Tag : space heating

Toasty Toes Floor Warming

Toasty toes: Radiant Floor Heating Warms Tiles from Below

Northern Virginia Daily
by Sally Voth, Daily Staff Writer
28 September, 2007

There’s nothing like a hot bubble bath on a frigid winter’s night. And, nothing snaps you back to reality faster than stepping out of the tub and onto a cold tile floor.  These days, fewer people are experiencing the discomfort of cold feet. That’s thanks to floors being warmed with radiant heat.

A room at the Old Waterstreet Inn, at 217 W. Boscawen St. in Winchester, with heated tile floors in the bathroom, is especially popular in winter, innkeeper Jeannie Faith said.

“They love it,” she said. “It’s very nice when you step in in the morning or the evening, and it’s warm under your feet. It’s very efficient. It actually helps with the heating bills to have it. We’re actually considering building a house in the next five years, and we will definitely put the radiant heat in when we build.  “It gives a whole coziness to the room that you don’t have otherwise.”  Faith and her Norwegian husband have a cabin in Norway with radiant heat in the bathroom and kitchen.

“In Norway, they would never put a tile floor down without radiant heat,” she said.
WarmQuest, based in Salt Lake City, sells two types of radiant heating systems, Tuff Cable and ZMesh, said Ryan Bench, the company’s Web master.  ZMesh is a 12-inch-wide bronze screen heating element that is no thicker than screen-door material, he said. It can go underneath carpet, hardwood floors and tile.  The Tuff Cable is for tile and cemented floor coverings and causes a little floor buildup, Bench said.   According to heatizon.com, Tuff Cable uses a 10-gauge coated copper cable. Heatizon manufactures Tuff Cable and ZMesh.

With the ZMesh there’s virtually no buildup, he said, and it’s nailed or stapled in place, so long as there’s no conductive material where the nailing or stapling would go.  “[Radiant heat] heats up the floor, and then it starts heating up the objects that are on the floor,” Bench said. “So, it’s not heating up the air. It’s heating up the objects instead. Also, objects radiate out the heat. 

“All the power that goes in, goes back to the transformer and makes it pretty much a loop.”
Both of WarmQuests’ systems are low-voltage, he said.  “It has a step-down transformer with a control box that converts high-voltage to low-voltage,” Bench said. 

About 12 to 15 volts are put out per square foot.  Putting in radiant heat is popular in remodeling jobs, Bench said. The company also uses it for de-icing and snow melting in roofs and driveways. The Tuff Cable goes in driveways and ZMesh under asphalt roof shingles.

The spaces they are used for vary. “We have systems for small bathrooms 110 square feet and less,” Bench said. “We also have systems for as big as you want to go. Some people put it in their entire house for their primary heat source. Some people supplement their heat source with it. A lot of it’s new construction as well. It’s starting to get really popular.“It’s economical to run, depending on what your kilowatt hour rate is. [It] usually cuts down on utilities, especially if it’s supplementing the heat source.”The larger the area of the house being heated with radiant heat, the cheaper the square-foot price, he said. For instance, a 110 square-foot bathroom might cost $10 to $12 per square-foot, compared to $8 per square-foot for larger areas.A different style of radiant floor heat, hydronic radiant heat, is used by Whittington Construction Co. in Front Royal. Water is used either from the home’s hot water heater or a separate boiler system, Steve Whittington said. It runs through tubing in the flooring.

He said this system has been installed in two or three of the custom homes the company has built.  “It’s just coming to this area,” Whittington said. “It’s been slow-moving up here because the cost is quite a bit more. It’s the initial installation cost.”

He said the system was installed throughout an entire house that had concrete floors, while another house just had it on the first floor, in the great room, kitchen and bathrooms.

“The one that I’m working on now is going to be in the bathroom, kitchen and eating area,” Whittington said. This latest home has piping that’s already integrated into the subfloor when the panels are bought. It is known as warmboard, Whittington said. There are several benefits to radiant floor heat, he said. “When you get up in the morning, if you have hardwood floors, or if they’re [a] non-carpet surface, these are really more comfortable, and really, it’s more even heat,” Whittington said. “Radiant heat heats up the whole mass, and it radiates from that point to heat the entire mass up. With forced-air heating, you have hot spots and cold spots.”

R Contact Sally Voth at svoth@nvdaily.com

ZMesh Radiant Heat Versitility

ZMesh Radiant Heat

May 12, 2006
By Steven D. Bench
Managing Member
Heatizon Systems

When people associated with the radiant heating and radiant snow melting industry use the words “ZMesh”, “Golden Mesh”, “Z Mesh”, or just plain “Mesh” usually they are referring to a durable line of low voltage electric products made by Heatizon Systems and used for Radiant Roof Snow Melt and De-icing, Radiant Floor Warming and Radiant Heating. 

Designed to be installed on and under sub-floors and on sub-roofs, ZMesh provides a nice uniform heat and it is plenty robust to satisfy the demands of discriminating radiant heat, radiant roof snow melting and de-icing, and radiant floor warming customers. In addition, gold colored, ZMesh delivers unparallel performance and is backed by an industry leading twenty-five (25) year warranty.

What about the nails, screws, and/or staples used to attach certain flooring and roofing materials? No need to worry about nailing, screwing or stapling through ZMesh as long as the nail, screw, or staple does not come into contact with anything else electronically conductive. In other words, ZMesh should never be installed over or under metal roof decking, valley metal, metal flashing, etc. or metal roofing materials such as steel or copper but its durable sister Tuff Cable may be installed over and under such products. ZMesh can be installed, however, under all non-conductive roof shingles and nearly all floor coverings.

Unlike its line voltage and hydronic radiant heating, radiant in-floor and under floor warming and radiant roof snow melt and de-icing competitors, ZMesh is very simple and easy to repair in the event it gets cut or damaged. Repairing ZMesh requires a customized copper splice plate and a bit of solider. No one else in the radiant heating, radiant floor warming and radiant roof snow melt and de-icing business can honestly make that claim.

How much floor build-up does ZMesh require? Since ZMesh is only 1/16th of an inch thick and does not require a bed of light weight concrete or other cementous material to draw the heat away from it the answer to this question is “very little”! As a result using ZMesh avoids the expense of a cementious mud bed, the cost of the extra structural integrity necessary to support the weight of the concrete and the challenges created by the need for the additional framing required by radiant high or line voltage and radiant hydronic or hot water alternatives. Once again, ZMesh requires little or no floor build-up.

For radiant in-floor and under floor warming and radiant heating applications ZMesh may be installed in the floor (on top of the sub-floor and below the floor covering) or under the floor between the joist space. As a matter of fact, Heatizon Systems was one of the pioneers of retrofitting its products into the joist space of existing structures. 

ZMesh is a cut to length in the field product rather than a fixed length product like most all of its UL listed radiant line or high voltage competitors. The ability to vary the length of the ZMesh enables the installer to adjust the radiant in-floor heating, radiant roof snow melt and de-icing or radiant floor warming system to fit the area rather than requiring that the area to adjust to the radiant in-floor heating, radiant roof snow melting and de-icing or floor warming system.

Available in lengths that extend from 50 feet to 400 feet and widths of 9 and 12 inches, ZMesh is plenty versatile to satisfy the needs of most projects. In addition ZMesh has the ability to deliver up to 11.5 watts or over 39 Btu’s per linear foot so it is plenty robust to heat entire spaces, warm spacious floors, and manage the risks of ice dam related roof damage.

Heatizon Systems cares about its customers and their property as a result all of its products have been tested to UL Standards and has earned the privledge of being listed by ETL, an internationally recognized testing laboratory approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. 

Heatizon Systems products are proudly manufactured in the United States of America and may be purchased by fine distributors located across North America.

Launstein Hardwood Floors

Launstein Has Wood Floor Answers

by Dan Perfitt

– June 2006-

Launstein Hardwood Floors

The Phones usually start ringing about 6 am every morning here at Launstien Hardwood Flooring Company. The answering machine will pick them up until 8 am when the sales staff and radiant test guys come marching through the door with coffee and doughnuts; ready for another long day of fielding questions, offering advise, and sometimes solving problems that occur with wood floor over radiant heat. The calls come from all over the country, even a few from Europe and Canada. From contractors, manufacturers, distributors, and homeowners all with different questions and situations.

One of the more popular questions is, “what’s the best radiant system to use in our house?” Warmboard, Watts, or Wirsbo? Or should be go with electric or hot water? Sorry folks – we do not test the efficiency or quality of the systems – that has already been done. Nor do we promote one system over the other. We only test how wood floors can react to the heat they put out. You can get your questions about efficiency and quality answered from the manufacturer’s page and the radiant partners pages of our website.

We welcome all of these questions, even if they do not use our wood floors, because we feel it is our job to educate and offer guidlines to folks who want radiant heat and wood floors in their homes. There has been much written about wood floors over radiant heat, most of it is good information, but on the other hand, some of it is vague and often confuses people to the point of frustration. Realistically, there is a right way and a wrong way to complete the job.

Just returning from the RadFest West in Tacoma, WA and talking with many contractors and distributors, reaffirms our thoughts that the radiant industry is growing by leaps and bounds. An indication of this is attending any home show and seeing a radiant company there. Two or three years ago this wasn’t happening. With the increasing demand for radiant heat, there is an increasing demand for wood flooring over radiant heat. We are here to help meet that demand and answer andy questions that we have learned the answers to with testing in out radiant lab.

With the continued support of the RPA and it;s board of directors, along with the radiant companies and businesses (RPA members) that have teamed up with the RPA, we feel that the technical knowledge gathered by support companies can only further the advancement of the industry.

Go to www.launstein.com for more information.

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