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Radiant Heat: Ceramic Floor Better than Cork?

hot_rod Member Posts: 22,157
either will work.

Consider an Ultra Fin system that could run at the same temperature as the radiators. Simple to install, no mixing device required.

hot rod
Bob "hot rod" Rohr
trainer for Caleffi NA
Living the hydronic dream


  • D107
    D107 Member Posts: 1,852
    Cork acts as insulator?

    My wife and I are at long last tackling a new kitchen and the choice of flooring has come up. Contractor says ceramic would be a better conductor for radiant heat.

    I understand that doing a new floor in the kitchen --and adjacent half-bath--using a mud job for ceramic--would provide the opportunity to install the radiant loops ABOVE the floor instead of doing staple up on the basement ceiling, drilling through joists etc. Is a mud-job superior to cement fiberboard panels as an underfloor for the ceramic tile and radiant loops?

    At any rate, we have to remove the existing cast iron rad in our small kitchen to free up some very needed floor space.
    Heating system is cast iron on ground and 2nd floors and we were not intending to update our oversized 25 yr old gas boiler for another few years.

    We've been running our boiler at 160 degrees; I'd guess we'd have to add a radiant zone and mixing valve for lower radiant supply temps. Hate to lose an opportunity to get the best radiant loop install, even if we can't install the ideal overall system for a few years yet.



  • tile is better, yes, but cork is a very viable choice. I know we all think of cork as an insulator, but really it doesn't seem to be any worse than any other wood in terms of insulative power as a flooring material.
  • andy_21
    andy_21 Member Posts: 42
    ceramic vs. cork

    tile w/ a mud job would work best for your floor, you can install on top of subfloor & have a dead level floor for cabinet install, be sure to insulate the joist bays as well as the rim joist. Cork works well but doesn't hold up a well to heavy traffic & pets.
  • D107
    D107 Member Posts: 1,852
    Only problem with ultra fin would seem

    to be requirement for 160 deg. water. I expect to install a mod-con in about 4 years, and since emitters (80K) to loss (40K) is 2 to 1, I'd hope to be able to run cast iron rads at maybe 120 degrees much of the time. Basement is heated with slant-fin 30 baseboard.

    But you have got me starting to research radiant now since I've got a few months before the kitchen will be remodeled. I appreciate all your answers.

    Long term it would make sense to use radiant in the small 1500Kbtu losskitchen and adjacent 878K btu loss half-bath since the ceiling below is exposed, and if need a mixing valve when I get a mod-con, then that may not be too bad.


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