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In Floor Heat Under Laminate

 
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:00 PM   #1
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In Floor Heat Under Laminate


Hey All I thought this would be more appropriate here than in the flooring forum. I have a client wanting electrical in floor heat under a laminate floor . The details are it is a 19' x 16'-9 room with a bay bump out in a late 1800's brick house , this room has 10 foot high ceilings and only has a very shallow dirt crawl space underneath . Insulation and draft mitigation is very minimal in this house as it is so large they only live in half of it. I contacted their electrician and when he went to source the in floor heat his supplier told him (They deal with Nuheat) that their feedback from this heat source under laminate has not been favourable. This is in southern Ontario and they are wanting this to be the only heat source in the room.
I have found a foil heating product by Warm-Up that goes on top of the underpad and a heating wire that is right in the underpad by Thermosoft .
Does anyone have experience with either of these products and their benefits over the typical thinset installed heat wires or mats .
Complicating matters are the large slate pool table in this room and the fact that the floor is not flat . Thanks
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:06 AM   #2
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Re: In Floor Heat Under Laminate


What sort of laminate flooring? Did the supplier say how it had been unfavorable?

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Old 05-12-2013, 10:38 AM   #3
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Re: In Floor Heat Under Laminate


Though the Warm-up marketing materials talk about putting the mat under anything, the installation manuals say DO NOT Install USDW-M under any floor other than ceramic, quarry or natural stone tiles. I'd sure want to sort that out with the manufacturer.

Better insulate and moisture-proof really well in that dirt crawl space, because the cycling of the heat will make the moisture level in the framing, subfloor, and flooring fluctuate, which will cause movement.

And I can't help but say make sure to help them figure out how they're going to move the pool table without messing up the laminate.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:41 AM   #4
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Re: In Floor Heat Under Laminate


It is Mannington Restorations and is close to a half inch thick. The impression I got after talking to the electrician is that the heat transfer through the laminate is much less than through a ceramic tile floor . That is why I am looking at these two products that are right below the laminate rather than below the under pad , to get the heat source closer to the surface . I generally use a torlys three in one underpad because I like the thickness to take out subfloor imperfections.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:47 AM   #5
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Re: In Floor Heat Under Laminate


They have talked to a guy who specializes in slate tables about getting the legs on individual dollies and rolling it into the next room that is separated by two four foot pocket doors. One of the benefits of living in a very large turn of the century house .
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:58 PM   #6
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Re: In Floor Heat Under Laminate


Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpenterSFO View Post
Though the Warm-up marketing materials talk about putting the mat under anything, the installation manuals say DO NOT Install USDW-M under any floor other than ceramic, quarry or natural stone tiles. I'd sure want to sort that out with the manufacturer.

Better insulate and moisture-proof really well in that dirt crawl space, because the cycling of the heat will make the moisture level in the framing, subfloor, and flooring fluctuate, which will cause movement.

And I can't help but say make sure to help them figure out how they're going to move the pool table without messing up the laminate.
X2, i am going to agree here that the floor is going to move with various temperatures under and above the floor. Slate floors do move a little but nothing like a laminate floor does. The laminate floor i am sure would damage the heat elements in a very short time. What kind of heat do they have already in this home? Is it forced hot air, hot water baseboard, electric baseboard, etc.?
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:30 AM   #7
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Re: In Floor Heat Under Laminate


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X2, i am going to agree here that the floor is going to move with various temperatures under and above the floor. Slate floors do move a little but nothing like a laminate floor does. The laminate floor i am sure would damage the heat elements in a very short time. What kind of heat do they have already in this home? Is it forced hot air, hot water baseboard, electric baseboard, etc.?
and I was just thinking about cracks, gaps, buckling, etc. Anyway, the Mannington instructions say the floor should go over heating no hotter than 90F, and the WarmUp installation say it reaches 131F. I don't know what the other mats get up to, but it sure has to be more than 90 if they want it to win the battle against an Ontario winter night.
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:34 AM   #8
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Re: In Floor Heat Under Laminate


Crap I forgot there is a propane insert in the fireplace in this room , it is the other room that has no secondary heat . There are 4 fireplaces in this house and this is the only one being put to use. Rest of the house is hot water to the original radiators .
Do you not limit the floor temp with the programable thermostats ?
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:08 AM   #9
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Re: In Floor Heat Under Laminate


Heating a house with in-floor electric? Better be a well insulated place...
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:20 AM   #10
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Re: In Floor Heat Under Laminate


The NuHeat programmable thermostats have setup for laminate floors, to limit the floor temperature to 82F (!). I see that as an option for keeping the floor comfortable, not for heating the room, at least not in that climate, in a house with insulation issues. You need to pump a certain number of watts into that floor in order to heat a room that size in that climate, and I don't see how a limit of 82 (or 90) degF will allow that much heat transfer.

I'm not trying to be a naysayer, just that at the very least, you should look really hard at this idea before you make any promises to the owners about the results. I'd call the heating mat manufacturers and talk to their engineers about it.

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Old 05-13-2013, 05:29 PM   #11
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Re: In Floor Heat Under Laminate


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Originally Posted by Millar View Post
Crap I forgot there is a propane insert in the fireplace in this room , it is the other room that has no secondary heat . There are 4 fireplaces in this house and this is the only one being put to use. Rest of the house is hot water to the original radiators .
Do you not limit the floor temp with the programable thermostats ?
You would be further ahead putting in a hot water baseboard heater or at least a toe kick heater under the vanity. You could put hot water radiant heat under the floor but you will need to insulate the floor very well afterward.
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:47 PM   #12
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Re: In Floor Heat Under Laminate


I think I am finding out why electric heat under laminate is uncommon around here . Thanks for the advice and the different points of view.

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