Do It Yourself Radiant Heat Flooring Do It Yourself Radiant Heat Flooring

What You'll Need
Pipes and fittings
Drywall screws
Glue for construction projects
Crimp rings
Threaded adapter
Pipe cutter
Crimping tool

Radiant heat has long been popular in Europe, and now many Americans are turning to do it yourself radiant heat systems in the hope of saving money and improving their energy efficiency. Radiant heat flooring is perhaps the most versatile of these systems, and home improvement fans should have no problems with fitting a radiant heat system in a day or so. There are many different ways of fitting a radiant heat under-floor system, depending upon the materials used, but for a basic flooring system, following a step-by-step guide will help you get ideal flooring.

Step 1 - Cut the Pipe and Lay the Panels

Your fittings should include several layers of panel that is grooved. Trim these panels, and then cut your piping to fit them. Align the panels by fitting a little piece of the pipe into both pieces. Begin with the longest wall, furthest from the door, and lay out the panels. You can use tile setters between each piece of paneling, as this will allow the fittings to expand during changes in humidity. Lay all of the panels until the room is completely covered. Place the pipe into the grooves, and tap into place with the hammer.

Step 2 - Glue Down the Panels

Beginning at the first panel you laid, put a layer of glue around the edge of each fitting. You need to cover all sides. Then add a drop in the center. Make sure that your gluing is even, and then lay your panel back onto the floor. Press down for several seconds, and then continue to the next piece. Repeat for all panels. Once they are all glued, begin screwing the pieces down. A complete fitted length should have around 5 screws on each long side.

Step 3 - Place the Sensor

The sensor is a little device which tells the thermostat how hot the paneling is. Placing this sensor is pretty important, as an incorrect placement can severely damage the performance of your floor. The perfect place to put the sensor is at the side of the room, around mid-way along the piping 'loop'in the smallest gap between the panels and the tiling.

Step 4 - Through the Wall

Drill a hole in the wall large enough to accommodate the piping, and feed it through to the next room, the basement, or wherever you wish to install the connections. Once the piping is through the wall, attach the radiant heat piping adapter to the male adapter, and tighten the connection. Repeat for the other side of the radiant heat pipe. Attach the piping to the heat system, and connect the control panel. Use the crimp ring and crimping tool to hold the pipe in place on the water valve. Connect the thermostat to the valve, and then replace the cover. Complete the wiring on the control panel and then, making sure that everything is securely sealed and tightened, try running a small amount of hot water through the system. Check for leaks and blockages.

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