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Radiant floor heating install

kk Member Posts: 3
We're working on a 100 yr old gut rehab. Putting in radiant floor heat between floor joists on first and second floors. Wood floors will be installed throughout. We've heard two different approaches to install: clips or staple up with alum heat disp. plates. Which is the best method. And what about striping on the floors? One more thing; any honest contractors available in Chicago??


  • As much discussion as there is about whether or not plates are strictly necessary in all applications, there is *no doubt whatsoever* that adding plates makes for a better system. Much better. Especially with wood floors you'll be able to keep your water temps down to protect them better. Make sure the plates you use offer good tubing contact and make sure they are installed flat against the subfloor (maximum plate to floor contact). And use expansion loops!!
  • cruizer
    cruizer Member Posts: 48

    Plates reduces the supply temp while putting out the same amount of btu's/hr. Also eliminates the heat striping effect you get from putting tube up against the floor directly.
  • Steve Miller
    Steve Miller Member Posts: 115
    plates and wood floors

    I've done a few plate jobs but mainly we suspend the tubing off the joists and insulate underneath if the B.T.U's work out. I'm wondering when you use plates, how do you protect the tube from nails when hardwood floors are installed? We suspend our tube just under the crown part of a TJI joist or bout an 1 1/4 down on a wood truss out of nails way. In a perfect world I would think you'd install tubing after the floor was installed and you could clip off the nails and put up your plates.

    Thanks, Steve M
  • Mike Kraft
    Mike Kraft Member Posts: 406
    Plates,wood floors and nails

    What we did is snapped lines on top of the subfloor centered on each joist.Then the hardwood installer nailed in each joist and centered in between the plates(which were 8" centers).Worked well.........granted not all flooring installers will be that congenial:)

  • tombig
    tombig Member Posts: 291
    Snappin lines

    I suggested that very thing to HO yesterday. The issue here was "how do you acclimate the hardwood to the heated floor before nailing down if the heating system is not up and running?" On my sleeper/overpour jobs the flooring is spread out (not bundled) on the heated floor for a week or so before installing to insure minimum shrinkage of the wood. The hardwood guy had better be congenial if he wants his product to be properly installed.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,853
    nails, tube, and protection

    A couple ideas for assuring the nail and the tube don't meet. The length of the nail is important, also the angle they drive the nail. The insteller can place a small block of wood under the heel of his drive tool to flatten the angle. This way a 2" nail will not reach through 3/4" decking. Try a couple practice shots.

    More and more framers are switching to AdvanDeck (sp) or similar products for decking. A much denser (and heavier) and more water tolerant product than basic wafer board. It looks to me to be a tad thicker than 3/4" OSB or wafer, which helps the nail penetration issue also.

    Your flooring installer should be willing to work with you on this. They hate hitting tubes as much as you hate for them to hit 'em. Especially if it is pressurized with water :) Which is the best way to indicate a "hit" tube.

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Stef Davis
    Stef Davis Member Posts: 11
    climate panels

    We are going to be using Climate Panels (panels with aluminum on the bottome and chanels in the plywood for the tubes). Wirsbo, et al, are clear about providing expansion loops with underfloor installations, to permit expansion and constraction of the tubing. How is that accomodated in the climate panels, where the tubing is inserted in channels and no room for expansion. The tubing can hardly be constrained, can it, and if not, does it pop "up" and lift the flooring material?
  • GH
    GH Member Posts: 45
    Radiant Done Right

    Check out our web site .
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