Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit

Install new radiators or new harwood floor first?

kevin coppinger_4
kevin coppinger_4 Member Posts: 2,124
you need a steam knowledgeable person to look at your system...sound like a good cleaning, proper insulation and proper venting will make most of your problems go away....they still make steam valve shut offs.....kpc

<A HREF="">To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"</A>


  • Tom_98
    Tom_98 Member Posts: 4

    Thinking about getting rid of the old steam monster radiators and replacing them with hot water Governale Free cast iron radiators. The plumber is going to use all Pex for the system. I am going to install a new 3/4" floor on the 2nd floor. Question is should I have the old system ripped out then install the new floor then the new radiators, or can the new radiators go in with the pex pipe coming up and leave a little play so the new radiator can be lifted up so the new floor can be placed under it.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Well, first of all

    to rip out the steam and put in something else means you'll spend lots of money and get little if any benefit. We have found that it's much more cost-effective to fix a steam system rather than tear it out, with some of our customers saving over 30% on fuel consumption. And besides, in an extended power failure a hot-water system can freeze up and burst, whereas a steam system drains dry on shutdown except for some piping in the basement and the boiler itself.

    With any radiator installation, the risers are installed thru the subfloor, then the finish floor goes down, then the rads go in.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Tom_98
    Tom_98 Member Posts: 4

    I was told I would save 30% by converting. Plus I would have to spend money raising the rad on the second floor the old floor was lower and I want new valves. I would get heat in the basement that would cost me a couple of G's any way. And half of the 1st floor is always cold because unless the heat is cranked those rads never get fully hot. What do you think?
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Don't know who told you that

    but it looks to me like this person is comparing a brand-new hot-water system with a steam system in need of some maintenance and tuning. Not exactly a fair comparison.

    As far as I know- and I've done some research on it- there has never been an apples-to-apples comparison of the relative efficiencies of transporting BTUs in a heating system by steam as opposed to water. To do this you'd need to have identical buildings, identical boilers and both systems would have to be in optimum tune, to get rid of all possible variables. These days I doubt anyone would be capable of doing that much work.

    What I can tell you for sure, is that the problems you describe are easily fixed. Uneven heat distribution? 95% of the time it's due to bad or missing main air vents.

    The floor height issue is solved by either replacing the pipe nipple coming thru the floor, or using a "pipe stretcher" also called an extension coupling if it will fit. You can run a hot-water loop off the base of a steam boiler to heat the basement, and it could have its own thermostat too. And they still make shutoff valves for steam radiators.

    This situation makes me think of the car salesman who tries to sell you a new car because your car's ashtrays are dirty.

    Unlike some, I have the numbers to support what I'm telling you. One such job is in our Find a Professional ad- click on the link below. If you're interested I'll be happy to send you more.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
This discussion has been closed.


It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!