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MageMinds 03-23-2006 08:48 AM

Concrete basement slab + Radiant + Tile

I want to install electric radiant wire and tile flooring over my basement slab, I'm not sure if the basement slab was insulated back in 1982, so let's assume it's not. I'm pretty sure that if I use the electric wire it will heat the entire slab, so the reaction time will be too long. The solution is wood subfloor, I read about DRICore, but they don't seem to recommend to install tile over it. I can't afford to loose too much head space down there, what can I use to have some radiant thermal barrier that will allow me to install tile directly over ?

Thanks in advance


R&D Tile 03-24-2006 06:32 PM

I would just set the heating system and thinset or use SLC over them then tile, last I heard, heat rises, you should be fine.:)

MageMinds 03-27-2006 09:53 AM

Yes you're right that heat tend to raise, but heat will also go where it's easier, so if my floor surface temperature is 23 Celcius, romm temp at floor level is mabye 22 celcius and the concrete subfloor is 17 Celcius, what do you think will happend? Heat will go down because it's easier to discharge there... and then you're heating the slab, where is not usefull, so it's a waste of money.

I found a product that do exactly what I want, decoupling, sound proofing and thermal break, all in one low profile flexible membrane. I asked the menufacturer and they said that it's common installation to have the membrane and heating cable on top of it on concrete salb. So the cost of the membrane will pay itself back by not heating the subfloor slab.


R&D Tile 03-27-2006 07:36 PM

I can live with that.:D

Steven62 08-21-2007 12:52 PM

Insulating a slab
You are absolutely correct!
Radiant heat goes to mass, especially COLD mass. Heat rises when in a gaseous form, like air.
I highly recommend using an isolation membrane when installing radiant heat over an uninsulated slab. There are several types out there that will accomplish what you are wanting to do, and will increase the maximum temp attainable, and decrease the time it takes to get there dramatically!

Good Job!:thumbup:

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