Radiant Heat and Wood Floors


I am in the planning stage of building a new house and would like to install radiant heat in the floors.

The lot is a very steep slope (about 25 degrees) and a large portion of the house will be
cantilevered over the ground level.

The floor trusses are two feet tall and spaced on two foot centers.

I have just four questions:

1. What type of insulation is appropriate? (For Albuquerque, a few fairly cold months but not severe).

2. Would a hardwood floor allow the system to heat the house efficiently?

3. At what stage of the building process is the system installed? And,

4. What trade installs it? (Some of the Internet purveyors claim my teenage daughter could install a radiant heat system).

I have enjoyed perusing your web site…very interesting.



Hi Carl,

4 questions = 4 answers

1. R-25 see chart

2. It’s important for installers to understand how radiant heating works with hardwood flooring installations. One of the most comprehensive articles I have seen on installing hardwood floors when radiant heat will be used says, “The most important factor in a successful wood flooring installation over radiant heat is a dry slab and a dry subfloor…read the rest here.

3. The piping is installed at the rough-in plumbing stage.

4. If your daughter is a skilled professional plumber sure, otherwise a plumber or the company selling the system should install and guarantee the system.

Good luck,