How to Install Radiant Floor Heating on an Existing Concrete Slab

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,


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14 Comments on “How to Install Radiant Floor Heating on an Existing Concrete Slab”

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  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    March 26th, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    Hi, Dale!
    We recommend submitting questions involving unique situations like yours to the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.
    Please use this form to contact Danny Lipford, America’s Home Expert, directly:
    Take care!

  • dale hollobaugh Says:
    March 24th, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Hello, I would like to heat my workshop ( woodshop ) wondering is it possible to install floor heat on the existing slab ? TY

  • Lance Says:
    October 28th, 2018 at 11:03 am

    I would like to install hydronic heat in two bedrooms and a bathroom in my basement. It would be installed over an existing 6″ slab that has 2″ of foam underneath. I would be installing tile on top. Is there a way to accomplish this without having to put plywood down? I would like to minimize the thickness added to the floor in these areas.

  • Doug Gorthy Says:
    December 12th, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    I have an old house that will be rental. The home has a good slab and forced air furnace. I want floor heat for the home. Do I need a vapor barrier? I live in NM and it is dry here. What type of insulation board do I use and does it go on top of the vapor barrier? What is best product to go over insulation board for pex tubes to be embedded? Will I need concrete over this layer and if so how thin may it be? Then I assume finish floor?

  • Lori-Lee Says:
    October 4th, 2017 at 8:29 am

    I want to install the QuikTrax by Uponor on top of Plywood which sits on top of a concrete slab. My question is whether the in floor radiant heating requires a layer on top of it between the QuikTrax and the flooring. I have heard of people saying that their flooring got bleached out from the radiant heating tubes. Please let me know. Thank You

  • Sia Says:
    September 27th, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    I have a garage with floated concrete slab (a room below garage),and want to heat the garage. How should I do it ?

  • Jenifer Says:
    October 8th, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Hi! I hope you can help. I can’t find an answer anywhere. I have radiant heat with ceramic tile placed now on the first floor of my home. I want to know if it’s OK to simply tile over the existing tile or does it have to be ripped up?

  • Stuart Says:
    August 26th, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Hi, I have radiant heat in our sunken living room size 17′ x 24′. I would like bring this room up to the same level as adjoining rooms which would mean raising the floor about 15 inches. What type of material should I use to construct the floor, 2×12 x18’s, OSB or plywood, perhaps green backboard for additional strength. Will the radiant heat in the concrete floor heat the room and tile/caarpet installed over the subfloor?

  • Chris Says:
    October 23rd, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I’m going to put heated floors in a room that’s on a slab. We are putting Pergo floating floors on top of it. What are the necessary layers I need to put on concrete slab floors?

  • CDW Says:
    October 17th, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    As stated above, regarding condensation over a concrete slab, is condensation an issue? Second, what types of flooring can be applied over the radiant floor heating system. We are considering a seamless epoxy floor surface to cover the floor heating system. Would condensation or any other potential issues prohibit this type of floor covering to be applied. If so what is the recommended floor covering that would be similar to epoxy. Thank you for your time

  • Gwen Says:
    October 7th, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    How do you prevent condensation when installing a radiant heat floor over a concrete slab foundation?

  • Gwen Says:
    October 7th, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Will installing a radiant heat floor on a concrete slab foundation cause condensation in between the surfaces?

  • Judith Smith Says:
    March 29th, 2015 at 7:07 am

    My husband has a 30 x 40 wood working shop. I would like to surprise him by putting radiant heat in it. It is on a concrete slab. Some of his tools/machines are very heavy so how can this be done to insure that the tubes will not be compromised.

  • 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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How to Install Radiant Floor Heating on an Existing Concrete Slab