Polished concrete floors can be successfully installed over radiant heating systems, providing a durable and aesthetically pleasing flooring solution. One of the easiest ways to achieve a polished concrete floor with radiant heat is by using a concrete overlay. Some concrete overlays are polishable and require grinding and polishing to achieve a polished concrete floor. In this article, we’ll discuss how to achieve the look of polished concrete using a self-leveling non-polishable overlay over Warmboard radiant heat flooring. What is Radiant Heat Flooring? Radiant heat flooring, also known as underfloor heating, is a heating system that involves installing heating elements directly beneath the floor surface. The purpose is to provide warmth to a room by radiating heat upward, creating a comfortable and even temperature. Warmboard is a type of radiant heating system made of individual panels that are typically made of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) with an aluminum surface. The aluminum layer is a highly heat-conductive material. The Warmboard creates a comfortable and even temperature through the efficient transfer of heat through the flooring. What is a Polished Concrete Overlay? A polished concrete overlay is a decorative flooring option that involves applying a thin layer of cementitious material onto an existing concrete surface or other prepared substrate. This process is often used to revitalize or upgrade the appearance of existing concrete floors, countertops, or other horizontal surfaces. Duraamen’s Param 5500 is a self-leveling concrete overlay that does not require a grinding and polishing process to create the look of polished concrete flooring. In the realm of polished concrete flooring, it is often used to create decorative and aesthetically pleasing finishes and as a less-expensive solution when compared to concrete replacement, or the time-consuming process of grinding and polishing concrete.Param 5500 is an ideal choice for creating a polished concrete floor over a Warmboard radiant heat system as Param is a poly-modified cementitious material. The Portland cement-based Param, applied at ½ inch thickness, allows for the efficient transfer of heat from the Warmboard below it.Param 5500 decorative overlays are popular for both indoor and outdoor applications, offering versatility in design and customization. Param may be integrally colored, stained, or dyed, and a variety of topcoats in gloss and matte finishes can be added to achieve the desired aesthetic or protection properties. Benefits of Param 5500 Polished Concrete Overlay over Radiant Heat Flooring Warmboard radiant heating systems are known for providing efficient and comfortable heating. When applying a Param 5500 concrete overlay over Warmboard radiant heating, there are several benefits. Heat Distribution and Efficiency: A Param 5500 concrete overlay has a high thermal mass, meaning it can absorb, store, and distribute heat effectively. This helps to create more consistent and even temperatures throughout the space enhancing the effectiveness of the radiant heating system. Param 5500 also acts as a thermal conductor. This results in quicker response times and better overall energy efficiency. Design Flexibility: A Param 5500 Concrete Overlay provides design flexibility, allowing for customization in terms of color, texture, and finish. This can enhance the aesthetic appeal of the space while still benefiting from the efficient radiant heating system. Durability and Longevity: Param 5500 is a durable polymer-modified concrete material that can withstand heavy loads and is resistant to wear and tear. This makes it a long-lasting solution that can contribute to the overall longevity and reliability of the heating system. Flooring Options: Param 5500 provides a versatile surface that can accommodate various flooring options. Whether you prefer tile, hardwood, laminate, or other finishes, the concrete overlay can serve as a stable and durable base for different flooring materials. Compatibility with Radiant Heating: The combination of Warmboard and a Param 5500 Concrete Overlay creates a synergistic effect, optimizing the overall performance of the heating system. Reduced Energy Costs and Comfort: The efficient heat distribution and thermal mass properties of Param 5500 contribute to lower energy consumption, as the radiant heating system need not work as hard to maintain the desired temperature.This also results in a comfortable and cozy indoor environment, with consistent warmth across the floor surface. Easy Maintenance: Concrete floors are generally easy to maintain and clean, adding to the convenience of the overall system. Installation of a Param 5500 Concrete Overlay over Radiant Heat Warmboard Flooring. Installing Param 5500 over Warmboard involves several steps to ensure proper adhesion, even application, and a durable finish. Below is a general installation guide. Specific techniques and procedures can be obtained in the products’ directions or by asking a Duraamen representative. 1. Warmboard Preparation & Cement Board Installation: Ensure that the substrate is as level as possible.Ensure that the Warmboard surface is clean, dry, and free from dust, debris, and contaminants. Repair any imperfections or irregularities in the Warmboard panels. Make sure the worm board is working and not leaking.Install cement board over the top of the Warmboard, completely covering the floor. The use of cement board is critical as it conducts heat well, unlike plywood. 2. Priming: Apply Duraamen’s Paramol primer over the cement board. Follow the Paramol installation instructions. Apply Siderlath (fiberglass lath) over the top of the primer while the primer is still wet 3. Application of Param 5500 Concrete Overlay:Mix the Param 5500 according to the product’s directions. Add an integral coloring like Colorfast Concrete Colorant if desired. Pour Param 5500 onto the primed surface, distributing it evenly. Param’s self-leveling properties will make application easier. Try to maintain a thickness of ½ inch across the entire floor. 5. Decorative Techniques (Optional): If desired, incorporate decorative techniques at this stage, such as color blending. Once the overlay has cured it may be dyed or stained. Follow the Duraamen’s recommendations for decorative additives and techniques. 7. Curing: Allow the concrete to cure. Keep the area protected from foot traffic and other disturbances during the curing period. 8. Sealing: Once Param 5500 is fully cured, apply our Perdure A03 Acrylic concrete sealer. Once the Perdure A03 is fully cured we recommend the application of a Polyurethane sealer like Perdure U45 (matte finish) or Perdure U46 (gloss finish). The sealers enhance the durability of the concrete, protect against stains, and provide a finished look. 10. Final Inspection: Inspect the entire surface for any imperfections, bubbles, or irregularities. Address any issues promptly to achieve a high-quality finish. Note: It’s crucial to follow the specific product guidelines and recommendations provided by Duraamen and the Warmboard manufacturer. Working with skilled professionals experienced in concrete overlay installation and radiant heating systems is advisable to ensure a successful and durable outcome. Where to Buy Radiant Heat Flooring Supplies Param 5500 can be purchased through Duraamen.com or from one of our warehouse locations. Duraamen has warehouses in Cranbury, New Jersey, Dallas, Texas, and Hayward, California. Visit our contact page for addresses and phone numbers.It’s important to note that the specific benefits of Param 5500 may vary based on application techniques, and the overall project requirements. Additionally, consulting with a Duraamen professional and following manufacturer guidelines is crucial for a successful installation that maximizes the benefits of both Param 5500 and radiant heat flooring.Speak with a Duraamen representative about your project: 1.866.835.6595.