Radiant Floor Heating On Existing Concrete -
What You Need To Consider
Many people who want to renovate their home look to put
radiant floor heating on existing concrete. For example, a
friend of mine decided that they were going to install laminate
on top of their existing concrete floor. What they wanted to do
was to put radiant heating between the concrete and the
laminate. While this will work, there are some things to
consider. Here's a look at a few concerns.
The only time I would recommend adding radiant floor heating
on existing concrete is if you already have a hydronic system.
A hydronic system is a system that utilizes hot water for its
heating. Even then it most likely isn't worth it. There are
much more feasible options to first explore.
Perhaps the best option to put on existing concrete is tile
instead of laminate. This is because even if you do not have a
hydronic system, you can simply use floor warming cables that
can first be placed on top of the concrete before the tile is
Of course, floor warming cables are not exactly the same as
radiant heating, but are probably a more feasible option than
installing radiant floor heating on existing concrete in most
scenarios. This is because to put radiant heating over the
concrete would require you to pour a new layer of concrete.
This will make your floor about 2 inches higher, which can
affect the headroom and your stairs.
Unfortunately, if you were doing that then whatever flooring
you would then install on top of the concrete would be
counterproductive, because it would be just one more layer that
the radiant heat would have to travel through.
For most people, a better option is to simply put laminate
over the concrete. The laminate and the padding that goes
underneath the laminate will offer a decent amount of
insulation, and not make the floor so cool.
Additionally you should analyze the room to determine if
there are other reasons why it feels so cool. It may be just
that there is a drafty window that can be patched up to prevent
cold air from coming into the home.
In conclusion, I would consider looking for alternatives
instead of installing a radiant floor on existing concrete.
There are much better options that will achieve the same
results. They will be more cost effective and much less of a
hassle, so in the end you end up saving money and headache.