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Old 07-10-2016, 10:00 PM   #1
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In-floor heating advice

This post is primarily about the flooring aspect, insulation and tubing and heated media i.e water, oil, Fukushima water... I know nothing about in floor heating.

My initial thought was to use PEX but I think aluminum or copper tubing would have better heat transfer.

I was thinking on laying 1-2" foam board on the sheet metal deck and inlaying the metal tubing maybe 3/8" the full length of the bus at specific widths so as to not accidentally puncture it later on.

Covering it with 1/2" or 5/8" ply [i don't like mushy floors and prefer concrete but even the lightest stuff would be way to heavy.] Topped off by bamboo engineered flooring w/ real bamboo not the picture board stuff.

My biggest concern is a leak down the road and having to tear the flooring up which i plan to do in some sort of herringbone pattern.
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Old 07-10-2016, 10:22 PM   #2
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Dont really try to reinvent the wheel here. PEX is affordable, durable, not subject to corrosion, and plenty efficient for radiant flooring...it's what everyone uses. Why change the system that's proven, not to mention add cost and complexity when it comes to piping and making leak free joints, etc.

I'm considering the same thing myself and I'll be using PEX personally...
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Old 07-10-2016, 10:54 PM   #3
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I plan on PEX with oxygen barrier and using the proper heat spreader for it. No need to reinvent the wheel on this one.
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:19 AM   #4
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Pex works, I did basically what you are suggesting. Plenty of pictures on my build post and my website.
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:41 AM   #5
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make sure you use the right stuff.
https://www.teksupply.com/contractor...;pg109149.html
they sell a lightweight concrete product made for shaping shower stalls
Shop MAPEI Gray and Silver Indoor and Outdoor Leveler at Lowes.com
foor heat needs mass to work properly, remember a bus that holds 40 kids would add 6000 pounds to the bus. good luck
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:59 AM   #6
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PEX for the heat supply.. but id be leery of putting anything concrete and ceramic in a bus thats goign to flex alot.. unless this is a drive once, park and live in for years kind of project... people CAN and DO heat vinyl and Fake wood flooring succesfully...

-Christopher
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Old 07-11-2016, 03:27 PM   #7
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I have done a lot of heated flooring mainly for dog kennels but anyway buy one solid length/roll of piping.( Pex is a name brand but the type is what is needed) the solid roll is to eliminate any joint/connections under the flooring then the only other thing I would do is lay a thin layer of foam or flooring underpayment to keep the tubing from rubbing on the metal and get the spacers sold for the tubing you get.
No joints,no rubbing equals no leaks.
Or you could put down your 2" foam and carve out the tubing channels in the 2" foam to eliminate the spacers and the thin layer underneath and use that thin layer over the top.
Most of what I have done has been in concrete but it still needed to be within an 1" or less of the top of floor so sink it in the foam board just enough for the 1/8-1/4" underpayment will cover it.
I also used the engineered bamboo flooring with a teak mix and a little Brazilian cherry. but mine was given to me for helping a flooring company with some plumbing they needed help with.

A piece of a broken porta band blade or hacksaw blade taped to a stick (horseshoe style) the width of the piping diameter you are using will help a lot just mark the lines with a razor knife first and set the depth on your stick when you tape the blade on.
If you choose the carving option?
Good luck.
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:20 PM   #8
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I used a router to cut the channels in the foam, goes really fast.
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:27 PM   #9
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without the tubing encased in a product that would absorb the heat the efficiency would be so low its not worth doing. use a product that will flex.
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:30 PM   #10
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As much fun as the foam snow maker (router) sounds, I want to see somebody build a hot wire cutter! A router running a ball end, bowl, or core router bit makes more sense from the "just get it over with" perspective though.

Continuous loop(s) with no fittings make sense for leak avoidance. If you're worried about developing a leak through puncture, chafing, etc then you could go to the other extreme. Short sections with the joints concealed above floor level somehow would enable easy abandonment of any section that became damaged in the future. It could be hard to expel the air out of a system so arranged, though.
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