In my previous post, Radiant Heat New Construction, I wrote about using radiant heat in homes. In the basement slab of my new home I have radiant heat and I thought I’d share some pictures of the tubing and insulation layout.
As you can see in the photos the PEX tubing is layed out on top of an insulating mat called Insul–Tarp. The beauty of this insulation product is that it can be rolled out on the sub-grade, taped together and fitted around slab penetrations easily. Traditionally people put down rigid Styrofoam board which was difficult to lay out especially on un-even ground.
Once the Insul-Tarp is put down, the PEX tubing is “stapled” to the insulation with a special tool. The staples are plastic hooks that have barbs similar to fish hooks that hook onto the insulation. Each section of PEX tubing is run out to half it’s length and then worked back to the header location.
After all the PEX is installed a layer of welded wire fabric (reinforcing) is placed on top of the PEX tubes. The reinforcing serves two purposes, one is to reinforce the slab but the other benefit is to hold down the tubes in the wet concrete.
Many contractors may even allow you to lay out the PEX yourself as a way to save some money. The procedure is really quite easy with some simple instructions.