Radiant Heat Flooring FAQ

Q: What is radiant floor heating?

Radiant floor heating is a comfortable and efficient form of heating where warm water circulates through flexible, specially designed PEX tubing installed under the floor.  The heat radiates evenly up through the floor warming, not only the floor, but the people and objects in the room. Thus, providing more comfort for less money.

Q: What makes radiant floor heating so comfortable?

Unlike traditional heating systems that just warm the air, radiant heating warms the floor and the objects in contact with the floor. The entire floor distributes a consistent, even and quiet heating. There are no drafts and radiant floor heating takes the chill out of cold tile, marble and wood floors.

Q: Our family has allergies. Can a radiant floor heating system help?

Yes, our radiant heat system has no drafts, fans or blowers to circulate dust, dirt and other allergens throughout your home. Warm radiant floors can eliminate the need for carpeting which is a breeding ground for dust mites, a very common cause of allergic respiratory disease. The result is a clean, healthy environment —a must for people with allergies.

Q: How long has Radiant Floor Heating been around?

Radiant Floor Heating, as we install it, has existed for more than three decades.  Radiant Heat as a concept itself has been used since Roman’s channeled water to use as sources of heating and cooling almost two thousand years ago.

Q: What if the tubing leaks?

Leaks are not a concern when the system is properly installed.  With a life expectancy of more than 100 years, PEX tubing has withstood the most extensive tests in the industry for over 30 years.

Q: Can the floor get too hot?

No. A properly designed radiant floor heating system will deliver comfortable warmth that’s a pleasure to walk on – especially in bare feet! If additional heat is needed to satisfy the heat load, additional warmth can easily be added by installing radiant walls and/or ceilings.

Q: We already have a concrete floor in the basement. Is it too late to install a Radiant System?

Not at all. We can use a Quik Trak system that is perfect for remodeling or retrofit projects. Quik Trak is installed over a plywood subfloor. It’s great for putting radiant comfort in a basement or anywhere in your home.

Q: Is it possible to just heat the ceramic tile floor in our master bath?

Absolutely.  Radiant floor heating systems are flexible, meaning you can heat the entire home or only those rooms you want to heat. The bathroom is a popular area of the home to heat.

Q: Is the same PEX tubing used for both PEX plumbing and radiant floor heating systems?

There are two kinds of PEX that we use: AQUAPEX and HePEX.  AQUAPEX is used in plumbing and under certain circumstances in radiant floor heating systems.  HePEX is used for radiant floor heating as it contains an additional layer on the tubing which acts as a barrier and reduces the amount of oxygen entering into the heating system.

Q: We’re not ready to make this investment right now. Can we rough the system in for the future?

Yes, you can install the PEX tubing in the slab during construction and you can complete the system at any point in time your budget allows. This adds relatively little to the cost of a poured floor, but can add a great deal to the value of your home later.

Q: If I have radiant floor heating, can I still have air conditioning?

Sure you can. In fact, separate heating and cooling systems really make the most sense. Radiant floor heating keeps the heat near the floor where it does the most good; and air conditioning ductwork is placed only where it is needed to cool your home. The result is optimal comfort and efficiency all year.

Q: Do you offer a warranty?

Yes. We are so confident of the quality of our radiant floor heating system that there is a 30-year warranty.

Q: Can you use Radiant Heat outside?

Yes!  The most common installation outside is for snow/ice melt.  You can use the snow melt option for any concrete or asphalt  application. Examples are stairs, porches, walkways, driveways and parking lots.  There are sensors that only activate the system when the temperature and moisture are of appropriate levels to create snow or ice.  These sensors make the system very efficient as it is not constantly heating the outside area.

Another common application is an outdoor porch or sitting area.  You can extend the use of this area in the spring and fall by adding a radiant heat system.  These systems do not take up valuable space like an outdoor heater would and are very aesthetically pleasing because you do not see the system. It also offers an area of heat giving you the feeling of being in doors rather than a small area or zone of heat.

Q: What temperature and pressure ratings does PEX carry?

The PEX we install carries the following hydrostatic temperature and pressure ratings:

200°F at 80 psi

180°F at 100 psi

120°F at 130 psi

73.4°F at 160 psi

Q: What is PEX tubing?

PEX (crosslinked polyethylene) tubing is a specially designed plastic tubing with distinctive properties that make it ideal for radiant floor heating and plumbing systems.

Q: What’s the difference between PEX-a, PEX-b and PEX-c tubing.

Currently, three methods for producing crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) tubing exist:

Engel or peroxide method (PEX-a)

Silane method (PEX-b)

E-beam (electron beam) or radiation method (PEX-c)

All three processes generate tubing that is crosslinked to varying degrees and are acceptable for potable water distribution applications according to ASTM F876 and F877 standards.  We use pipe that is manufactured using the Engel-method PEX-a tubing.  The PEX tubing industry considers this tubing superior because the crosslinking is done during the manufacturing process when polyethylene is in it amorphic state (above the crystalline melting point). Because of this, the degree of crosslinking reaches around 85% (higher than the other methods), resulting in a more uniform product with no weak links in the molecular chain.

Q: Is PEX chlorine-resistant?

In recent years, ASTM F876 and ASTM F877 have been refined to incorporate benchmarks for chlorine resistance. Under certain conditions, a high concentration of chlorine can contribute to the oxidation of plastics. This, in turn, can affect service life. The upgraded ASTM standards provide an additional level of assurance that PEX tubing manufactured to these standards can withstand the potential oxidative effects of heavily chlorinated water.