Install Radiant Heat Under a Subfloor
LESLIE: Cindy in Iowa has a question about radiant heat. What can we do for you?
CINDY: Hi. I was wondering if you can put it under the subfloor rather than on top; like under carpet, under installed flooring.
TOM: Is this a room that’s going to have carpet in it?
CINDY: If I can afford the whole thing, yes. (Tom chuckles) Two rooms are carpeted. The rest of the house has vinyl on the floor.
TOM: The answer is yes and yes. If you’re talking about electric radiant heat, there are lots of great products out there that can actually go between the padding and the subfloors; generally the place that it goes. One of the leading manufacturers is a company called Warmly Yours. That’s there website, WarmlyYours.com. Very, very helpful website. Lots of options for the types of products that you can have.
LESLIE: It’s organized by the type of floor, so it sort of gets rid of any questioning. But Tom, if you were to put the radiant heat itself underneath the subfloor and then you’re dealing with padding and carpet or some sort of foam barrier and then like a laminate, does that sort of …?
TOM: Yeah, I don’t think that radiant heat – electric radiant heat – is going to work well by going under the subfloor. What will work under the subfloor is hydronic heat. If you have a hot water heating system and use a product like PEX – cross-linked polyethylene piping – that can be sort of wound underneath the subfloor and sort of warm the whole structure. But generally, with electric radiant heat, it goes on top of the subfloor and under the padding.
TOM: And you can also put it, by the way, on top of the subfloor and under laminate. It’s really durable stuff. Check out that website; WarmlyYours.com.
CINDY: I sure will. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.