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Need Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating Help HERE

I have a one story ranch home with a finished basement apartment. I want to install radiant heating on the main floor kitchen. I pulled the convector out and ripped the floor down to the floor joists. Should I use Pex with gypsum crete slab over the sub floor or put in a Uponor Quik Trak system over the sub floor? Ceramic, natural stone, marble, or equivalent tile will follow over the radiant floor. Also does my new retrofitted radiant floor need to have its own thermostat or zone? Can I just tap into the existing copper pipes of the convector after converting them to pex and have it controlled by the existing thermostat?

Any other tips and suggestions to make this heat as efficient as possible would be appreciated. Thanks


  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,393
    Quick-Track Yes

    I am not against the gyp-crete but for an existing installation, I would be surprised if you can afford the added thickness. Quick-Track (or the equivalent, Viega Climate Panels) add about a half-inch.

    Your largest challenge I see is how to insulate below. Being open as it seems, great, but if there are recessed lights in the apartment below, they have to be IC rated for insulation contact.

    The type of insulation?  Blown in cellulose is easiest but if you ever open the ceiling below, what a mess. Someone will forget and no one will remember until it is too late.

    Batts are middling in effectiveness, but may be your best hope if done right. R-19 at least. You need that 'thermal anvil'. And your downstairs does not need a radiant ceiling they cannot control.

    Separate zone? Absolutely! Your floor temperatures with conventional HW especially if on a cold day will not please you. Your water temperatures would tend to be between 100 and 130 degrees, vs. what may be 160 or more for the rest of the house. So yes, mix it down and control it.

    Critical Step 1 is calculate a detailed heat loss. Then divide that number by the actual floor area available to be radiant flooring. Under an open counter is fine. Islands and cabinets? No, do not count them. Your number, one hopes, will be between 25 and 30 BTUH per SF. Could be 35 but that is pushing it. As cool as will heat the space is key.

    Your "zone" will have a separate circulator and mixing valve plus a manifold. May not be that large a manifold and could be one, two, maybe three circuits. I have no idea of  the size, but a single room say under 200 SF, would be not more than two circuits, one being a push sometimes.

    The Quick-Track and Climate Panel systems are based on a 7-inch spacing. With fixed spacing, your water temperature is your controlled variable. So good water temperature control = good floor temperature control.

    Once you do this, you will not regret it.
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • 1164Cassel
    1164Cassel Member Posts: 6
    good info

    I think I will choose Quik Trak. The kitchen is 144 square feet. Can I get a mixing station (circulator, temp gauge, manifold, etc) prefabricated? If so is there one you would recommend over others. As time goes I would like to remove all the convector's in the house and convert to radiant floor heating.
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    On Added Suggestion

    I have done my sare of kitchens and do yourself a favor and put in a Wirsbo 511s. You want a floor sensor in the kitchen. The 511 will look at both air and floor and learn the curve. If you have a wife that likes to cook and you gather in near or in the kitchen it's a must. I've seen many of jobs without it and many people complaining about cold floors and little comfort. Spend the few extra bucks on it.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,428
    Using the existing convector stubs...

    The new kitchen zone can be easily controlled by using the Oventrop UniBox connected to the existing radiator stubs. No additional pump or mixing station is required.
  • 1164Cassel
    1164Cassel Member Posts: 6
    Oventrop Unibox E Plus.....

    Wow. Paul Pollets, so if I understand this correctly. I can  intergrate UNibox E Plus heating control in to my quick trak pex zone, and that will basically replace the need for a mixing and pump station with the same effectiveness?? Your information on this product is greatly appreciated and may save a lot of time on my part.  Also where can I purchase the Oventrop products?
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,428

    Try Heatlines Supply or Chris Rorke at Blueline Supply ((307) 733-3953). Follow the installation instructions carefully!!
  • Readytogiveup
    Readytogiveup Member Posts: 1
    Huge electric bills

    Help! We installed the hydronic radiant floor heat in our new addition . We use an electric boiler to heat the water. Ever since turning it on our electric bills have been $500 a month . We are using a large amount of electricity, so much that our utility company has brought t

    It to our attention. Our house is 2200 sq ft and the floor heat is not in all parts of the house so it isn't a huge space. We cannot figure out why it runs so much.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,985
    edited January 2013

    What are your electric rates?

    Are other fuels (nat gas) available? At what rate?

    What part of the country?

    How is the tubing installed?

    Is there insulation under the floor?

    Are the windows double pane?

    How is the house insulated?

    How is the rest of the house heated?

    Was a heat loss calc done before installation?

    How hot is the boiler set to run?

    What are the T-stats set to?

    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
This discussion has been closed.