Creatherm: A Simple, Flexible Radiant Slab

By Philip on Sep. 30, 2011 | Topics: Energy Efficiency, Technology | Comments (4)

Radiant flooring is a popular method for heating a space. Typicaly, installing a radiant slab on grade has required the time- and labor-intensive process of laying down wire mesh and then tying the tubing to the grid of the mesh to provide an even layout. But using the Creatherm radiant floor panel makes it faster and easier to install radiant tubing, as well as providing an insulation layer beneath the floor.

Creatherm panels allow for rapid installation of PEX since the installer can “walk-in” the tubing as they unroll it by just pressing it in place with a foot. The knurled knobs in the Creatherm panels act to hold the PEX tubing in place, and their open grid configuration allows for a much more varied and flexible installation of radiant tubing. Creatherm panels also feature interlocking edges, so that the underlayment will not shift.

The panels additionally provide insulation value depending on their thickness. Creatherm panels are available in 1.8”, 2.8” and 3.3” thicknesses which provide R-5 to R-11 insulation. In many cases, Creatherm panels would serve for both the under slab insulation as well as the attachment for a PEX radiant tubing system, allowing for faster installation with fewer materials and less labor required.

Other products, such as Warmboard also are designed for faster installation of radiant tubing, but Creatherm offers more flexibility in the layout than Warmboard, although the thickness of the Creatherm panels might limit their use in above ground floor systems.

Being able to have the flexibility to quickly lay out radiant tubing, and to readily adapt to unusual configurations, especially with irregular rooms, makes this an especially intriguing product. And many will find it a real benefit to have the combination of an under slab insulation material which incorporates a system to quickly install the radiant tubing.


About Philip: contributing editor of Jetson Green. Philip is an AIA member, NCARB certificate holder, a LEED AP (BD+C), and a registered architect in Michigan and Ohio. His practice is p s proefrock architecture llc and you can follow him on Twitter at @cornellbox.