After spending a couple of days covering the upstairs subfloor in strips of plywood with 3/4" spacing grooves in between, we are really eager to move on to the next step.
In the grooves, tubing carrying hot water will be run from the boiler. This hot water will be used to warm the floor, which then warms the room.
But wood is not the best conductor of heat. Normally we think in terms of what is the worst conductor of heat - things like foam and insulation - to keep heat IN. But in this case, we are trying to draw heat OUT of the tubing and into the floors, and spreading the heat across the floor surface area.
Solution? Heat transfer plates.
It's just a piece of aluminum, not much thicker than aluminum foil, with a stamped groove for the pipe. You want the pipe to touch the aluminum if at all possible - any air gaps slow down heat transfer.
I wasn't kidding that these guys are much thicker than aluminum foil. I did toy with the idea of just using aluminum foil ... would have saved us a pile of money.
Or at least spent the last year recycling pop cans and cutting the ends off to make my own heat transfer plates.
The heat transfer plates we used actually come in a double groove. We cut them in half because we don't need spacing that close per our super insulated walls and roof.
But the upside (or should I say downside?) is that it's much easier to work on the ground than it is over your head. Gravity is a better friend than enemy! And nothing is fun working over head on a ladder.
This is the small bedroom done
And here's the larger bedroom.
We even did the master closets
And I know this seems crazy - even under the washer and dryer. Even though you'll never step there, it's emitting heat into rooms, and in a bathroom
Where you have a void for the toilet and shower stall, and lots of transitions, you gotta use up what space you have in the floor.
We'll be laying the tubing and underlayment!
We are really looking forward to a less "scaly" floor!