There are many benefits to installing in-floor radiant heat in a home. Not only does this form of heating provide more energy efficiency and cut down on your utility costs, but it is also a more comfortable way to heat your home. The heat rises from the floor, so your feet end up staying warm and your head will feel cooler without hot air blowing on it. With that in mind, radiant heat will work best when it is installed properly. Here are some tips for laying down the water pipes in the floor for a hydronic radiant heat system.
Level The Floor
The first step is going to be to level the floors where you will be installing the tubes for the radiant heat. This can be done with self-leveling concrete to fix any dips in the floor. Just make sure to sweep the floor first to get rid of any debris that may be on the surface.
Place Foam Around The Room
There is a special foam you can purchase for installing lightweight concrete floors. You'll need to surround the border of the room with this foam so that the concrete can expand without damaging the walls. Any excess foam can be trimmed off after the concrete dries.
Lay Down The Floor Panels
You'll need to place floor panels across the entire room where the hot water pipes will be located. These panels snap together with the adjacent panels to make the job of installing them easy. Just make use to start in one corner and work your way outward. The last row of panels will need to be trimmed to get them to fit.
Don't Create Sharp Bends
That floor panel will have pucks that help secure the pipe in the floor during the installation. The key to using these pucks is to use them as a guide to ensure that you did not bend the tubes too much. Wrapping around a single puck to make your U-turns will result in a kink in the line, which will prevent water from flowing through. Always make u-turns wrap around three pucks to create a distance of about 6 inches between each line.
You'll need to get creative with how you lay down the pipe, since it needs to return to the boiler so that the water can be heated again. Understand that your tubing layout is not going to be completely symmetrical. Just make sure that you form a clear path with the pipe so that the water can return to the boiler.
To learn more about your heating options, contact a company that offers heating installation services.