Is there a Disadvantage to Underfloor Heating?

Old 05-31-07, 04:01 PM
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Exclamation Is there a Disadvantage to Underfloor Heating?

I have seen underfloor heating ---electric and those with water pipes...

1. Is there a disadvantage to underfloor heating?
2. Since it will be placed underneath ceramic tiles or hardwood which is permanent, will future repair be a problem?
3. Since there is heat, will growth of bacteria of molds be faster?
4. What is the brand/model is the best underfloor heating?
Old 05-31-07, 06:47 PM
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If there is no moisture, there should be no mold. Certain species of hardwood fair better over heat than others. Installation method for hardwood should be discussed with the radiant heat manufacturer. For instance, you wouldn't want to drive a nail or staple into the system.
Old 05-31-07, 06:50 PM
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In the area of Colorado I recently moved from, radiant in floor heat was very popular and commonly found in new construction. Not much electric was used because it's so expensive to run. The initial cost was higher to install than forced air, but the claim was it would pay for itself in savings on heating in just a few years. The women especially liked it because their tile floors were warm to walk on. If the house is well insulated, it's less expensive to run than forced air. The heat comes from the floor so a lower thermostat setting will still keep you comfortable. If you go that route, make sure you use the right pad if there will be any carpet. The wrong pad will insulate your heat into the floor and negate any advantage provided by this sort of heat. The materials used for such heat systems a much improved and needed repairs are rare. But, should repair become necessary, it can be a problem. In floor heat under hardwood must be done correctly or it'll mess up the hardwood. I have no clue about the rest of your questions, but some one no doubt will. You may want to pose them in the plumbing forum.
Old 05-31-07, 08:41 PM
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Go for it, Its the most comfortable heating there is

Radiant floor systems have been in use in Europe for decades. The technology of tubing is well proven & is constantly improving, the new Hi eff. boilers are amazingly efficient. If you have the bucks you can use active solar to supplement & reduce life cycle costs & your carbon footprint. My system has been in for 15 years, trouble free. The system is PEX tubing stapled down to the plywood subfloor. Gypsum liquid substrate is then poured over the tube to a depth of 1.5". The gyp is self leveling so you end up with a dead level subfloor. Tiled over 1/2 & hardwood glued over the other half & both flooring systems were fine, no issue in that time. Only drawback is that the house from "off" takes an hour or so to get comfy. So use a sweater. One unanticipated benefit is cooling. Open you windows on a cool summer evening & the mass of the slab sucks up the cool temp. Next day, when it gets warmer out than in, you close the windows & the cool floors keep the temp 10 to 15* cooler then the outside. You don't need air cond. Strongly advise, use a reputable contractor with much experience, Make certain tube is WIRSBO or other high end brand, make sure all subs (especially cabinetmaker)know that finish floor height will be 1.5" above the plywood. Use the tube under showers, around toilet, in tub surround, & in towel bars you'll feel like Rockefeller.

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