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Old 10-30-2008, 08:52 AM   #1
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Cork or engineered wood over concrete slab w/ Radiant heat, HELP!


Hi, I am new to the DYIs and only did some paint jobs myself. We plan to replace the 20 yr old carpet for the main floor (about 800 sq ft) as my son has pretty bad dust mite allergies.

This house was built in the 1947 and the original radiant heating system with hot water pipes in the concrete slab is still in place. The water is heated by a oil heating furnace (about 25 yrs old) and it is very expensive with the oil heat. We do like the warm floor feel though.

My questions are:

1) Is it more cost effective to drain the water pipes and install new electrical warm floor choices Vs. changing the oil heater and bear the oil heating costs (about $3000 per yr, just for the six months of heating)? There are five rooms (various shapes) to heat up.

2) For flooring choices, we can do cork or engineered wood, floating over the concrete slab. Can any of you recommend the particular brands or website that I can trust? An online search yielded many choices for both cork and engineered wood. But it seems that cork is less expensive and easier to install.

3) The concrete slab is not level in some rooms. Can I use the self leveling concrete over the existing slab (with the heating pipes in there)?

Any advice about above is appreciated! I have about 3 hours every day to handle this before getting my kids home. Thank you!!!

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Old 10-30-2008, 11:06 AM   #2
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Cork or engineered wood over concrete slab w/ Radiant heat, HELP!


couple good websites

wood: www.Kahrs.com
cork: www.naturalcork.com

Both are easy to install. Cost should be somewhat close.
Unless you go with the glue down cork tiles (please don't)

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Old 10-31-2008, 10:36 AM   #3
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Cork or engineered wood over concrete slab w/ Radiant heat, HELP!


I'd call Kahrs customer support before deciding on a wood pattern from them. There are some species of wood that they do not recommend over radiant heat, even when floating the floor. Cork should be fine.
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Old 11-01-2008, 12:02 PM   #4
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Cork or engineered wood over concrete slab w/ Radiant heat, HELP!


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I'd call Kahrs customer support before deciding on a wood pattern from them. There are some species of wood that they do not recommend over radiant heat, even when floating the floor.
I do not know of 1 that is not recommended.
Please fill me in if you find any.
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Old 11-01-2008, 12:26 PM   #5
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Cork or engineered wood over concrete slab w/ Radiant heat, HELP!


You might get a better response if you split your questions and move your question about the heating over the the HVAC section. There are lots of really good advice you can get over there on your heating question.
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Old 11-01-2008, 05:46 PM   #6
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Cork or engineered wood over concrete slab w/ Radiant heat, HELP!


I know we recently went through this exact scenario with a customer looking for Brazilian Cherry. The Kahrs products in this species were not recommended for radiant heat. It looks like they've changed this now. They are saying now that Beech and Maple are subject to greater expansion and contraction issues and this should be considered before choosing them over radiant heat. It also looks like they have considerably beefed up their preparation requirements for this application in order for their warranties to provide any coverage. Here is the link to the installation guidelines for radiant heat flooring.

http://www.kahrs.com/us/Consumer/Sup...adiantHeat.pdf
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Old 11-03-2008, 02:05 PM   #7
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Cork or engineered wood over concrete slab w/ Radiant heat, HELP!


While I cant give you any brand names, but just make sure the Manufacturer will warranty the product with radiant and install accordingly.

Being in the Radiant business, I would say the long term fix would be to change out your boiler for an energy efficient model. If the tubing is not leaking and is otherwise functioning correctly, you will get better heat from the hydronic systems. The electric is limited to 15 watts/ 50 BTU per square foot per hour.

The hydronic is rated for higher temps and way more BTU's available.

Leveling compound should not be a problem either. It will add to the mass of the floor which may translate into slightly increased response times, but negligible.
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:57 PM   #8
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Cork or engineered wood over concrete slab w/ Radiant heat, HELP!


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Leveling compound should not be a problem either.
If allowed to dry.
How much water are you going to incorporate into the floor?
give it time...
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:01 PM   #9
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Cork or engineered wood over concrete slab w/ Radiant heat, HELP!


Hey Florcraft,

I am still riding my 1400 Intruder to work everyday here in S.W. Missouri!
I grew up in Fairbanks, I feel your pain!
Good call on the SLC!
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:11 PM   #10
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Cork or engineered wood over concrete slab w/ Radiant heat, HELP!


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I am still riding my 1400 Intruder to work everyday here in S.W. Missouri!
rub it in......

Quote:
I feel your pain!
Doubt it...
Sounds like you feel fine

that's o.k.
you know just as much as I do that riding in the midnight sun is worth the wait eh?

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