How To Install Polished Concrete Flooring Over Radiant Heat?

How To Install Polished Concrete Flooring Over Radiant Heat | Duraamen Engineered Products Inc

Radiant heat with concrete flooring is an affordable luxury and yes it can be achieved using Duraamen products. It can significantly reduce energy expenses, as it’s generally more efficient than traditional forced-air systems. This efficiency comes from the ability of radiant floor heating systems to evenly distribute heat across a room from the ground up, reducing the amount of heat lost in the process and thereby using energy more effectively.

Radiant floor heating operates by embedding electric coils or water-filled tubes, often made from a material such as cross-linked polyethylene (PEX), directly into a concrete slab prior to its pouring. As the system activates, these coils or tubes spread heat throughout the concrete, effectively turning the slab into a large, gentle radiator. This method of heating allows for the warmth to emanate upwards from the ground, uniformly increasing the air temperature from floor to ceiling. Unlike traditional forced-air systems that heat air at the source and send it upwards—resulting in uneven heat distribution with warm air that eventually rises, cools, and descends—radiant floor heating maintains a consistent temperature throughout the space. This results in a more stable and evenly dispersed warmth, akin to the natural warming provided by geothermal heat in the Earth’s environment, thereby enhancing comfort in your home or office.

Using radiant floor heating, particularly with concrete floors, reduces the amount of heat lost, as concrete retains heat well, helping to maintain consistent temperatures for longer periods without requiring constant heating. This reduction in energy demand not only contributes to decreased household energy costs but also lessens the overall environmental footprint.

By consuming less energy, these systems support wider efforts toward global sustainability by minimizing the release of greenhouse gases typically associated with excessive energy use in residential heating. Thus, radiant floor heating presents both a cost-effective and environmentally friendly home heating solution.

A Worthwhile Investment

Radiant floor heating is a worthwhile investment for several reasons; one of the most compelling is the cost efficiency it offers. Despite the initial setup expense, the savings on energy costs over time are substantial when compared to traditional forced-air systems. This type of heating efficiently distributes heat across floor surfaces, eliminating the uneven temperatures and energy wastage often seen with other systems.

Radiant heating systems generally demand minimal upkeep, primarily because the PEX tubing embedded within the concrete slabs operates maintenance-free. However, components like boilers and pumps, essential for heating and circulating water through these tubes, might occasionally need maintenance. It’s important for homeowners to address any issues with these components promptly to avoid compromising the system’s overall functionality. By adhering to these basic maintenance steps, a radiant floor heating system will efficiently heat concrete floors for many decades.

Benefits of Heated Polished Concrete Floors

Heated polished concrete floors offer several advantages over their unheated counterparts, making them an appealing choice for both residential and commercial spaces. One of the primary benefits is the increased comfort level. Radiant heating systems embedded in polished concrete provide even, consistent warmth that eliminates the coldness typically associated with concrete floors, thus enhancing the comfort of your living or workspace.

Economically, heated polished concrete floors are cost-effective in the long run. Unlike traditional heating systems that often involve higher operational costs due to energy inefficiencies and ongoing maintenance, radiant floor heating systems use less energy to maintain the same level of warmth. This results in significant savings on utility bills—research from the U.S. Department of Energy highlights that such systems can reduce heating costs by 25 to 50 percent.

In terms of installation and maintenance, radiant floor heating systems offer a streamlined approach since they do not require ductwork. This not only reduces the quantity of materials needed but also lessens the complexity of the installation process, potentially lowering initial costs for building or renovating spaces.

Moreover, opting for heated polished concrete floors can contribute to environmental conservation. The efficiency of radiant floor heating systems means less energy is consumed, leading to a reduced carbon footprint. Additionally, such systems complement the sustainability features of polished concrete, which is known for its durability and low maintenance needs.

These systems are ideal for both new construction and renovation projects where a concrete floor or subfloor can be incorporated, comes in various types. The two primary options are electric radiant floor heating, which utilizes electric coils placed under the floor, and hydronic radiant floor heating systems, which work by running hot water through pipes to create heat. Each system offers unique benefits and can be selected based on the specific requirements of the project.

Choosing heated polished concrete floors also opens up opportunities for achieving certifications under green building standards such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and the National Association of Home Builders Green Building Program. These certifications can increase the value and marketability of a property by demonstrating a commitment to sustainable building practices.

In summary, heated polished concrete floors surpass unheated concrete floors by providing enhanced comfort, reducing heating costs, simplifying installation, contributing to environmental sustainability, and potentially improving building credentials. All these factors combined make heated polished concrete an intelligent and beneficial choice for heating large areas efficiently.

Case Study

Recently (June 2011) Madstone Floors completed the following project.

How To Install Polished Concrete Flooring Over Radiant Heat | Duraamen Engineered Products Inc How To Install Polished Concrete Flooring Over Radiant Heat | Duraamen Engineered Products Inc

The process started with reinforcing the flooring to support the weight of 2 inch thick concrete poured and smoothed over the radiant heating. After the floor cured, Tom applied Param SSL, a decorative concrete overlay that is burnished by hand. The result is a natural polished concrete appearance.

Saw cuts were applied to provide the look of custom tile while maintaining a seamless surface. The flooring was sealed with epoxy and a polyurethane top coat. As you can see the project came out great.

We have numerous coatings that will provide a solution for just about every flooring challenge. We have numerous overlays that can be applied at varying thicknesses. Solutions include application over concrete, wood and old tile.

We have a network of highly skilled contractors and artisans nationwide who can help you on any size project. Take a look at the product descriptions on our website and give us a call with your project specifications.

How To Install Polished Concrete Flooring Over Radiant Heat | Duraamen Engineered Products Inc

The complete installation process can be viewed in these videos –

Please Contact Us if you would like to discuss your next flooring project.


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