Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

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How to Install Radiant Floor Heating on an Existing Concrete Slab

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I have a concrete slab foundation and want to install laminate flooring on top of it. Is there a way for me to heat the slab under the flooring without tearing up the concrete? -Lyle

Hi Lyle,

There are several manufacturers of electric radiant floor heating systems that can be placed directly on top of an existing concrete slab. Some look like wire fencing that you roll out over the floor. I don’t particularly like them, however, because they’re not very energy efficient.

Another option for radiant floor heating that is energy efficient are systems that circulate hot water through small tubes under the floor. These radiant floor heating systems can also be installed on top of a slab before the flooring goes down.

There are several manufacturers of this type of radiant floor heating. One I’ve used that worked well is made by Uponor. Here’s how to go about installing it:

  • Secure a plywood subfloor to the concrete slab.
  • Screw down a track with precut grooves for plastic tubing to the plywood subfloor.
  • Insert flexible plastic tubing into the track.
  • Connect the plastic tubing to a pump, which is connected to a separate water heater that circulates hot water through the tubing.
  • Install wood or laminate flooring on top of the track.

Good luck with your project,

Danny

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One Comment on “How to Install Radiant Floor Heating on an Existing Concrete Slab”

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  1. Bill McCauley Says:
    August 23rd, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Dan: I live in five miles from the Canadian border in Minn. I would like to build a new woodshop on the back of my lot and install radiant floor heating. Can you foresee any problem with the tubing and pump freezing during our very cold winters. Since I fish all summer I would be using the shop a lot in cold weather. I am not sure the electric mats would be warm enough for my needs. I am thinking about a 30 x 20 size shop. What is your valued opinion. Bill

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