Hardwood Floors 101: Is Oak Wood Flooring the Best in Radiant Heat?

With radiant heat, if you don’t install the right flooring, you may find that your hardwood floors start to buckle or cup over time. Because wood floors – whether they are mahogany, oak or another material, can retain and lose moisture, we turned to the experts for advice on how to best protect your investment for years to come.

Radiant Heat

If you live in a warm region like Arizona or Las Vegas, ensuring you use the right flooring can keep your floors intact for years. But, what’s the best flooring for warmer climates?

Arid and Tropical Climates

Depending on the temperatures and humidity in your area, you might not know about radiant heat coming in. If you were to search online for “carpet stores near me” or “flooring stores near me” and ask a flooring specialist to install a particular type of wood, they may ask about the area where you live and the temperatures.

Oak wood flooring installation

One of the reasons is because wood floors can buckle or cup with humidity. Because this can mean costly repairs, before a remodel, consider your weather patterns before new flooring is selected. If you’re unsure about the wood you currently have, contact a flooring specialist about their flooring sale and installation price and ask them to come out for a visual inspection to confirm your wood type.

The Best Wood for Hot Climates

There are a few types of wood that work well with hotter climates. These include cherry, ash, maple, white oak, hickory, and red oak. With regards to finishes, these can come in quartersawn, plainsawn, solid with a plain finish, engineered wood, or a custom finish.

Different types of wood

Hardwood and Engineered Hardwood

Trusted Home Contractors suggests for warmer climates to use engineered wood. “Engineered hardwood is an option for all climates, as its underlying construction resists swelling and shrinking.”

Aside from engineered wood, natural hardwood flooring holds up well, but again, too much moisture can cause swelling and buckling. In regions with high humidity, dehumidifiers might help. In dry and arid areas like Arizona, wood can dry out or crack but floor fitters can use high-quality sealers to minimize cracking.

A quick note about bamboo: While bamboo flooring is trendy, it’s not recommended in warmer regions like Las Vegas or Arizona as it reacts to humidity and hot temperatures.

Why Indoor Temperatures Matter

Glenn Revere, a carpet and flooring inspector states, “Every wood flooring manufacturer only allows their products to be installed indoors, with a stable, maintained environment.” Why you might ask? Because flooring can shrink and expand. Just ask any flooring store specialist when you’re ready to install new flooring.

Flooring Disaster

As Gene points out, temperatures inside must remain continuous. Ideally, temps should be 60- to 80-degrees and humidity in a range of 35- to 55-percent. While the baseboards will allow the wood to expand slightly, it’s just a small gap. When the weather changes beyond that due to high heat, the wood can expand and with no place to go, it starts to buckle.

Other Types of Flooring

There are other types of flooring for warmer climates. Ask your flooring specialist about the latest flooring sale and installation deal they may have on the flooring below.

Vinyl and Linoleum

For the bathroom, kitchen, or hallways, vinyl flooring or linoleum could be options. Vinyl is synthetic and linoleum is made from linseed oil and ground cork. These both can be purchased in tiles or sheets and they’re easy to clean with a damp cloth, Swiffer, or mop. While they might be a little cool underfoot, they handle heat fairly well.


While laminate flooring is often overlooked, ask any flooring specialist the price for flooring and installation with laminate and they’ll likely tell you newer laminate styles are very popular. They resemble real wood and are very practical. The downside is that in damp conditions, laminate will swell and need to be replaced and should only be mopped with a lightly dampened mop or Swiffer.

Porcelain, Natural Stone and Ceramic

Additional types of flooring materials that hold up well in warmer conditions include tile flooring which can last for years and only require light mopping. They’re mostly used in the kitchen or bath, but can be used in any room. They tolerate heat well and are often cool to the touch even in desert conditions or tropical regions like the southeast.


Any kind of carpet flooring will fair well in a warm climate, but note that carpeting can fade with extreme sun. In areas where there is direct sunlight, ensure that blackout drapes are used to block the sun’s rays. For regions with extreme dampness, carpeting may not be recommended as damp weather can lead to too much moisture, mildew, and mold, hence, the reason that a lot of hotels in the Caribbean have tile floors in their hotel rooms.

Kid friendly carpet flooring


Because the area you live in can affect your flooring, it’s best to contact a flooring specialist for assistance with the best floors that will hold up and add value to your home. Ask for a flooring sale and installation quote and get a free in-home estimate. You’ll find that your flooring sale and installation estimate will save you a lot of headaches down the road and your floors will last a long time!

Express Flooring specializes in various types of discount flooring. Arizona residents take advantage of flooring sale and installation deal specials like $500 off when you order new flooring and replace the old and ask for next-day delivery and other offers. Get a free estimate at (888) 512-9037. Contact Express Flooring today!

Hardwood Floors 101: Is Oak Wood Flooring the Best in Radiant Heat? was last modified: November 13th, 2018 by Express Flooring