What pad between pex tubes and engineered hardwood?
Last Post 16 Mar 2021 10:55 AM by newbostonconst. 6 Replies.
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rogeriusUser is Offline
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08 Mar 2021 02:34 AM
We are in process of installing the radiant heating system using heating plates in our ICF home and we are planning to install engineered hardwood over. Any recommendation in what kind of padding to use. I see the big building box has a variety of them and some has the R at 0.6. Will have a huge impact in heat transfer or 0.6R is nonsemnificative? Any recommendation? Thanks.
newbostonconstUser is Offline
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08 Mar 2021 01:07 PM
NO PAD....

Concrete or Lightcrete is way better and cheaper then plates. We use rebar wire ties(zip ties work but are slower) and poultry staples(can use any strong staple) to hold the tubing to the sub floor. Then cover with 1-1/2 inch or more of concrete. We then glue down the floor....There are some great glues out now....I can list the one we use if needed.

This will give you a lot more even heat and thermal mass. If your house is supper efficient it wont take much energy to heat the house and thus the floors won't be as warm as they used to be in older houses.
"Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlins
rogeriusUser is Offline
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08 Mar 2021 10:29 PM
Posted By newbostonconst on 08 Mar 2021 01:07 PM
NO PAD....

Concrete or Lightcrete is way better and cheaper then plates. We use rebar wire ties(zip ties work but are slower) and poultry staples(can use any strong staple) to hold the tubing to the sub floor. Then cover with 1-1/2 inch or more of concrete. We then glue down the floor....There are some great glues out now....I can list the one we use if needed.

This will give you a lot more even heat and thermal mass. If your house is supper efficient it wont take much energy to heat the house and thus the floors won't be as warm as they used to be in older houses.


Thank you for reply, but how I said I'm using already the heat transfer plates in my install so no discussion about concrete or lightcreet here. Yes, glue can be an option which I don't like it as if I would like to replace it in the future will be a problem, nail it is an option but again change it in the future not an easy job so that is the reason why I would like to go floating and idea of not using pads under engineered hardwood I believe is not a good one. So, any experience with installing floating engineered hardwood? Pad, no pad, what kind of pad???
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09 Mar 2021 11:28 AM
I did floating once and that is why I glued the second time. Being it isn't fastened down and floating the boards may be raised in areas and when you walk on them they flex and are spungy. I got better every year as the boards flex down but never went away.

http://www.hardwoodflooringtalk.com/forum/floating-floor-super-spongy-considering-t6935.html

I am sure there are plenty of other examples to help you.

I know some people state adding foam but in a heated floor instance it is insulation and is going to effect the way the heat travels through your floor.

The heat in essence will take the path of least resistance and will travel downward more then you may want.

In our current house we went a couple years with concrete heated floors and then added the glued down wood. We used to heat the level below and now we don't.....The easiest path for the heat used to be up and now the subfloor and wood floor are the same thickness so the heat goes both directions and heats both levels.

"Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlins
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11 Mar 2021 04:51 PM
Yes, as Newbostonconst described, the heat transfer up and down will be proportional to the R-value above and below the PEX. We hardly ever mess with plate HR emitters...crazy expensive and lousy efficiency...which translates to very high supply temps (relative to slab or Warmboard type HR emitters). Beyond those cons, I think your main consideration would be using a floor finishing that is compatible with the higher heat flux of your plate HR emitter. Most competent HR designs keep the floor surface temp below 85F. And a good HR system designer should provide you with floor finishing product recommendations compatible with your HR emitter design.
Borst Engineering & Construction LLC - Competence, Integrity and Professionalism are integral to all that we do!
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15 Mar 2021 11:48 PM
Just an update after installed the engineered hardwood over an underlayment made of recycled rubber bought from Costco. The price was little bit high at 0.7c/sqft but I was pleased with results.
We installed the underlayment in the first day and leave the packs with hardwood overnight for aclimatization. Next day when we entered in the room I felt the underlayment warm, room felt no different from previous day when the tubes were expose. So the heat transfer wasn't obstructed at al or maybe not noticeable. The downside is the smell of rubber product comming from underlayment but hope that will go away in time. Just wish to mention here that we keep our basement at 12C and we have insulation R31 in the floor and R80 in the ceiling.
We installed the 1/2 thick eng. hardwood and is a pleasure to walk on it. I asked my kids to check if they can find heat spots, but not a chance. Overall the system is working so nice, no gurgle noise in the pipes now after run the fill pump for a full day. Was -16C outside in one of the nigths and -5C over day; we keep the temp in that toom at 23C and I count the system running for 1.5 hours over 24h period and that includes the loops in the basement slab (1800sqft).
Just a note here after seeing the comments above: the cost of heat plates (cost me 250CAD) is a fraction compare with Warmboard solution (quoted at 4500CAD for that room) and I can see the price will go up more after this feasco with the wood product prices. By the way, did you guys saw the latest prices on 2x4 or plywood ?Yes, are double or more from last summer.
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16 Mar 2021 10:55 AM
Glad you are happy....wood prices are crazy....

I am sure it is very exciting for your and your family.
"Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlins
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