Thin slab radiant heat is a hot water heating system installed underneath the finished floor. Channels carrying heat are put into the subflooring (the part underneath the part you see and walk on). In theory, these channels can carry heated air, heated water, or electricity to heating elements. In actual practice, water is the most common method used for carrying heat through a subflooring system. Heated electrical systems are sometimes used. Air, almost never.
Thin Slab Radiant Heat Installation
The first step to installing thin slab radiant heat systems is often to remove the current floor. A system that carries heated water in channels is laid down on the subflooring. Then a thin slab of concrete is poured over the channels that carry the heated water. The floor is then replaced over the thin slab encasing the heating system.
An alternative to pouring concrete is the Warmboard system. This system uses specially designed highly radiant wood/aluminum panels to contain the heated water tubes. Warmboard can be installed instead of a subfloor in new homes or placed on the subfloor in remodeling projects. Some people have even installed Warmboard in ceilings or walls when it was impossible to install it in the floor. The special material in Warmboard radiates the heat into the room instead of allowing it to be wasted. This saves on costs and allows temperature adjustments in the room to be more responsive than systems installed inside concrete slabs.
When the heating system is installed under the floor, the floor itself usually feels “neutral” underfoot, not hot and not cold. These heating systems distribute the heat evenly throughout the room so there won’t be an overheated area near the radiator while the rest of the room is cold. Moreover, they distribute the heat to the part of the room that the people use, namely the bottom part. Heating systems that blow hot air into the room often experience the “hot air rises” phenomenon and end up heating the ceiling and the upstairs neighbor instead of the people in the room. Most people find that houses with thin slab radiant heat systems feel much more comfortable than any other type of heating system.
Thin Slab Radiant Heat Saves money
In addition to feeling comfortable, thin slab radiant heat systems are extremely energy-efficient. Thin slab radiant heat systems with channels in the subflooring use very little energy in comparison to other heating systems. Even heat is delivered precisely to where it is needed. With thin slab radiant heat, there are no ducts for heat to be lost in en route to where it is needed. Once the water and concrete subflooring achieve the desired temperature they tend to retain that heat for a long time before energy is needed to renew the heat.
Thin Slab Radiant Heat Produces No Dust Or Noise
Thin slab radiant heat systems are also very quiet. There is no noise, no sudden rush of air, no clanking radiators. Just quiet, steady heat. Individuals with allergies find great relief in homes with thin slab radiant heat systems. Because the air is not constantly being blown about, the dust does not get tossed up and inhaled or into sensitive eyes. Dust and mold spores from the basement are not blown throughout the house via the heating system in houses with thin slab radiant heat.
If you are building a new home, remodeling the flooring, or just aren’t happy with your current heating system, consider installing a thin slab radiant heat system. Kew Forest Plumbing has found the energy savings alone will often more than pay for the cost of installation. Homes equipped with thin slab radiant systems tend to sell more easily and for higher prices than homes with regular heating systems.
One drawback to thin slab radiant heat is that most contractors are not familiar with it and don’t know how to go about installing it. Kew Forest Plumbing are experts in installing thin slab radiant heat. If you have any questions about thin slab radiation heating, or would like to discuss having it installed in your home, contact the thin slab radiant heat experts at Kew Forest Plumbing.