Prefabricated Radiant Heat Subfloor vs. Radiantmax Overfloor Eagle Mountain Journal

Prefabricated Radiant Heat Subfloor vs. Radiantmax Overfloor  Eagle Mountain Journal

Prefabricated Radiant Heat Subfloor vs. Radiantmax Overfloor

Dan Frawley

If you have unlimited time and money, prefabricated systems are a great solution.  However, if you are a do-it-yourselfer who wants an affordable and easy to install radiant system, then you will benefit from Radiantmax’s overfloor radiant system.

Keep reading to learn why.

Our overfloor packages are designed to be installed between the subfloor and the final flooring material.  Our package consists of Radiantmax bpex, aluminum heat transfer plates, and 5/8” thick furring strips that you would provide yourself.

One of the most popular radiant overfloor systems on the market today is an expensive prefabricated radiant heat subfloor.  This is a great product that offers similar efficiencies to the Radiantmax system. They both consist of similar materials but the prefabricated subfloor comes with the aluminum heat transfer material already installed.

There are some differences that make the Radiantmax system stand out against the competition.  First is cost.  The average cost for prefabricated systems is roughly  $5 dollars per square foot. and that does not include the radiant material.  In comparison, the complete Radiantmax overfloor system costs approximately $3.50 per square foot. including standard ¾” subfloor, 5/8” furring strips, and the heat transfer plates.

Overfloor Package

The second issue comes in the form of installation.  The Radiantmax system is what we like to call a modular system. That means it can easily conform to the space requirements on site.  So if there are any last minute changes to the floor plan, it is quite easy to adapt the installation to accommodate that change.  Prefabricated systems are quite different.

From conversations with customers, I understand that suppliers of prefabricated systems charge a refundable engineering fee to take your plans and pre engineer the sections. These sections are usually 4’x8’ and weigh in excess of 150 pounds.  This means that you need to have your plans finalized before the engineering takes place, because it will be difficult to accommodate changes.

Radiantmax Overfloor

For onsite installation, the prefabricated systems poses some interesting challenges.  First, since the prefabricated system consists of a subfloor, that means you must start with open floor joists.  This inhibits the speed of installation due to the installers having to watch where they are going and due to the weight of the panels themselves.    Also, according the RPA website, the prefabricated system (including pex) must go in before the framing can begin, especially if a heating zone includes multiple rooms.

Prefabricated Radiant Heat Subfloor vs. Radiantmax Overfloor  Eagle Mountain Journal

This also affects build time, as the framers now have to be wary of the pex and not drive any nails or screws through the already installed pex tubing.  Installing the prefabricated radiant subfloor before framing can poses its own problems as well.  According to the RPA website, prefabricated subfloors are dangerously slippery when wet or covered in sawdust.

In comparison, the Radiantmax system is easy to install. There is already a subfloor in place so no dangers exist, and again the system is completely modular and can conform to the requirements of the any space.  This means that there is no need to install the radiant system before internal framing can begin.

While prefabricated systems and the Radiantmax overfloor system are on the same level in terms of efficiencies and heating capabilities, there are inherent differences that set them apart. If you have unlimited time and money, prefabricated systems are a great solutions.  However, if you are a do-it-yourselfer who wants an affordable and easy to install radiant system, then you will benefit from Radiantmax’s Overfloor Radiant system. No matter which system you choose, you will be sure to benefit from the comfort and ease of a radiant heating system.

If you have any questions, call me any time at 1-800-572-7831. My name is Dan Frawley.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 at 1:14 pm and is filed under radiant heating. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response. or trackback from your own site.

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