Radiant Floor Rebuild

Old 02-17-10, 09:06 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: USA
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Unhappy Radiant Floor Rebuild

Hi, I am new to the forum and am looking for ideas about our Radiant Floor System.

We recently bought a house (we live in MN) and discovered the Radiant Floor pipes in our basement floor are cracked in multiple places in each of the 6 loops due to the house not being winterized while being sold. We have been told that the present system is unusable. The size of the basement is roughly 1500 sqft. We don't have forced air ducting down there and the present forced air furnace is not sized to include the basement. We would like to look at our options and the pros and cons of each, regarding heating the basement.

The options we know about so far are:
1. Replace the present radiant heating system by ripping out the floor and relaying the concrete and pex piping.
- Con: expensive
- Pro: Efficient heating

2. Use gypcrete to lay on top.
- Con: puts our stairs and walk out door out of code
- Con: fairly expensive
- Con: We have a 8ft ceiling height. This would reduce it further.
- Con: Seems there is plenty of discussion of how good it is.
- Pro: Don't have to worry about ripping our existing concrete.

3. Baseboard Radiant Heating
- Con: Not as effective as in the floor radiant floor.
- Pro: Cheaper than in floor radiant option

These are what we have right now as options. Does anyone else have any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

Old 02-18-10, 01:50 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
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One word, Warmboard. This can lay over your existing slab and then a finish floor over the Warmboard. Probably get by with a total height adjustment of maybe an inch or two unless you need additional insulation due to an improperly insulated slab.

Unless the existing floor was installed properly, proper drainage, proper insulation and proper thermal break from the foundation/footings you might be better off with the baseboard convectors or radiant panels on the walls. Improperly prepared below-grade floors are NOT energy efficient when used for radiant heat.

Old 02-18-10, 04:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Northwestern Ontario (Canada)
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So the slab is split apart all over the place ?
I'd be a little worried about spending too much money finishing on top of a broken up slab, and then have that lift somewhere.

If its split right through, you also have a concern about radon gas entry into the home.. plus possibly water (you'll probably find out this spring during the melt off).

Maybe get a concrete guy to come and take a looksee, see how bad the physical situation is. Then base your heating situation from that.
Old 02-20-10, 07:59 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
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No one has thought of just breaking around the broken pipe and fixing each break.
Might turn into a dog chasing it's tail around, but six splices are not that big a deal.
Cost to remove and replace the slab, tubing and place a new slab for 1500 Sq Ft is gonna be huge compared to fixing what you have.

1) do you know the exact locations of the breaks ?
2) do you know for sure how many breaks ?
3) do you know what piping system they used in the slab ?
4) existing floor finish ?

If you have any pent up frustrations, it mught just be theroputic to smash the concrete slab up. Just thing about your boss while doing it (if you don't like him), or employees if your the boss :-)

In a day you could have the existing areas broken and prepared for the repairs and then the another day to mix and place the concrete.

Good luck

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