How Deep Are Radiant Pipes Installed In Exterior Concrete?

Answer:

Typically, we recommended 2″ but some states now require 3″ or R-15. Some promote the use of thin sheets of foil/bubble or an insulating blanket. These products claim a high R-value but most of this comes from its reflective properties. You lose the reflective properties of the material once you pour concrete over it.

Answer:

Place the radiant heat tubing at the industry-recommended depth down from the surface of the slab. Typically the maximum depth that tubing should be placed in a concrete floor slab is 2" down from the finished floor surface.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How deep should PEX be in concrete?

4-5"Since in non-reinforced slabs tubing is generally positioned at the bottom (secured with foamboard staples or PEX rails), their thickness should not exceed 4-5".

How thick is radiant floor heating?

The industry standard for radiant heat tubing is 5/8” Pex tubing (O.D. of approx ¾”), therefore a 1-1/2” thick Gypsum Concrete topping is most typical.

Where to put radiant heat tubing in a concrete floor?

Most contractors are conscientious and are glad to hear about good design. Radiant heat tubing in a concrete slab needs to be closer to the top of the slab than its bottom, normally in the top 2-inches of concrete.

How big of a radiant heat slab do I Need?

With 7/8” XL PEX you can expect a heat output of at least 50 BTU’s per foot in a slab on grade installation and 40 BTU’s per foot in a floor joist application. It is potable and ultraviolet resistant for protection against sun damage during installation.

How tall should concrete be above PEX tubing?

Concrete height above PEX adds additional R value, and while it’s minimal in most instances, more energy would be required to heat the topmost surface. Since in non-reinforced slabs tubing is generally positioned at the bottom (secured with foamboard staples or PEX rails), their thickness should not exceed 4-5".

How big of a pipe do I need for a slab of concrete?

For 1/2" or 5/8" PEX, 3-4ft long pieces of 1" PEX can be used for sleeving. Sleeve ends should be duct-taped to prevent concrete mixture from getting inside. If using a split pipe (cut open length-wise), tape the seam also. Have a couple PEX splicing/repair kits and a tool handy.

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