Thermalboard Compared to
Radiantec Underfloor Heat Transfer Plates
Brand Names: Radiantec Do-It-Yourself Underfloor Radiant Heating Systems
These types of systems where radiant tubing, and sometimes aluminum plates, are installed below a subfloor are at the immediate performance disadvantage of having to push heat through the resistant subfloor before reaching the flooring goods. Here we will address underfloor systems with aluminum plates.
Issues to Consider
At these type of temperatures, high-efficiency heat sources will not condense, eliminating the energy efficient benefits of these costlier appliances. The life cycle costs for operation of an underfloor system are much higher that our Thermalboard design.
- Response: While underfloor systems must deliver heat from under the floor through the subfloor and floor goods, Thermalboard is immediately under the floor goods resulting in much faster response time.
- Heat Sources: We agree with Radiantec that a qualified general contractor can install the radiant panels and radiant tubing. However, only qualified plumbing, radiant and mechanical contractors should install the heat sources, pumps, piping and controls of a system.
There are many contingent liabilities with a DYI person installing the mechanical portion of the system, not to mention code violations in many jurisdictions, and who is going to service your system in the future?
- Applications: Underfloor plate systems are sometimes the only choice such as under existing installed hardwood floors but this is not the best choice otherwise.
- Noise: There is a long history of underfloor aluminum plates making irritating expansion noises upon start up as the required high temperatures required hit cooler plates. Proper installation is critical and seemingly evasive. You should also use weather responsive controls to lower the supply water temperature when possible.
- Insulation: It is critical that one installs 2” thick foam board under these systems with zero infiltration leak paths. Fiberglass batt is neither effective or durable.
- Cost: While the aluminum plates may cost only $1 per sq ft, this type of system is very labor intensive if installed properly. If one counts the cost of labor, underfloor is not the best choice.
This data is provided by the particular manufacture or from the Design Manual of Zurn Radiant, a leading manufacturer radiant tubing.
We make it easy!
Fill out this form to get a free project estimate. Factory direct to your jobsite. Freight free!
Click here for the answers to our most frequently asked questions!