I need some feedback. The project I am currently doing will have hydronic radiant heat tubing installed underneath the existing 1×6 diagonal subfloor (1920’s house). Finish flooring will be 2 1/4″ strip oak, finished in place.
Radiant sub says he’d prefer the flooring to be installed first, to minimize the chance of a wayward flooring nail puncturing the tubing. Since I normally install hardwood after drywall & before trim, a puncture would suck. So, not an unreasonable request.
Hardwood guy says he’d like to break the bundles, scatter them and let ’em sit for a week or so with the radiant heat on, to get everything acclimated and reduce the chance of shrinkage. Not a bad call, since we’re just outside of DC, and it’s hot and humid most of the time. Having to fire up the heat and stay off the interior for a week in the middle of summer would be a drag though.
Seems like I have a couple of options:
1. install tubing now & flooring when I normally do and take the risk. Maybe mark the rosin paper or felt with the tubing locations to minimize risk.
2. install tubing now & flooring AFTER trim (it will into autumn then, so less of a PITA)
3. install wood now, before drywall & other trades. Protect it with masonite. Hope it doesn’t shrink like crazy after the heat comes on.
3. add 1/2″ plywood to entire subfloor to remove risk of stray nails
4. use quarter or at least quarter/ riftsawn mix on the oak to minimize shrinkage.
This is the first time I’ve done the radiant on a job, and I just don’t want to eff it up and box myself into a corner.
Anyone got any hard-earned wisdom they’d like to share?