Choosing Warmboard for this reno’s radiant floors
At our full-house renovation in Leslieville, the owners have decided to install a radiant heating system featuring radiant floors in the basement, first floor and second floor washroom with Stelrad radiators in the remaining rooms. We carefully reviewed three radiant floor options for the first floor, which included the staple-up method, lightweight over pour, and Warmboard.
The decision was made to use Warmboard, a unique panelized product that suited the project’s needs very well. The Warmboard panels consist of an engineered wood panel with a highly-conductive aluminum alloy skin bonded to one side. Grooves are pre-formed into the panels to receive radiant tubing, simplifying tubing installation. We have previously used the Warmboard-R (retrofit) panels in a unique radiant ceiling application at our award-winning Deep Energy Retrofit project in East York.
In this case, we used the Warmboard-S (structural) panels, because a structural subfloor was required for the newly framed floor. This was an advantage over the other methods which require a structural subfloor to be installed followed by additional provisions for the hydronic tubing. We worked closely with Warmboard and our HVAC designer to optimize panel layout and ensure the installation would meet our heating and municipal permitting requirements.
We carefully reviewed the installation instructions and watched the instructional videos on the Warmboard website. Installation is really the same as with conventional tongue-and-groove plywood; however a little extra attention is required to ensure panel layout matches the shop drawings, the tubing grooves are aligned, and a 1/8″ gap is left at butt joints to accommodate thermal expansion and contraction.
We are eager to get feedback from the home owners once the system is up and running. The owners at the Deep Energy Project in East York report that they never notice being hot or cold, they’re always comfortable.
By Steven Gray, Construction Manager, Greening Homes