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warm board - craig w.

craig w.
craig w. Member Posts: 1
I have a customer interested in a product called warmboard and I was wondering if anyone has used and could fill me on the +/- of this product, also is it like the subray product made by wattsRadiant?...thanks,


  • J Matthers
    J Matthers Member Posts: 24

    I have used warmboard in a 3200SF house I am building. The product is great. I takes the place of the subfloor and is toped with a layer of aluminum. The board is groved to accept 1/2 pex 12" on center. It takes a little more time to lay down and you need to be careful and accurate when laying it out (the company will produce drawings for you).
    It is heavier than 3/4 subflooring and you will need to put in a few suplemetary joist (explained in the instructions)but the tubing goes in very quick and easy. Cost wise it is more up front but you will save in matirials and labor. I haven't finised the house yet put I understand it is very efficent in heat transfer and has a quick responce time. Good luck!
  • Riles
    Riles Member Posts: 84
    biggest decision

    When to install tubing? Before or after the walls get framed. I prefer after and suggest holding off as long as possible. Depending on your zoning strategy, before is an option but i suggest protecting by covering with some temporary luan as the various subs do there thing the exposed tubing is suceptible to damage.
    I agree the tubing does go in quickly, be careful with the amount of silicone. The installation video shows more than is needed. Use very little. We had one job where the tubing appeared to be ALL the way in, but was slightly high. Which certainly is not acceptable for the hardwood flooring guy. So we pulled the tubing and reinstalled.
    The boards are 1-3/32 thick. The installation kit has templates to make routering easy as you plan your route, especially with zoning.
    Good product.
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    Warmboard tips

    I have found the pex al pex tubes work nicely. They shape to the turns with less spring back, and the pap od is a bit larger for a nice tight fit. I have found the silicone is not needed with pap.

    If you install the pex right after the board goes down sunlight exposure becomes a real concern. Also dirt gets under the tube and tends to start lifting it out of the grooves. I much prefer cleaning and vacumning the grooved late in the project as opposed to protecting the tube from dozens of subs working over it!

    I install the tube at the last possible moment. The day before floor covering, if possible.

    On the custom home jobs I did there was some interior walls changed from the original plan. On my next large job I would use turn panels just on the two ends of the building and custom router all my partion walls. This would also eliminate going under walls. With the proper router and templetes the job isn't all that bad. It would also speed up the board installation not worring about proper turn panel placement.

    A lot depends on how many zones and the complexity of the floor plan. I'm here to tell you this is the fastest responding system I have ever installed.

    The pic below shows the mess the fireplace stone mason left on the board. Glad the tube wasn't exposed to 4 months of stone masons, dropped rocks and tools, and scaffold placement!

    The owner had the forethought to map out the tube spacing knowing he would be locating floor receptacles after the furniture was in place. Great idea. Always take videos or digital photos of the layout also.

    hot rod

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  • Duncan_2
    Duncan_2 Member Posts: 174
    Warmboard output ?

    Anybody know what the btu/square foot output of Warmboard is?

    I couldn't find it on their site, the technical section is pretty general information. There was some vague reference to eight times the conductivity of concrete, or some such, but that could be misinterpreted in a couple ways.

    If that information isn't available, does anyone have a piece of Warmboard that they could measure the thickness of the aluminum part?
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    WB info

    .025 on the 1100-0 alloy top sheet. Here is the output data from the catalog. I think there has been a change of ownership of Warmboard. Rumor has it the original inventor and some investors bought the rights. Don't quote me on that, however. I'm not sure how accurate this data is.
    Happy 4th Duncan.

    hot rod

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  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    The installation of Warmboard

    is a little more work than regular 3/4" plywood. You want to make sure your framers are "up to speed" with the product. Don't surprise them. Get the installation video before hand. On all of my WB installs I work along with the framers to lend a hand and support.
    As always, buying lunch or beverages goes a long way towards avoiding the whinning :) at least on the jobsite!

    Invest in a glue stick, (a long handle caulk gun holder) Make sure their nail guns have the power to drive a 16 thru the WB, it is a dense product to shoot thru.

    Carbide tipped blades in the saws, and good wrap around eye protection are a must. If you pick up fill in 1-1/8" plywood locally make sure the tounge and grooves match. I would suggest getting extra blank sheets (without grooves or aluminum sheet) from WB to avoid this. I use blank sheets under cabinets, fireplaces, stairs, and other un heated areas.

    It will start to "potato chip" if left on the job site uncovered for long periods. Not nearly as bad as OSB but it does make the installation a bit harder when the sheets warp.

    Two guys per sheet to haul the stuff around. A long reach fork lift sure is nice, and a must for 2nd story work :) Unless you have some young-ens with a point to prove, strength wise :)

    Make sure the top of all the joists are level. On one job the framer mixed 2X12 s with some engineered micro lams and the width varied up to 1/4", making tounge and groove alingment a real drag. Eyeball along the top of the joists and correct any large mismatches. Preferably before you apply the construction adhesive :0

    Use the sealer on cut edges.

    This piece has been on my truck bed for several years. Rain, snow etc. no delam issues, just a little fade on the aluminum color.

    hot rod

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  • Riles
    Riles Member Posts: 84
    Excellent Feedback

    I agree hold off on installing the tubing as long as possible. I had one guy who apparently thought Engel Method PEX was Magical tubing. I showed up to check on this job and the drywall guys were on scalfolds installing the ceiling 18' up. Those guys never drop screws, and the screws never end up on the tubing, and the scalfold wheels never sit on those screws. I told him PEX very durable, impossible to puncture no. This of course was proven later in the project by the hardwood guy who jumped when introduced to 100 PSI air.
    I have also been told PAP fits snug. Hot Rod do you need to use a linoleum roller to apply? Does it still sit flush for the hardwood guy?
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    If installed properly..

    how often have we heard that line :) I have never used a roller. The key to the tube fit is this. Clean the grooves carefully, and don't use much silicone. As I mentioned with the PAP I found silicone was not needed, even on the loops ends where the regular pex tries to jump out. If you use silicone a tiny bead or dabs every foot or so. Clip the end of the silicone tube about the size of an 8 penny nail for bead control.

    I rigged up some long handled 1/2" copper fitting cleaning brushes. I dragged these thru the grooves with a vacumn nozzle right behind. The grooves do need to be debris free or the tube will not lie flush. Another thing to watch for is the construction adhesive that ozzes up thru the seams on the sheets and will prevent the tube from going in all the way.

    Just like Climate panels or any new product, there is a learning curve. I'd like to see the manufacture include a tips from the installers sheet with the sale of all product. The simple little issues make a big difference in the hassle/ frustration factor for first timers. Manufactures should offer more of the "what to watch out for" tips in the installation manuals, I think.

    Wouldn't it be nice if all new products went to the hands of at least 6 installers before it hit the market :) My hand is in the air!

    hot rod

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