Dry system radiant flooring
|Dry system radiant flooring is radiant heat
installed beneath a finished floor without material poured
over the tubing. Several manufacturers offer dry radiant systems
that position radiant floor tubing above floor, between two
layers of plywood, or below floor under the subfloor. Hydronic
radiant floor systems pump heated water through tubing positioned
in loops beneath the finished floor. The heated water flowing
through the tubes heats the surrounding air and flooring material.
The floor emits energy as a result of its temperature
Above floor systems are installed above the sub floor and below
the finished floor. These systems use a grooved wood panel installed
beneath the finished floor. The dimensions of the panels may vary,
depending on manufacturer. Cross-linked polyethylene tubing (PEX)
is inserted in the grooves of the panels and sets flush with the
panel surface. Manufacturers claim their panels work under a variety
of floor coverings: tile, marble, vinyl, wood and carpeting.
Below floor systems are installed under the subfloor. These systems
include attaching the PEX tubing to the bottom of the subfloor
or suspending the tubing from the subfloor. This system is popular
for retrofits and is less costly to install than the above floor
systems. Below floor systems require a higher source temperature
to perform equivalently to an above floor system.
An above floor system uses 7x48-inch or 10x48-inch and ½-inch
thick panel. These panels can be purchased individually or accordion
style. The accordion style is six panels of desired width adhered
together using fiber tape, which unfold to cover a larger surface
area. This floor system is grooved for 5/16-inch PEX tubing and
the panel bottoms are covered with aluminum. One hundred and eighty-degree
return panels are available in 7 and 10-inch widths.
Another system is considered to have a dual function panel. This
panel offers the structural requirements of a subfloor diaphragm
in conventional construction, as well as a radiant floor heating
system. The 4x8-foot, and 1-1/8-inch thick, engineered Comply
panel is tongue-and-groove. It has a top surface with a modular
groove pattern 12-inch on center. The panel is designed for ½-inch
PEX tubing. A sheet of 0.025-inch thick alloy aluminum that contours
with the groove pattern is permanently bonded to the surface.
These panels come in three variations, panels with straight grooves,
90 or 180° turns.