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8' panel tracks vs 4' for underfloor install.

TAG Member Posts: 635
When previously doing underfloor w/ extruded tracks I have used one of the predrilled 4' products .... My thought was to try the Radiant Design ThermoFin C for my current project. This product is thicker vs what I have used previously. Product is suppled w/o holes .... in 8' or 4' lengths. Radiant Design is telling me that predrilled is not necessary -- they actually have roofing nail gun or staples as a preferred way .. along with screws capable of drilling though the plates.

Like the idea of 8' plates because my current project has 30' bays and three will be just about correct -- I'm sure there is a bit of a learning curve but with two people I think the 8' will be superior. Thoughts?

They sell the thinner Thinfin in both 8' and 4' lengths ... with or without holes ..... the product with holes can be bought as Viega Climate Trak.

This is the upper floor of a church conversion -- it's up in the rafters of the cathedral ceiling. The edges of the room are not full standing height -- so the slightly higher output of the thicker panels seems like a good idea.


  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,718
    Your deltoid muscles are going to hate you if you try to drive a million self tappers overhead. I did that once....once!
    Ask Radiant Design to come over and show you how they drive the first 10 or so self tappers.

    If it were me, working alone (as usual), I'd probably get the 8' and pre-drill them on the bench.
    I wouldn't put faith in stapling as I feel it could work loose. Maybe a few staples to get them up quickly and hold them, then screw them all in (and probably yank the staples).
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes Member Posts: 3,301
    edited November 2019
    The Thinfin has a lower output than the ThermoFin C, no? Ultimately, use whichever product that can match the heatloss of the room.

    In a church with high ceilings, stained glass, open doors and a lot of cold people, my first instinct would be to use the thicker stuff.

    We used a collated screw system when installing Radiant Engineering products which worked quite well.

    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • TAG
    TAG Member Posts: 635
    The church -- is a conversion. My home. Going to be a weekend place initially ... full time in the future.

    The product w/o the holes is thicker with a bit more output -- correct. They say to use self drilling //not self tapping screws.

    The majority of the place is new -- Warmboard's subfloor product. My thought was the thicker plates would give me a few more BTU's using the same water temp ... better match.

    The lowest level is a slab -- so I'm not worried about using the lower temp there ...
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,489
    I think the thicker, original ThermoFin is a bit wider than the ThinFin, so probably a bit more output.

    I've found any nail gun with enough power to shoot thru, tends to dimple out the back side and actually hold the plate off the surface a bit. And 5/8 or 3/4"long nails are not so common.

    I have a QuickDrive brand, similar to Alans and use self drilling screws in it. A bit slower but a nice tight connection.

    Put the drill in impact position and it really drives the plates up tight. Ear plugs suggested.

    Different aluminum adapters for different drill motors.

    You might find one at a tool rental, or a demo from Fastenal.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • TAG
    TAG Member Posts: 635
    The cordless version of both are expensive -- A refurbished Senco corded is under $100. They are telling me I need 10 boxes of the 8' -- so around 200 to install.

    Some of the tracks are only 3.5 wide .... the Thermofin are a full 4" .
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,489
    I tried a few different screws before I settled on the type with the self drilling tip. This brand has all sorts of screws available. I think these are for metal stud work.

    Be sure they don't poke thru the flooring, it's a drag to grind all the tips off :)

    Nothing wrong with a corded version for the money, twist lock plugs are a nice addition for overhead work.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • TAG
    TAG Member Posts: 635
    The uppermost level was not damaged (had a fire) .. I'm keeping the wide plank floors on that level --- beech. That's the reason for the plates. The new is reclaimed wide white oak -- it's just too expensive to replace.