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Slab floor heating for an already built house

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Looking at purchasing a 2700 sqft 2 story colonial on a slab that was built in 1981. The home has window ac units and electric heated ceilings/drywall.

I've never owned a home on a slab before but have heard that the 1st floor is very hard to keep warm without infloor radiant heating. I would be installing an hvac system if we bought it, but what is a viable option for keeping the slab or floor warm?

I've checked out the electric mats that you can use underneath floating hardwood and laminate floors and it seems like a good, if not the only, option.

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Looking at purchasing a 2700 sqft 2 story colonial on a slab that was built in 1981. The home has window ac units and electric heated ceilings/drywall.

I've never owned a home on a slab before but have heard that the 1st floor is very hard to keep warm without infloor radiant heating. I would be installing an hvac system if we bought it, but what is a viable option for keeping the slab or floor warm?

I've checked out the electric mats that you can use underneath floating hardwood and laminate floors and it seems like a good, if not the only, option.

 

electric heat in the ceiling :kook: hello, how does that work, heat rises, oh and by the way, how is the insulation in the attic, if you have heat in the ceiling with crappy insulation then your heat will go right up into the attic area,

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electric heat in the ceiling :kook: hello, how does that work, heat rises, oh and by the way, how is the insulation in the attic, if you have heat in the ceiling with crappy insulation then your heat will go right up into the attic area,

 

For some reason it was a mildly popular idea down here in the south/midatlantic years back. Makes no sense to me either. I'm sure the electric companies liked it though.

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When I was building my house we were looking at how to do radiant heat in the existing basement. We did a major roof raise/expansion, essentially built a new house around an old one. Anyway, they had these sheets of plywood with groves cut out that would accept radiant tubing. You'd have to go with a water system (boiler or hot water maker) and then put you finish flooring over it.

 

Might not work in all the rooms, but some.

 

Lets face it, retro fitting an HVAC system into an existing house is a PITA.

 

Good luck

 

 

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Insulate the slab from the outside.

 

You will have to dig a trench along the outside perimeter of the slab and install 2" rigid foam insulation against the

foundation to a depth of about 3 feet. This foam is then covered with a rigid plastic barrier that protects it and makes it look nice.

 

This foam insulation prevents thermal transfer from the cold ground to your slab. It works great and is relatively inexpensive to do yourself.

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Radiant heat works with electromagnetic waves moving the heat, it will go up down and sideways.

 

Heat will not always rise, hot goes to cold. Air or water rises when heated because it becomes less dense (lighter) therefore it rises. A driving force can move conducive or convective heating sources in every direct also.

 

I have installed radiant tubing to heat people from all directions and it works well, just like the sun shining on you. Think of it like this, when it's cold out and the sun is shining and you face the sun, is that heat you feel rising onto your face...... No its not.

 

Elec resistance heat might not be cost effective, but as long as you have line of site to the objects or people you want to heat, it will work.

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The heat in the ceilings is radiant heat and heats anything cooler in a direct path in the room below, ie, it heats objects and people not the air. I've only been in one place that I knew had this kind of heat and didn't notice cold floors but they were all carpeted. Only single story so I don't know if 2 story throws things off. The heat wires are sandwiched between two layers of sheetrock with mud filling the space and might be terrible to work on if some part of it fails. If the floors are cold the option you mentioned may be the best you can do.

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There's several floor warming electric heat types made specifically to have tiles put on top of them.

I would guess most of em add about 3/16 to 5/16 to the height of the floor.They say you can tile right over em But I have always coated em to make em flat so i was not swimming in the thinset to do the tile work.

Some are wires you hook into a plactic grid and others come in a matting of varying types pre- ordered to size.

One I have used from a company called Nu Heat is nice.The wire is encased in a braided stainless housing.It's then installed into a heavy felt.

It comes in some standard sizes or preordered to size.

You apply thinset to the cemet and apply the felt.When dry you can tile over it.I imagine if you wanted you could apply a bonding agent to the felt an apply a self leveling cemet over the top of that.If you did not want to tile it that is.You would probably have to cover it with a 1/4 -3/8 " of this cement type product to protect the wire.

It's pretty nice you have a in the floor thermastat an one for the wall.You could do one in each room.It takes the chill off a concrete/tile floor.You can barely feel it with your hand but your feet know it's warm..

It's not cheap but the NU Heat IMO is the most likely to stand the test of time of all the electric type floor warmers I have used..

Google them an give em a call..

Then when your done with this get a price on some solar panels..;)

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Don't buy it. Sounds like a lot of hassle w so many homes on the market. Look for an area w natural gas which will give you the most and cheapest options to heat your home.

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There's several floor warming electric heat types made specifically to have tiles put on top of them.

I would guess most of em add about 3/16 to 5/16 to the height of the floor.They say you can tile right over em But I have always coated em to make em flat so i was not swimming in the thinset to do the tile work.

Some are wires you hook into a plactic grid and others come in a matting of varying types pre- ordered to size.

One I have used from a company called Nu Heat is nice.The wire is encased in a braided stainless housing.It's then installed into a heavy felt.

It comes in some standard sizes or preordered to size.

You apply thinset to the cemet and apply the felt.When dry you can tile over it.I imagine if you wanted you could apply a bonding agent to the felt an apply a self leveling cemet over the top of that.If you did not want to tile it that is.You would probably have to cover it with a 1/4 -3/8 " of this cement type product to protect the wire.

It's pretty nice you have a in the floor thermastat an one for the wall.You could do one in each room.It takes the chill off a concrete/tile floor.You can barely feel it with your hand but your feet know it's warm..

It's not cheap but the NU Heat IMO is the most likely to stand the test of time of all the electric type floor warmers I have used..

Google them an give em a call..

Then when your done with this get a price on some solar panels..;)

 

The last bath you worked on my mom's house was on a slab floor next to the garage. Its like taking a dump on a ice block.

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