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Forced hot water radiator floor clearance

Paul_74 Member Posts: 2
I will be doing some work replacing vinyl floors with tile floors in a house with forced hot water radiators. What is the minimal distance for the clearance between the floor and the finned tubing? The faceplate on the radiator should allow how much floor clearance? Thanks for your help.


  • Al Letellier_9
    Al Letellier_9 Member Posts: 929
    hot water radiators

    I assume from your question that you mean hot water baseboard radiation. It is usually designed to have the rear backing plate on the surface of the finished floor. Optimal performance will be diminished if you do anything to restrict the normal opening of the shell to allow air circulation. How much I don't know, but when ceramic tile is added, usually a backer board or base is installed. I would raise the BB to accomodate the new floor thickness. If only the thickness of the tile is added,you shouldn't see or feel much of a difference. While down there, clean the fins !!!
  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
    Al's right.

    The back of the baseboards should be flush or slightly above the tile (or rug surface) that assures the face panel is hung on the metal frame tabs at the correct height, making the opening slot underneath adequate for the rated BTU output (typically ~600 BTU's/foot @ 180F average water temp) to remain uncompromised.

    With most makers, this results in a 1-1/2" opening between the floor covering (tile or carpet) and the lower lip of the baseboard front panel. If panel rads exist, a much larger opening is required, typically over 2".

    Hope this helps.

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