We are building a slab-on-grade home with radiant heat in the slab. Should we use glue-down hardwood flooring or a floating floor?

Asked by Sarah Locke
Bowie, MD

We are building a slab-on-grade passive solar house with a radiant heating system already installed in the slab. We want to have hardwood flooring throughout, and are trying to decide between gluing down the flooring or having a floating floor. The glue-down system is very expensive if you pay an installer, and I'm concerned about the toxicity of the glues. I've never actually seen or walked on a floating floor and am concerned whether it will feel "bouncy."


Raymond Pruban

Answered by Raymond Pruban

Woodbury, MN

Amaris Custom Homes

June 20, 2011

I would not recommend installing hardwood over a concrete floor, even with radiant in-floor heat.

Even with the best installation, you run the high risk of the floor cupping from moisture coming up through the concrete floor.

There are good laminate products that look like wood and will not get ruined from moisture. Glue-down or floating are both fine.


For more information:

Reaad "We are considering radiant heat. Will manufactured bamboo flooring stand up to the challenge?" a Q&A answered by Lily Livingston.

Tagged In: radiant heat, wood flooring

Do you have a question about greening your home? GreenHomeGuide invites you to Ask A Pro. Let our network of experienced green building professionals – architects, designers, contractors, electricians, energy experts, landscapers, tile & stone specialists, and more – help you find the right solution.