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Will expansion and contraction cycles of a radiator mar the tile the radiator sits on?

Hello all;

I'm the proud and protective owner of a recently  renovated bathroom .  The bathroom is warmed by a 16-inch radiator, connected to a single pipe steam system.  The radiator sits directly on a new ceramic tile floor.  We chose tiles with a texture to lessen the risk of falls.

So, my concern is whether I should shod the 2 radiator radiator feet opposite the feed pipe with furniture glides to protect the tiles from the expansion and contraction cycles of normal heating.  Over time, won't the movement of the metal feet against the brittle ceramic surface act like a file and dig down into the tiles?

Is there a  product more appropriate to the hot metal feet of radiators  than plastic  furniture glides?  I imagine that some sort of radiator 'shoes' on the vent-side radiator feet would be beneficial is tipping the radiator back towards the feed pipe and helping the condensate to return to the boiler.  But the shoes should deal with the heat and  weight of the radiator over years of service.

Thank you for your advice,



  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 6,055
    edited March 2014
    Really shouldn't be a problem,


    Wouldn't hurt anything, either -- and might make it quieter.  However, assuming that the radiator is already pitched well, I personally think it would be better (although  it sounds a little back woods!) to use small squares cut from a plastic milk carton under the feet.  They slide easily -- we often recommend them to reduce or eliminate expansion noises in piping and radiators -- and they won't rust.  Besides, they're cheap...

    Oh yes -- and they will take the heat, no problem.

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 10,959
    We use them

    all the time. Never had a problem. 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
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