Thursday, August 6, 2015

Can I install radiant heating in my older home?


I’m renovating an older home, can I install radiant heating on the first and second floors of the home?


Yes you can install radiant in-floor heating on the first and second floors of your home when you are renovating it. There are many things that you will have to do before you can do this though, to do this you should be doing a very large renovation to the home. Radiant heating is basically water lines that are placed on top of your sub-floor and then are covered in a “gypcrete” which is a type of concrete.

Usually the gypcrete is about 1.5 inches thick. There is a brief list of the things that you will have to do to the home so that you can install radiant in-floor heating in to it;

You will have to completely remove the existing flooring regardless if it’s wood, tile or carpet from anywhere the radiant heat is going to be placed.

You are going to have to make sure that the floor joist are strong enough to take the extra weight that comes with installing a inch and a half of gypcrete over the heat lines.

You will have to remove all the trim that is near the floor. Baseboards and door trim will have to be removed to get a smooth finish.

You will have to remove all interior doors that will be in the way. When they are reinstalled they will either have to be cut down by 1.5 inches or the whole framing of the door will have to be moved up.

You will have to remove drywall in certain areas of the home to install manifolds in the walls and also to install the thermostats that run the system.

There will have to be holes made in walls and wall plates so that the piping can come from the basement (usually where the boiler is placed) to feed the upper floors with heat.

Any hole in the sub-floor from anything like old wiring or old plumbing that was moved must be plugged or the gypcrete will leak through.

You will have to install wood barriers at certain area’s like at the top of the stairs to create an edge where the gypcrete will stop.

The installation of the piping and the gypcrete should be installed by qualified professionals that are experienced in this field of work, if this isn’t done right it can cost you a lot of money and wasted time.

After the in-floor piping has been installed and the gypcrete as well on top of it then you will be able to install your flooring and all your trim. You will probably have to repaint the walls as well because gypcreting can be a messy business and your walls will be a little dirty from workers touching it or leaning on it while they are doing the installation.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

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