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Radiant Floor Heating using PlastiSpan HD Insulation

October 29, 2012

Written by: Melissa Caruthers
Follow her on Twitter: @MelissaC_PFB

Everyone wants a useable basement. You don’t build a basement just for storage. So when constructing your new house, consider a radiant floor heating system. It is definitely a long-term benefit to you and your family, as well as a great energy investment.

Imagine walking on a concrete, tile, or laminate covered floor without socks, and feeling comfortable and warm. This is a big benefit of having a radiant floor system. Another would be keeping a consistent temperature in your basement. Using PlastiSpan HD insulation under your slab will help you accomplish this. It is an easy addition to your home. You can use PlastiSpan HD insulation or PlastiSpan HD Hydronic Insulation (I know it’s a long name) for this application.

In case you are wondering what is the difference between the PlastiSpan HD and the Hydronic version of that insulation, Hydronic is simply PlastiSpan HD insulation, cut to 4×4 sheets with grooves cut in it for the tubing.

So how do you go about making your basement energy-efficient with the under slab insulation? First, you make sure you cover and fill with a moisture barrier by placing a 6″ thick layer of granular fill over the floor area. Then cover the fill material with a 6 mil polyethylene moisture barrier. When you have completed this, lay PlastiSpan HD insulation over the moisture barrier. Ensure that the joints are tightly butted together. Trim around the perimeter and openings as required. When you have completed this you will need to install the hydronic tubing. If you have used regular PlastiSpan HD insulation you need to lay a reinforcing mesh or place rebar on the insulation by code. Now, loop the hydronic tubing over the insulation. Secure using cable ties (zip ties) or clips (available through Plasti-Fab) to attach the tubing. It is important you have as few joints as possible in your tubing.

The second option you might choose is to use PlastiSpan HD Hydronic insulation. This is a 4×4 sheets of PlastiSpan HD with grooves cut in it for the tubing. This eliminates the need to tie down the tubing. You literally just snap it into the groves. After you have installed the hydronic tubing (pipe for the water to flow through), you will need to ensure everything is secured and checked. You will then place the concrete over the insulation using normal construction methods and equipment. This is a more difficult application and not recommended to be done without some sort of construction experience. The balance of the radiant heating system is now able to be completed.

*Make sure you are looking into code requirements in your area for insulation R-value requirements, installation of the fill material, concrete and reinforcing requirements*

So there you have it. Two options of Plasti-Fab EPS product solutions to start of the Plasti-Fab Solutions Home. As we said at the start, we will show you how to insulate your building from the ground up. Today we insulated under the slab, and next week, I will talk about how you can insulate over a slab.

If you want to look into our insulating products ahead of time, check out some of our applications on our website

One Comment leave one →
  1. Larry Sztogryn Fenwick Ontario 905 892 1399 permalink
    November 13, 2012 10:05 am

    Great Idea ! I have already bought the regular HD, but I will purchase the new HD Hydronic and give it a try. This will eliminate the mesh and ties as well as save me work carrying the mesh into the basement. I would like Plasti-fab to contact me as I have another great idea on the use of their product.

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