I decided that more than anything I wanted warm floors.  I wanted my heat to come from everywhere instead of one duct, or one radiator.  I have allergies to dust, so forced air was out of the question.  Running baseboards around the outside of the basement which already had an 8″ lip of concrete around the perimeter seem ridiculous, when all I needed to do was lay down some pex pipe and pour some concrete over it… heh.

So I set out to do this.  Researching over pour installations on the internet.  Calling radiant suppliers and asking.  Turns out there isn’t a whole lot of information out there for what I wanted to do.  I didn’t want to use Gypcrete which is a mix on-site type of lightweight concrete.  I didn’t want to use it, 1. because I didn’t need to be lightweight, and 2. because it would mean that I couldn’t do it myself.  This was important mostly so that I could save money.  I could purchased the foam with cut channels in it to jam the pipe in, but that required ordering some special boards and I wanted to keep the cost down.

In the end i decided to just simply lay down 2″ rigid styrofoam insulation and then pour 1.5″ of concrete over top of it and the pipes.  I wanted to use tile in half of the basement, and at the time wanted the other half to be wood floors.  Well I didn’t really want to have concrete under the wood floors because then i wouldn’t be able to nail them down.  So I went with a sand filled sub-base floor.

I will explain these in more detail in future posts.  For now.

Styrofoam Install

  • Lay it down.
  • Lay the next one down.
  • When you get to a wall cut it to fit.
  • Start the next course
  • Rinse and Repeat

That’s pretty much it.

Around the edges of the room i built a small 1.5″ dam using strips of styrofoam to keep the slab insulated from the outside concrete walls, in an effort to keep the heat from transferring outsite. I just ripped the styrofoam on my table saw and glued it down with spray adhesive (which worked pooly, because the styrofoam just disintegrated under the spray adhesive. I would suggest using something else. :)

Install Styrofoam over concrete for radiant heated floors
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