maintenance of the floor. We recommend high quality finishes such as Treatex hardwax oil, which is very easy to clean and maintain.

More information on engineered oak flooring with underfloor heating can be found here:

I hope this helps. I will try and give you a call tomorrow to discuss in more detail.

Many thanks,


Submitted by Geoff Pearce (not verified) on Thu, 30/09/2021 - 14:09

We're going to be installing engineered wood flooring in Ash over a screeded floor with wet UFH. The design of our apartment is Passivhaus and minimalist, and as such we have no skirting. The screed into which the UFH pipes are cast has a 6mm foam expansion joint between it and the walls. The walls are neatly plastered past the screed level to the concrete level (for sealing for Passivhaus compliance). The largest room has a maximum dimension of 5m. It is our plan to leave a gap between the edges of the ash flooring and the plastered walls and fill it with a flexible sealant to allow for expansion.

Could you please advise on the following:
1 Is the above an acceptable solution to the problem associated with UFH and our desire for a minimalist design.
2 Could you please advise the size of gap I should leave between the wood flooring and the surface of the plastered wall.
3 Could you advise the best flexible sealant.
4 Could you please let me know what the relationship is between floor temperature, floor material, moisture content and expansion. Alternatively:
5 Could send me/direct me towards a chart/formula which would allow me to work out expansion for various materials against temperature.
Many thanks in advance,
Geoff :)
+44 (0)7970 961345

Submitted by jfjadmin on Fri, 01/10/2021 - 08:52

Dear Geoff,

Thank you for your comment however I am afraid this is not something we will be able to help you with as we do give advice on floors which are not boards we supply. I would recommend you contact your flooring supplier directly and follow the advice and recommendations they give you for their product. Speaking directly to your supplier is by far the safest way of ensuring you're fitting in a method they approve of and complying with all warranty T&C's etc.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help on this one.

Many thanks,

Tom (Director - JFJ Wood Flooring)

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