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Gypcrete and Sleepers

C_Moe52 Member Posts: 1
Hello all - I recently bought a house with radiant heating and I want to replace the flooring as it’s old and beat up. I want to put tile down across the whole main floor, but on the half where there was wood down it has sleepers in the gypcrete. What are my options for getting a solid subfloor on the side with sleepers?  Do I screw in all the sleepers and make them firm, and pour a self leveler over it?  Or do I need to take the sleepers out and patch where they were?  Or rip the whole thing out?  I have a flir gun so I can see the piping and it doesn’t go through any sleepers just around them. 


  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,246
    I was never a huge fan of sleeper systems with gyp or concrete. What happens is the sleepers swell up from the wet pour, then when the heat comes on they dry out and shrink down. There is a lot of water in gyp pours. So the sleepers had to be screwed and glued down well. Even then you could get some squeaks. Some would split and not hold fasteners.

    But regardless, the fill material would also shrink down and not be in contact with the flooring. So it basically added some mass, slowed down recovery.

    The only reason for the sleepers was to use nail down hardwood. The engineered wood flooring products are a much better match for radiant.

    I would go with a dry systems. Warmboard, Roth Radiant Panels, Uponor, Viega, a number of other choices.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Paul Pollets
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,656
    Sleepers are a bad idea to use with Gyp and conventional strip flooring. Pre-engineered flooring is designed to work for direct application to the heated slab, without the use of nails. It won't warp or cup.