LESLIE: Alright. Now, we’ve got Sylvia in Pennsylvania on the line with a flooring question. How can we help you today?
SYLVIA: I am moving from Pennsylvania, moving further south to get away from the snow. I don’t know if it’ll be South Carolina, Georgia or Florida but I am going to build myself a house and it’s going to be a small house. I’m wondering about underfloor heating but I would like to have a terrazzo floor. So can you put in-floor heating and cooling in a terrazzo floor?
TOM: So, first of all, congratulations on your plan. That sounds really exciting. Secondly, in terms of the floor – first of all, the floor can be heated. It can’t provide your cooling. You’re going to have to have a central air-conditioning system for that.
SYLVIA: I was wondering about that because I was wondering, too. Because cold settles and I’m thinking the floor would be cold but nothing else would be.
TOM: So, in terms of the heated floor, yes, there is a way to run PEX piping – which is a cross-linked polyethylene, hot-water piping – through underlayment that would go under tile. In fact, they make a specific type of plywood that’s actually channeled out for this very purpose, where the plumbing sort of lays inside tracks in the plywood. And then the mud floor or whatever you’re using underneath the trowels goes on top of that.
So, certainly, you can do that. It’s a pretty big project. But if you’re set on having this kind of floor, you can definitely do it. But it will be a more expensive heating system than other types.
SYLVIA: Well, I’m not really set on the terrazzo but I was thinking of it and – because it would be easy to clean. It would be just – from living in Florida, I am familiar with terrazzo floors. And I just thought that, you know, it was a possibility. I have not decided exactly yet. I’m just gathering information now.
TOM: Yeah. The answer is you could put hot-water heat through your floors pretty much with any type of material, including that. So, definitely an option for underfloor heating. Sylvia. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.