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Old 10-18-2009, 06:16 PM   #1
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In-floor radiant heat question- black paper


Hello all,
Quick question regarding in-floor radiant heat-

I am in the process of finishing my basement and adding in-floor radiant heat to the first floor of my house. I was planning on installing the PEX pipe beneath the subfloor between the newly exposed joists from the basement ceiling and using aluminum heat transfer panels. However, I think I just ran into a potential problem:
Upon removing the basement ceiling, I noticed some black paper between the hardwood floor and subfloor on the first floor. I don't know what this is, but the floor was placed in the '40s, and I suspet it is asphalt felt paper. It really looks like black construction paper. I also noticed that there are lots of flooring nails sticking through the subfloor. I was planning on spending some time cutting the tips of the nails so they won't interfere with the aluminum panels.
Does this throw a monkeywrench in my plans? Is this paper prohibitive? I've heard it can release gasses, but I really haven't seen much on it.

Thanks!

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Old 10-19-2009, 07:00 AM   #2
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In-floor radiant heat question- black paper


just cut out the paper. you will have no issues with this.

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Old 10-19-2009, 09:00 AM   #3
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In-floor radiant heat question- black paper


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just cut out the paper. you will have no issues with this.
How? I would have to lift up the floor from the subfloor. I have access to the subfloor from the basement ceiling.

Thanks
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:08 AM   #4
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In-floor radiant heat question- black paper


the pipes must be stapled to the subfloor from below. If this paper material is now against the plywood above (subfloor) this is where the pipes are attached. So if you can staple the pipe, why is it you cannot cut the paper out of the way?
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:12 AM   #5
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In-floor radiant heat question- black paper


I have installed radiant heat the same way you have described. What i did was snap caulk lines down every bay where the heat shields were to be installed then I took a 4" grinder with an abrasive disc installed and cut out any nails that would be in the path of the pex tubing, and then I bent over the ones that would be in the area of the heat shield.I left the felt paper in place between the finished floor and the subfloor, this will not cause a problem. when finished I bought a roll of poly foil insulation, and cut it and stapled it to the floor joist and then under the subfloor and back down the other side of the opposite joist keeping it tight to the heat shields. then installed an R-25 fiberglass insulation under that. You must insulate the floor good to get the most heat transfer as possible. and it also depends on the type of flooring you have installed. BOB.
A little note. don't put to many fasteners in the heat shields or they will make noise when they start to warm up.
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Old 10-20-2009, 06:58 AM   #6
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In-floor radiant heat question- black paper


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Originally Posted by gbwillner View Post
I noticed some black paper between the hardwood floor and subfloor on the first floor.
it's between the 2 floors...not under the subfloor
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:40 PM   #7
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In-floor radiant heat question- black paper


Quote:
Originally Posted by buletbob View Post
I have installed radiant heat the same way you have described. What i did was snap caulk lines down every bay where the heat shields were to be installed then I took a 4" grinder with an abrasive disc installed and cut out any nails that would be in the path of the pex tubing, and then I bent over the ones that would be in the area of the heat shield.I left the felt paper in place between the finished floor and the subfloor, this will not cause a problem. when finished I bought a roll of poly foil insulation, and cut it and stapled it to the floor joist and then under the subfloor and back down the other side of the opposite joist keeping it tight to the heat shields. then installed an R-25 fiberglass insulation under that. You must insulate the floor good to get the most heat transfer as possible. and it also depends on the type of flooring you have installed. BOB.
A little note. don't put to many fasteners in the heat shields or they will make noise when they start to warm up.

Thanks! I have read that you should not install hydronic heat with the asphalt paper because it can give off toxic smell... but I haven't actually read of anyone actually having this problem. I think it is probably an urban myth- after all, heating the floor to 100 degrees (max) is like being in the sun on a hot sunny day in the southwest, and I've never heard of anyone complaining of the tar smell. Also, the floors are really old, and I doubt there's much smell to come off that paper now. I even lit some on fire to make sure there was tar in it (there was), and I could barely smell it.
I will put up an electric blanket to the subfloor from the basement and see if that causes any odors. I doubt it will, and then I will proceed.

Thanks again

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