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Old 02-01-2012, 10:40 AM   #1
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Attaching Old Concrete to New with Radiant Heating


Hi guys,
I am remodeling my downstairs bathroom, it is 4' below grade in Chicago Suburbs. I am tearing up the floor for a recessed shower, and am planning on tearing up all but about 2" from each wall for screed guides and then install pour a new floor with electic radiant heat under entire bathroom. I am wondering what is the best way to connect the new pour to the old concrete slab. I don't know the width of the floor yet, but I am guess 3". I am planning on insulating below the slab to help keep the radiant heating pointed up, tie in the new pour with 4-6" of rebar pins spaced 8-12" apart, extending 6" into new pour, I will have a wire mesh in pour for strength, but also to attach the radiant cables to. I am also planning on keying the concrete as well. Is this overkill. I am just concerened about tiling everything and then seeing the floor joint crack in 5 years. It is below the frost line which is 36-42" here. I will be using Kerdi to waterproof the shower.

So what do you guys think about my strategy for the concrete joining?

Thanks,
Kevin

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Old 02-01-2012, 11:46 AM   #2
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Attaching Old Concrete to New with Radiant Heating


There are a lot of people on here with more expertise on this, but it sounds a bit overkill to me. If the existing floor isn't cracked and doesn't heave, why not clean it thoroughly and use a liquid bonding agent with one of the many concrete topping mixes?

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Old 02-01-2012, 12:36 PM   #3
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Attaching Old Concrete to New with Radiant Heating


Thanks for the response Mr. Gin. I was also debating on having it floating, and install expansion joints all around. This will accomodate the large thermal difference between the radiant heated new slab, and the cold old slab.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:36 AM   #4
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Attaching Old Concrete to New with Radiant Heating


I am leaning towards the expansion joint. I have thought about just a contraction joint, because that is the only way I know for sure the slab is going to go. (shrinking) But I feel like the expansion joint will cover both the expansion and contraction.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:33 PM   #5
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Attaching Old Concrete to New with Radiant Heating


Are you planning on tiling the floor? If you are, it makes sense to run the heating directly below the tile.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:39 PM   #6
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Attaching Old Concrete to New with Radiant Heating


That is the other option I am considering. The problem with that is that I have cutback adhesive that I have been warned about adhesion problems with. I think this would be magnified because of the constant heating and cooling of the radiant on top. Also, I am removing the floor for the recessed pan section anyways. Plus I do not want to have to work around raising the floor atleast a 1/2" to 1" around the doorways and transition to other rooms.

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