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Radiant Heating - Add new system

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Joined: Feb 26 2018

I'm purchasing an Eichler that has central heating, so I'm guessing the original radiant heating system had leaks and/or boiler issues.  I'd like to add a new radiant heating system prior to move in and prior to installing hardwood flooring.   Based on initial research, looks like there are multiple options for a radiant heat system on top of concrete slab, which is what the house has.  Different types I've learned about that don't raise the floor height too much are Quiktrack, Roth Panel, Heat Ply, and adding a thin layer of gypsum/ concrete and tubing.  I'm wondering which type is most suitable for concrete slabs and hardwood flooring and of those which has the best heat efficieny. Are there other types out there that are better options?  I'd hate to end up with a large gas bill every month of winter. 
Any recommendations on radiant heating installers/specialists would be greatly appreciated. 
Thanks in advance!!

Joined: Mar 27 2018

I'm in the same situation. It seems like the system was replaced to Forced Air. I'm going to monitor how we're doing from a temperature wise and will consider to switch back to Radiant if everything is still in place.
I'm curious, what did you end up doing?

Joined: Apr 17 2014

Hi there - any one have any updates here on which direction you went when replacing your radiant system? We're going to need to do the same, but have now heard mixed messages about cutting into the slab to replace, vs overlay on top of existing floor... 
Please let me know if anyone has had this successfully done!
Thank you

Mister T

Joined: Feb 26 2018

So sorry for the late reply. I decided to go with cutting into the slab foundation. It's only about 1.5" groove that gets cut into the slab. I didn't have any other option because my windows were floor to ceiling so I couldn't put anything other than flooring on my floors.

Joined: Feb 26 2018

Hi, I decided to go with cutting into the slab. I didn't hear anything negative about this method. But, I didn't have a choice. My windows go from floor to ceiling so there was no way I could raise my floor with anything more than flooring. The install of tubing is complete but my system isn't fully installed yet. It's been a slow and very painful renovation. The renovation should be complete by end of year, so I don't know how well the system works.

Joined: Mar 22 2003

I’ve decided to comment on this thread, in case it is helpful to others lurking here):-

Our Willow Glen Eichler, purchased in 1995, came with baseboard heating; the previous owner had abandoned the radiant heating system, even though it was, and tested as operable during inspection, in order to save money on her heating bills. The baseboards allowed the owner to break the heating system into four zones (Master BD, kitchen, living room, back hallway/bedrooms.) With the radiant system, it wasn’t zoned in this way, and heating bills were extremely high, given the horsepower required to heat an entire cement slab. Thank goodness she didn’t do forced air! (Rough on the lungs, not to mention the aesthetic transgression of, *sigh* , putting on a pitched roof, apparently necessary for providing ducting.)

Baseboards aren’t the most aesthetic things in the world, but today, unlike 20+ years ago, many more design options exist and some are quite sleek and decent looking. There are even some modernist looking, flat-styled units that can go on, say, a bathroom wall. We like it for the cleanliness it provides, much like radiant heating does.

So, what I wanted to bring to the party was the thought that: some homeowners shy away from the risks and expense of digging up their slab. I’m definitely in this camp; too many things to go wrong; so have taken a conservative approach, choosing to spend our home-improvement $ elsewhere. And baseboard heating is a viable option, especially for those looking for clean heat, rather than dust-blowers. (Perhaps this says something about my housecleaning? Nah.)


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