Thermalboard Compared to Grooved Plywood

Brand Names: Heatply, RHT

Grooved plywood, either routed on site or grooved in a factory, is sometimes employed in radiant systems with the idea that the radiant system can be cheaper to install. In the short term, grooved plywood is somewhat cheaper, however in the long term, it is far more expensive.

You Get What You Pay For: Why Performance Matters

Plain grooved plywood used by Heatply has poor heat transfer characteristics. Thermalboard uses aluminum — a key ingredient in any quality radiant heating design because aluminum is 1,500 times more conductive than wood. Our boards provide comfortable, even heat and efficient performance at a great price.

Benefits of Thermalboard Radiant Floor Heating


Cost Effective


Low Profile (5/8")


Easy Installation


Factory Direct


DIY Friendly


High Performance


Layout Design


Remodel Friendly


Light Weight

How Heatply Compares to Thermalboard

Heatply somehow publishes far better steady state efficiency than Uponor Quik Trak, another bare board product that has the performance advantage over Heatply of an aluminum plate on the underside of the panel. Uponor is a very large and conservative manufacturer with a large engineering staff. Their data is rock solid in our industry. Heatply’s claims do not hold up to scrutiny. Heatply claims performance equal to Thermalboard, a denser board product with aluminum on the surface. These claims simply defy physics and comparative analysis.

Grooved Plywood Has Longer Response Time

Poor steady state efficiency can be expected with plain grooved plywood. Due to the poor conductivity of wood, higher water temperatures are required to meet the heat load of a room than a more efficient product such as Thermalboard. Higher water temperatures required for Heatply directly equate to significantly higher fuel bills…for the life of the building.

Grooved Plywood Stripping
The higher water temperatures required by a plain grooved plywood system can result in hot/cold stripes on the floor on cold days, particularly with tile or stone flooring goods.

Installation Videos


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Easy Installation with Thermalboard

See the installation of a Thermalboard licensed product in a major remodel.

Radiant Wall: How to Make a Heated Wall

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Douglas Danner

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