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Radiant floor installer and drywall installer are at odds

Ann Dopico | Posted in GBA Pro Help on

I’m having a hydronic radiant floor installed over concrete using Styrofoam-type insulation tiles. The room division walls have not been constructed. The Heat installer says that the frame must be installed prior to the floor heat installation and the drywall installer says that the frame is to be installed on top of the floor material. We are using metal frames. Please advise.

Thank you for your response.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    I'm not sure what product you are talking about -- the one you describe as "Styrofoam-type insulation tiles" -- but I'm guessing that it is something like the Benchmark Foam Thermo-Snap system.

    To find the answer to your question, simply check the installation instructions for the rigid foam product that you are using to install your PEX tubing. For example, if you are using the Benchmark Foam system, you have to follow the Benchmark Foam installation instructions.

    My guess is that it makes the most sense to install the partition walls before you install the tubing, but it's impossible to know unless you identify the name of the rigid foam product you are using.

  2. Richard McGrath | | #2

    The question that comes to mind is what in the hell does the drywall contractor have to do with the radiant heat ?
    That being said , it sounds to me like your radiant heating contractor is attempting to avoid the unpleasantries associated with fasteners through pipes which he can no longer easily get at . Another thing is the possibility that he actually may know what he is doing and keeping tubing inside a room that may be on a different zone than the adjacent room .

    Everybody is an expert , At the end of the day your radiant heating contractor is responsible for how his system will operate and the associated warranty issues that may or may not arise . Will you call your drywall contractor to fix it ? My advice is to tell the drywall contractor to come back and put drywall up after all mechanical systems and shell construction is complete .

    What foam system are you using ? Creteheat , sunfoam , Uponor fast track , Schluter ? At the end of the day though it makes no difference , these manufacturers have no warranty issues or install issues on how the tubing is configured in the product .

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