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I'm planning on putting electric floor heat in a daylight basement room which has a concrete pad. However, we don't like tile, so we'd like to use something else--preferably something that looks like wood. It could be laminate, vinyl planks, etc. The other complication is that vertical height is limited--90" from concrete pad to ceiling joists. We're in the Portland, Oregon area--the climate is cool, damp, and weird.

Has anyone installed (or had someone else install) a similar system (non-tile in a basement)? What did you use? How did it hold up? Did the manufacturer's directions (for both the electric heat and the flooring) recommend your approach?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

There are numerous floor heating systems that can be used under solid wood flooring, engineered floor or carpet. An internet search of heated flooring will give you links to various floor manufacturers and heating system manufacturers.

You definitely need to check the specs on both the heating system and the finish material to ensure compatibility. There are various restrictions, such as the width of wooden floor boards to minimize problems due to moisiture changes.

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I ended up using engineered hardwood (hickory). Many types of hickory weren't listed as being compatible with floor heat--but I found one that was. The layers I'm putting down are: 1/4" grooved thinset, heat pad (Nuheat), 1/4" smooth thinset, leveling compound (slab is already level), underlayment (with built-in vapor barrier), engineered hardwood (floating, glue-together). – watkipet Apr 13 '15 at 15:40

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