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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Getting ready to drywall a room and looking for ideas on how to deal with the hydronic baseboard pipe situation. I added 1/2" foam board to the framing (to break thermal bridging across studs), and if I run the pipe along its original path, there isn't enough room for 1/2" foam board + 1/2" drywall + baseboard rear cover because this would run into the fins on the baseboard pipe.

Here's what the original setup looked like - the baseboard cover runs across the entire wall, and covers the return piping (which runs underneath the floor).




Here's what it looks like now:



If I add 1/2" drywall, there's hardly any room between the drywall and the return pipe:


Once the drywall is installed on this wall, there won't be enough room for the fins on the baseboard pipe if the pipe is run along its original track.

1. One option is to attach elbows to the return pipe (and to the pipe coming into the room, which isn't pictured) so that the baseboard pipe can run 1/2" further out than its original track. That would create enough room to fit 1/2" foam + 1/2" drywall + baseboard rear cover. Then I'd have to figure out a solution for the corner where the return pipe is, which might include not covering that area with the baseboard cover.

1a) If I go this route, for the corner with the return pipe, I could install drywall sheet as normal (there's just enough room for drywall to fit and not be touching the return pipe). I'd have to cut the baseboard front and rear covers before the elbows that extend the main length of pipe 1/2" away from the wall b/c the spacing between covers won't be deep enough to fit both the main pipe with fins and the return pipe with elbows on it. So the baseboard covers would end an inch or two shy of the return piping. So the return pipe stays exposed (not ideal, but not a big deal as there will be a desk obscuring the view of that corner of the room). And behind that return pipe would be drywall - not enough room to fit nice baseboard moulding, though I suppose I could sneak in a piece of vinyl trim between the drywall and return pipe. Would look mismatched unless I went with vinyl trim for the entire room.

2. Another option would be to remove the foam board from the bottom plate and the studs up to the height of the baseboard rear cover (let's say it's 8"). Then cut a 8" strip of drywall and cover that exposed strip of wall framing. So the drywall along the bottom 8" of the wall would be inset by ~0.55" (the thickness of the foam board) relative to the drywall covering the rest of the wall. I'd need to air seal between those 2 sections of drywall, then install baseboard rear cover. Kind of a pain, but the benefit is that the baseboard pipe can be run exactly as it was before.

Ideas on how to deal with this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First choice would be to cut the heat lines below the floor, put in the off set, and drill new holes to come up thru the floor.
So I'd have to break up the concrete around the exposed return pipe until I get to the below-the-floor horizontal return line, break up enough concrete to create some working room, break the connection, trim off a bit of the horizontal return pipe, attach the vertical return section so that it lines up 1/2" farther from the wall than it is now, fill with new concrete.

Does that cover all the steps? Never having done something like this before, how much working room around the pipe would I need (wondering how much concrete I'd have to break up and remove)?
 

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Naildriver
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Ouch, the floors are concrete? I believe your idea of double elbows to move the fins away from the walls is the best. Elbow out and elbow back to lateral.
 

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retired framer
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Street 45's may make it too tall for the casing. Just rambling and thinkin' at the same time.

Maybe just turn the fitting 45 and use a street 45 to to stub out in the right direction.

The cover should hide a notch out of the base trim around the fitting??
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ouch, the floors are concrete?
Yeah, this is ground floor (no basement), it's the slab. Not sure how thick, maybe 3-4".

I believe your idea of double elbows to move the fins away from the walls is the best. Elbow out and elbow back to lateral.
If I go this route, I'd need to figure out a solution for that corner.

I think I got it wrong when earlier I wrote:
1a) If I go this route, for the corner with the return pipe, I could install drywall sheet as normal (there's just enough room for drywall to fit and not be touching the return pipe). I'd have to cut the baseboard front and rear covers before the elbows that extend the main length of pipe 1/2" away from the wall b/c the spacing between covers won't be deep enough to fit both the main pipe with fins and the return pipe with elbows on it. So the baseboard covers would end an inch or two shy of the return piping. So the return pipe stays exposed (not ideal, but not a big deal as there will be a desk obscuring the view of that corner of the room).
Since the elbows would extend the pipe 1/2" farther out, that compensates for the 1/2" foam board between framing and drywall, and the baseboard rear cover attached to drywall will not interfere with the pipe fins. If I can squeeze the rear cover between the drywall and the return pipe (assuming the new baseboard's return cover is just flat thin sheet metal, it should fit, though it may be touching part of the return pipe), then I should be all set because the front cover would cover the elbows and return pipe.

Here's how I'm envisioning it:


Does this make sense? If this works, then there's really no extra work beyond sweating the elbows. Drywall sheets install normally and baseboard rear cover installs normally and baseboard cover will cover/protect the return pipe. There will just be a tiny/no gap between the rear cover and the return pipe, but I don't think that's a big deal.
 

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Property Mgt/Maint
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I think your plan should work fine. I would try to avoid adding more 90's. You could loosen the existing 90, rotate it 45 degrees out, re-sweat, then return with another street 45 to re-align.


But if you did want to break some concrete, it really would not be too difficult. A small electric chipping hammer would break up enough around each hole in just a couple minutes per pipe. No need to break up all the way thru. Two to three inches is plenty deep and maybe three inches clear around the pipe. Just need enough to rotate a mini pipe cutter.
 

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Just my opinion.

The problem stems from building the studs out with the foam board.

I would install the foam board behind the baseboard heating shield only.

Then run the drywall to the top of the shield only.
Either caulk where the two meet or add some quarter round trim.
 
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